Coronavirus: 10 tips for working from home
As millions of people now find themselves in a position to work from home in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, we provide some handy hints.
The world is having to change amid the coronavirus crisis and one of the factors of countries going into lockdown is an increase to the number of people working from home. No matter what part of the world you are located in, technology and role permitting, the following hints and advice could be of use as we continue in a phase of uncertainty with no clear date of conclusion. Some should already be very obvious…
Ten tips for working from home
1. Create a comfortable workspace that meets your needs
It is advisable to use a place of your home for work, and only for work. Avoid using the bed or the sofa, or indeed placing yourself in front of the television. Try to keep the leisure and work spaces of the house separate and well defined.
2. Establish a routine and prepare in the workspace in advance
As much as possible, if the space resembles your office, or normal place of work, your adaptation to doing it remotely will be easier. Let in natural light, if possible, and put away objects that could be distracting.
3. Create/agree a work schedule
This is important as it allows everyone you may connect with to know when you are contactable and, more importantly, when you should not be. All work colleagues should be clear about who is on and when. This will increase focus and productivity and ensures a sense of professional coordination despite distance.
4. Dress for work
It is vital to differentiate between personal life at home and time spent working. One way to do this is by dressing as if you were really going to the office or workplace. Pyjamas may be the comfiest clothes you have, but they can also lead to a less professional approach in some people. Likewise, follow your normal morning routine of showering, breakfasting etc to be ready to ‘clock in’.
5. Take regular breaks
You will save in travel time by not having to leave the house but can utilise that in other ways. Maybe start earlier and, if the job permits, build in breaks to refresh your brain. Consider the full day and how best you can adapt to benefit yourself and your output.
6. Maintain contact with colleagues
This is a surprisingly important aspect to remember and, perhaps, one of the easiest to fulfill. Use the available technology to connect with others, which is not only vital for the combined productivity of the group, but also for maintaining relationships with those that you may not be beside for weeks or months.
7. Highlight the most important tasks and prioritise them
These are the tasks that must be done as soon as possible, and will allow other projects - those possibly being done by others who are waiting - to move forward and achieve everyone’s objectives.
8. Make regular back-ups and be tech savvy
Don’t leave yourself at risk of losing work by leaving items unsaved. Also, as you are likely accessing secure websites, be careful with passwords, keep everything updated, and use antivirus on the computers on which you are working.
9. Maintain motivation
Over time you are likely to lose perspective and even motivation. To prevent this from happening, remind yourself of everything that has already been achieved and, as mentioned above, keep in touch with colleagues to review progress.
10. Avoid distractions
This is vital. At home there are likely to be several temptations to draw you away from what you are being paid to do. Set aside time to check social media or reading useful websites (it is, of course, important to stay informed) or deal with home tasks, but ensure that you can switch off later in the day knowing that you have produced a day’s work.