With headlines and reports suggesting that many organizations will choose to reap the rewards of remote working long after the COVID-19 lockdowns, it seems working from home is here to stay. As advocators of the benefits of flexible working (WORK180 team members work wherever and whenever works for us), we know that this workplace revolution has the power to positively impact both employers and employees. But only when done well…
Without proper guidance or support, working from home can leave people feeling flat and unmotivated or blurring the boundaries of work and home to the point of burnout — sound familiar? Don’t worry, WORK180’s Georgina Ashford has the simple formula for working from home with success.
Three steps to successfully work from home
1. First thing’s first: establish ‘work time’
Create a designated time that you are working or “at work” as you would have if you worked in an office with specific office hours. This does not have to mean that you are working from 9am until 5pm every day if it doesn’t suit you, but create a work schedule that will work for yourself and your employer, and be consistent with it.
Top tip: Have a before and after work schedule to stick to. This way you can make sure you get all the things you need and want to get done during the week completed. This can include exercise, chores, and other more exciting activities. Importantly, this also ensures that you can start and finish work on time.
2. Create a peaceful and productive workspace
- Have a dedicated workspace. Limit any possible distractions in your home office area. Leave your mobile phone in another room if possible. If you have a loud household, make sure you can close the door if needed during meetings.
- Make your workplace inviting. Create a happy/friendly work environment by adding things that you love. Add photos, plants, or other items that bring you joy to your desk or office space.
- Invest in good equipment for your home office. This includes your computer, monitor, laptop (separate keyboard and mouse), as well as making sure you have a good sized desk (ideally just for work) and an ergonomic chair. Knowing you are going to be comfortable at work and be able to be focused and comfortable is so important and generally only becomes noticeable when you do not have a good set up. And, of course, make sure you have a good internet connection.
3. And, most importantly, stay connected
It’s so important to reach out to colleagues when needed, whether it’s on Slack, Zoom, email or texting — even if you just need to chat! It’s even more important to stay connected and support each other if you’re working in different cities or countries.
Be sure you make good use of your one-on-one time with your manager to let them know if you are having any issues or concerns. They are there to help you, so use them.
And finally, keep yourself involved in work activities where possible. This is a great way of building rapport with colleagues is important, which is especially important when you don’t see them in the office every day.