How to get the best from working from home

Most business owners will say that 2020 has had it’s challenges and possibly the biggest one has been adapting to working from home (WFH).  We wanted to share a few tips that have helped our members get through it and even enjoy WFH.

Create a working Routine

The mental association  between work and the office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when WFH. When going to the office, you probably had a morning routine that you stuck to – breakfast at 7, caught the 7.45 train, picked up a coffee on the way into the office, lunch at 12.30 etc.  WFH should really be no different.  It can be tempting to fit in household jobs but if you didn’t before, then stick to the hours you want/need to work and fit everything else around your day

Maintain Regular Hours

Likewise – set a schedule and stick to it. Having clear timings for starting and finishing your day helps maintain a work-life balance and a more efficient working day – ask a busy person and all that! It can help focus your mind to break down your day into tasks and limit the time spent on each, rewarding yourself with a break when the task is done.

50/10 rule

Working without distractions can be very intense, depending on the task.  Some people find it helpful to work for 50 minutes then get up and have a break for 10 minutes, before starting the next hour.

Agree your space

If you are working with other household members, decide upon individual workspaces and general ground rules, perhaps arranging to meet for lunch or coffee breaks.  It can be challenging to work at home when children get back from school, so consider starting earlier and finishing when they return.

Get outside

To the extent that it’s allowed and safe where you are during the COVID-19 outbreak, get out of the house, provided you can maintain social distancing of course. The same advice applies to people who work in traditional office settings, too. Leave the building at least once a day. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good.

Ask for What You Need

If you are an employee you should ideally have a separate computer for their security and to ensure you are uninterrupted with work at the end of the working day.  Ask for what you need to do your job (within reason of course). 

Maintain a Separate Phone Number

Set up a phone number that you only use for calls with colleagues and clients. It doesn’t have to be a landline, second mobile phone, or even a SIM card. It can be a free VoIP service, such as Google Voice or a Skype number.

Avoid Distractions

I’ve whiled away many an hour getting lost in social media.  Consider banning social media from your working day or limiting the time you spend on it.  If you need it for work, perhaps allocate the last task of the day to social media, so if you get distracted you have achieved what you wanted during the day.

Keep good time

A virtual or phone meeting is no different to a physical one. Turn up on time and turn up prepared.

Social Communications

When chatting to a colleague, try to include some non-work related chat if you would normally do this.  You might find that your non-work related question is appreciated at the other end of the line, and you both can come out of the call feeling better.

Make new contacts

Now that you have gained extra time in your day by not commuting, why not use it wisely and perhaps try a new networking group?  Now is the perfect time to reaching out to new communities to both grow your learning and your business network.

Move regularly

Simple mobility exercises and stretching have a big impact on your body’s well-being. This is not about whether you’re into exercise or not. Stand up and walk around if you can whilst on the phone – you will sound more confident too!  Try a standing desk, or stretching your shoulders out.  You’ll find yourself re-energised.

Don’t be a martyr!

If you are sick, you are sick, whether at home or at work. In the past you may have dragged yourself into work, but if you are homeworking and ill, your work quality, speed and accuracy are bound to suffer and you may lengthen the time it takes for you to recover. So if you are ill, let people know and rest!


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