Everyone by now knows all about the coronavirus and the impact it has had on our way of life. From schools closing to sporting events being called off, it has come out of the blue to really shake up how we live. With some countries in lockdown and others simply advising people to not come into work, home working has suddenly become something the vast majority of us are doing now.
Of course, if you do not normally work from home then you may be unsure as to how to go about it. Being able to perform effectively during this period is key so you do not lose your job and your company continues to thrive. If you are wanting to know the ten most useful tips for home working while COVID-19 lingers, the below should help.
10 Find your own space
One of the best tips you could take on-board when not working in the office is to set up your own space in the home. This could be a corner of the bedroom, the kitchen table or a space in one of your spare bedrooms. The location in a way is not that important – what is crucial though is having a space which is dedicated to work while you use it and you can concentrate in. This will help you perform effectively while working from home and get the most from it.
09 Make Sure To Have The Right Equipment
Once you have decided on the space you will work from, you need to set it up with the right gear. The computer you use should not be an issue as either work will provide a laptop to take home or you can use your own. You should think about getting a comfy chair to use though as working for months from a dining table chair is not ideal. Proper office chairs will have better support for your back and help you sit in a better posture. It is also worth buying a desk if you do not have one to work from and also some storage to keep important work files safe.
08 – Think About What Software You Need
As well as the physical equipment that will help you to produce more when home working, you also need the right digital tools too. Once more, your company should take the lead on this and advise of which pieces of software they would like you to use when out of the office. Popular platforms you may need to download and get familiar with include Slack, Zoom and Skype. Being able to use these digital tools properly will help to stop you from feeling isolated from colleagues and stay in touch with your team.
07 – Don’t Get Distracted
One thing that most people struggle with when working from home is all the distractions on offer. From raiding the fridge for constant snacks to watching TV or playing games, there is a lot in any home to take you away from work. Of course, this can easily see your performance dip and you get less done! The key thing is to avoid any distractions in working hours and focus on your job.
06 – Set A Schedule
To really help you get more done each day, it is worth setting a schedule. Just like you would normally get up at a certain time to start work for a set time, you should do the same when home working. Do not think that you can lie in until 10am each day and still get everything done. Of course, most bosses who have people working from home due to COVID-19 will also expect you to be around during your normal working hours. Do not risk getting into trouble by flouting this! Having a regular schedule based around your normal working hours will enable you to act professionally when working from home and fulfil your duties.
05 – Communicate With Others Regularly
One danger of more people working from home due to the coronavirus is how isolated they could easily become. This makes it key to communicate with colleagues also working from home or still in the office regularly. Not only will this communication help keep things running smoothly in terms of work but it will also help you to avoid getting lonely or cut-off. This is especially important if you live alone and are self-isolating in response to the pandemic.
04 – Don’t Overwork
One challenge with working from home can be getting the balance right. While you should make sure to do enough, you should also make sure not to work too much. A lot of people who work from home find it hard to switch off and often work for longer hours than they would in an office. If you have set hours normally, then make sure you finish when you usually would. Do not get into the habit of working many hours later as this could lead you to burnout. Once the day is done, switch off work phones and laptops until the next day and simply relax.
03 – Make Sure To Take A Lunch Break
As well as overworking in general, many people make the classic mistake of skipping lunch when working remotely. This can be easy to do once you get into work and do not notice the time fly past. You would not skip lunch when working normally in the office though, so do not do it when at home. Make sure to go for lunch at the same time as normal for the same amount as usual. This will give you time to recharge your batteries and get something to eat.
02 – Try To Forget About Work At Night
Another very common side-effect of home working is trying to switch off from work at the end of the day but not being able too. Sure, you might have shut your PC down and put your files away but you might still me mulling over work issues in your head. This can also lead to burnout and see you getting too stressed about work. To help beat this, try to work in a separate physical location than you relax in at nights or engage in mindful activities after work like yoga or meditation.
01 – Save Stuff – Regularly!
Working from home means using tools like Word, Excel and PowerPoint to get stuff done. This is the same as in the office but one thing is not – your internet connection. The home connection you have could face sudden power cuts or even simply not be as fast as what you are used too. One thing this could lead to is losing hours of work due to frozen screens or computers which suddenly shutdown. To make sure this does not happen to you, save your work far more often than you would when working from home.
For most people, working from home during the coronavirus outbreak will be a new experience. While it may sound simple, it actually is a lot harder than you might think. This is especially true if you have children at home in the day (which many people do now that schools are shutting in many countries)! If you need some great tips on how to work from home effectively, the above should help you get through it until it is safe to get back to the office.