Working from home is a very new concept to many people in the UK, but with businesses having to adapt to the new normal, it’s becoming a necessity.
Furthermore, with only 13% of UK working parents wanting to return to their former work/life balance, homeworking may become the new normal for even more employees.
Here at Cymphony, we have team members who have been home workers for several years and know exactly how to be productive and set yourself up for success.
I got in touch with four members of the team to see what advice they have for those considering switching. Read on to find out how they maximise productivity and minimise stress.
On that note, if you’re dealing with added stress due to working from home you can check out our article Reducing Homeworking Stress. We breakdown the different ways in which you can reduce stress while working from home.
Tip 1: “Get the day off to the right start” – Louise, Customer Service Manager
One tip that every single one of our home workers gave was to make sure you stick you your usual pre-work routine. Get up, have a shower, get dressed, and have breakfast just like you would if you were going into the office.
Rolling out of bed five minutes before you are due to start work and sitting at your desk in your pyjamas, leaves you feeling tired, unfocused and fed up.
You won’t be in the right frame of mind to work productively or professionally.
Starting the day with minimal effort sets the tone for the standard of work you will produce that day,
Tip 2: “Prepare meals and snacks like you would if you were at work” – Kayleigh, PA
You don’t want to spend your day running back and forth to the kitchen every time you need a drink, and you don’t want to waste half of your lunch break preparing food.
As tempting as it is to skip this step, prepare all your food and drinks before you start your day. This way, you won’t find yourself wasting more time than you would if you were working in the office.
This will reduce anxiety as you’ll feel more in control of your time, and allows you to focus on work rather than other distractions.
Tip 3: “Make your workspace somewhere you enjoy spending time” – Sarah, Overnight Team Leader
You’re going to spend a lot of your time sitting in your workspace when you work from home, so it should be a pleasant place to be.
First of all, keep it tidy; a tidy environment is a tidy mind!
Make sure everything you need is in easy reach (tissues, paracetamol, drinks, pen and paper, a jumper for if it gets chilly). This way you won’t be jumping up and down all day long and will be able to focus on your work without distractions.
Above all, make it comfortable. Choose your chair carefully, make sure your desk is at the right height, and if possible position yourself near to a window with a great view.
There are lots of products you can buy to improve your comfort levels even more. For example, wrist rests, software and lights that help with eye strain, and foot rests.
The beauty of working from home is that you have the freedom to have everything you need.
Tip 4: “Talk to people” – Sarah, Overnight Team Leader
Use internal channels like Microsoft Teams to interact with people.
Not just when you or they need help, but if you have a story to share then share it (time permitting).
If something has made you smile, it’s probably going to make someone else smile too. And if you’re struggling with something (whether that’s work-related or personal) you won’t be the only one.
As one homeworker put it “We’re all in this together and will get through it as a family.”
Just because you’re not in close physical proximity with your colleagues, doesn’t mean you’re not a valued member of the team.
Tip 5: “Work time is exactly that – work time” – Jackie, PA
Make it a rule that your working hours are just for work and nothing else. Treat the time you work from home exactly like you would if you were working in an office.
You’ll be far more productive during the day, and you’ll feel happier to leave work behind when it’s time to unwind at the end of the day.
Try to keep contact with others in your home to a minimum. If you have children, this might mean organising childcare just as you would if you were travelling to an office.
Keep off social media and other distractions unless you are on a break. It’s easy to lose track of time without a solid structure.
Try to avoid arranging for deliveries to arrive during your working time; it will distract you and you might be tempted to spend time exploring them.
What is your top tip for working from home?
If you’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 period, we would love to hear how you’ve found it, and what tips you have for handling your day-to-day schedule.
Let us know in the comments or reach out to us on one of our social channels.