How to survive working from home | 6 top tips.

24th March 2020

As we speak, more people than ever will have cut the commute and find themselves working remotely from home. Either from government instructions, businesses closing office space or individuals having to look after children due to school closures.

For some, this is the norm, but for others it’s a totally new experience. The problem is that businesses need employees to perform more than ever as we face such unprecedented times and for those of us not acquainted to our new working conditions the novelty could soon wear off, finding struggles with focus and productivity.

Now, people have written many successful books on how to maximise your ability to perform at full capacity in a remote environment, but for the purposes of this article I have highlighted what I believe to be some key tips to help you adjust.

A Morning Routine
Treat it just like any other working day, we get up, maybe exercise, take a shower, have breakfast and set off for work. A suggestion for those struggling o flick the work switch is to perhaps go for a quick 5-10 minute walk (Following any government guidelines) before sitting down to start your working day.

Set a Schedule
I can’t emphasise the importance of setting a working schedule enough. After all, all of you high-performers reading this now, I doubt you simply turn up to work at no set time, meander through the day without any objectives, time frames or deadlines. A simple schedule can be structured on a spreadsheet. But, once you set one, stick to it!

A Permanent Workspace.
This is really important in differentiating between work time and proper downtime. Treat both areas separately and do your best to avoid blending the two. Avoid distractions in your workspace and give yourself sunlight. Right now we could all do with some extra sunshine!!

Avoid Distractions.
Unless your job involves social media as a key task, avoid it. It’s going to be easy to find yourself immersed in a 15 minute Instagram binge, especially with no-one looking over your shoulder. Try setting aside one or two 5-10 minute mini breaks in the morning/afternoon to get your social media fix.

Photo by Andy Orin on Unsplash

If you find yourself isolating with other family members and have the space, I recommend working in separate rooms if you can. The last thing we need is to get under each other’s feet any more than normal!

Exercise.
I don’t need to tell anyone (I hope) about the importance of exercise and the benefits not just physically but mentally. Now more than ever is it important that we look after ourselves. Don’t over-do it if it’s been a while but why not put aside 20-30 minutes a day doing some yoga, sit-ups or whatever gets your heart rate up a little.

If right now you are rolling your eyes and saying ‘I think there’s more important things to worry about’, I challenge you to give it a go. Even if it’s just for a week. I promise you will see a positive difference.

Communication.
If like many of us you are used to a busy and hectic office environment, to all of a sudden find yourself at home, day in, day out, with no one to talk to other than the dog may feel a little daunting. It’s important to engage with colleagues and client’s as regularly as possible. Luckily in 2020 there are some great bits of tech out there that allow us to video call and share data at the
press of a button. We’ve found Microsoft Teams to be really useful and an easy to use product for morning conference calls. Slack is also a great platform for instant messaging colleagues throughout the day.

Finally, it’s OK to find yourself struggling to focus and if you do find yourself climbing the walls, remember you aren’t alone. Take a break, refocus and get back to it. Never has the need to support your employer and business been greater and your extra efforts and flexibility during these uncertain times won’t be forgotten.

Good luck and stay safe!

-William Finden


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