Working from home, love it, others, hate it. However, it’s something everyone’s going to have to get used to as the government advice still stands, stating that employees who can effectively work from home, should do so. So, as an employee, how can you get the most from this working environment and remain engaged, motivated and productive?
If you’re working from your bed, whilst still wearing your pyjamas, the chances are this just won’t be a motivational environment. What you need is a dedicated space so that you can get yourself and your work in order. Not everyone has the luxury of an office space in the home, but this isn’t a problem – As long as you have a comfortable place to work from, whereby you aren’t compromising posture etc with sufficient space to organise yourself, then this is what’s most important.
Pretend you’re going into the office
Get up early, get ready (some people even like to put work clothes on to get them in the mood). If you prepare yourself as you would actually going into the office, you’re more likely to make a positive psychological association with working from home. If you stay in your pyjamas, you may well find you feel lazy and tempted to crawl back into bed! Equipment
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – You need to be able to do your role as effectively as you would in the office. Equipment encompasses a computer, laptop, software, printer, stationary and so on. If you need help with set-up, this support should be provided by your organisation. Should you require any technical support, you should have access to this quickly and easily, so as to be able to rectify any problems and ensure you’re able to continue working efficiently.
Yes, working from home can mean you can do the school run, pop the washing machine on and keep on top of house-based tasks. However, it’s still really important to create a structure to your day and maintain some form of routine. Without this, especially if you’re not used to working from home and facing the distractions this environment can pose, you could be in danger of paying more attention to cleaning, than your all important work tasks.
Think of your home day in a similar vein to that of your working day in your office. Use breaks to do the odd jobs which need doing around the house and try and get out on your lunchbreaks into the fresh air. Our last blog spoke of the importance of looking after mental health at work and this is a great way of getting some exercise. We can’t stress the importance of getting out in the day, as this will aid your mood and overall productivity, especially in the afternoon!
Work when you’re most productive
Nobody works relentlessly from 6am through to the evening. Motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. When you’re at home, take note of when these peaks and troughs are and plan your work around them. Save those harder tasks for when you know you’ll have the concentration for them. Utilise the slower points of the day to knock out the easier and smaller tasks. In addition, clearing a list of small tasks can free your brain to concentrate on the larger tasks without having to worry about more insignificant, but still necessary jobs.
Working from home can actually be an extremely productive environment. Many individuals feel they are more productive, without constant distractions and office ‘chat’. However, many employees miss this element of working in an office and so it’s really important to utilise platforms such as ‘Teams’ and ‘Zoom’, even the good old-fashioned telephone! This should also be encouraged by your line manager. Without these different forms of communication, employees can feel ‘left out on a limb’ and disjointed/separated from the business. It could also mean they don’t have access to the information and support they require to do their job properly.
There are countless planning tools available and your organisation may already use one or more. We are big fans of Trello (link) which can help you to effectively plan out your week. Always know what you need to do ahead of time. Committing to an agenda will help you to stay on track. It’s frustrating if by the end of the day you haven’t accomplished all the tasks you set out to complete and so if you pop it in ‘writing’, you’ll be far more likely to do so.
Choose a definitive ending time
Working from home can be fantastic from a flexibility point of view. However, the work/home lines can be somewhat blurred and so it’s important that you set yourself a definitive end time for your working day. What you don’t want is to start working in the evenings because you feel you can ‘always do more’. This can lead to stress, de-motivation and dis-engagement.
Of course, if you’ve taken time out in the day to do something for you personally then you can easily compensate for this, after hours. That’s the beauty of the working from home and gaining a true work-life balance.
There are many benefits to working from home from both an employee’s and employer’s perspective and hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought on how to make this work for you. If you’re looking for a new opportunity why not call us now on 01453 827333 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.