I’ve been working from home, remotely, virtually (– whatever you want to call it) for around 10 years and I’m a huge advocate for it. So much that I left my job and set up my own Virtual Assistant business. Working in this way is great for the environment, saves travel time and can increase morale and productivity for the employee.
Now we are being told to work from home where our jobs allow and here are my tips:
Work in Blocks of Time: During your working day, set an alarm every 50/60 minutes. Use this time to get up and move for a few minutes, make a drink, take a comfort break, put a wash on / hang the washing out, do a household chore.
Over Communicate: Both you and your colleagues won’t overhear general office conversations and phone calls. Get into the habit of copying all relevant parties into emails – it makes sure everyone is in the loop and avoids confusion down the line.
Chat Box: Make sure you have in place a chat box platform for an informal place to have general chit chat or quick questions with your co-workers. WhatsApp is a great way of informal group communication.
Video Conferencing and Conference Calls: Video (webinars) and conference calls aren’t just for your external stakeholders. Have these between colleagues and co-workers and if you are all new to conference working, practice in the safe haven between yourselves so you become pro’s.
Get into Work Mode: Treat your day like you are going to your work place by getting ready as if you were going to leave the house. Leave house-work related tasks undone and spread these out during the day and undertake these during your breaks.
Set Ground Rules: Set rules with other people in your home or those who share your working space. If you have children who come home from school while you’re still working, set them clear rules about what they can and can’t do during that time.
End of the Day: Unless you are fortunate enough to have a home office. Make sure that you pack away your working area at the end of the working day; don’t leave it on the dining room table and have a defined working time.
Fresh Air: Make sure you take a lunch break. Even better get out for a lunchtime walk, the fresh air and natural light will do you good, even if it is just for 15 minutes.
Background Noise: Make radio your best friend, it takes the silence away. I listen to different stations depending on the time of the day; music in the mornings, talk radio in the afternoons and upbeat music towards the end of the day.