Much of the UK’s working population currently finds itself faced with the very real prospect of weeks – and potentially months – of working from home lying ahead of them.
The coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on the corporate landscape. It’s changing everything. Businesses are having to embrace different, flexible ways of working in order to survive this very serious crisis affecting us all.
But while this unexpected health scare has been the driver for change, it’s also providing an opportunity: for workers to discover the many benefits of working from home, and make this unsettling time as fulfilling as possible.
Here are our 5 tips for making working from home a success:
Maximise lost time from the daily commute
Commuting is a necessity for most roles; a recent survey found that 45 per cent of professionals spend over an hour commuting a day. That’s a huge amount of time to lose, each and every day.
Working from home provides the opportunity to regain this time and put it to better use – either by starting earlier to finish earlier or (even better) dedicating this time to personal health and wellbeing. Think: how much better would your day be if you started it off with a run or home workout? What about a morning meditation or a bracing walk? By using this time intentionally, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish with it.
Create a space that works for you
Absolutely crucial to enjoying working remotely is carving out a space in your home that is dedicated to work and work alone. Where possible, make this a designated room in your house with strong wi-fi, comfortable seating and music to work to.
Eliminate any distractions so that you can be as productive as possible, and then close the door at the end of the day so that you can move on to all-important relaxation when your daily tasks have been wrapped up.
Work efficiently and smartly
Workplaces can – and should – be great environments. The opportunity to discuss and trouble-shoot problems with colleagues is of course invaluable and shouldn’t be overstated. But all too often, it’s easy to idly waste time on unnecessary chat and unplanned meetings when working 9-5.
Working from home provides the chance to be highly self-disciplined and focused with time. By being selective with the tasks you focus on and the meetings you virtually attend, it’s possible to achieve much higher levels of output by working remotely than with others.
Turn off notifications and distractions
When not working in your regular environment, it’s also very easy to become side-tracked by technology. Email and social media, used reactively and without purpose, can rapidly fill large chunks of a working day and pull you away from the priorities at hand – especially when you consider that office workers typically spend two hours a day browsing their inbox.
By turning off notifications and setting aside specific times for checking into emails and social activity, you can focus on the tasks that matter most to you – without getting pulled off track by the priorities of others.
Stick to a daily schedule – and make every day different
Routine is a valuable thing and, especially during uncertain times, it plays a crucial role in keeping us productive and motivated. To increase the chances of working from home becoming a successful way of working, dedicate 10 minutes at the start of each day to writing a focused ‘to do’ list and schedule for the day, to cover any high-priority tasks, virtual meetings, and key deliverables that must be completed before the day is done.
Strictly adhering to a schedule will not only distinguish one day from the next – it will also give you a feeling of accomplishment as you tick off completed tasks.
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