Working from home can become a lonely enterprise, especially in this era of social distancing. However, it doesn’t have to be. Making plans that will ensure communication between your colleagues and taking regular breaks are some of the things you can do to make sure you remain productive, stimulated and efficient while working remotely.
For those who are not used to working at home, distractions can disrupt your productivity. You are in your personal space, and not your usual professional environment. In your sight is the washing that needs to be done, and a house that might need cleaned. Perhaps, your dog wants to go for a walk, or your family are home and asking questions, causing you to lose focus. On the other hand, being at home 24/7, you could find yourself working overtime on the job long after you usually would have called it a day at the office. Without the psychological separation of the office and home it can be easy to blur the dividing line between worktime and rest.
As we, at SoConnect, come to the end of our first day of working remotely after the government’s advice, read on for our top tips for you, if you need to do the same.
Get started early – We know it’s tempting to hit the snooze button on your alarm when you don’t have that early morning commute into the office, but it’s best not to! Keeping a routine is essential when working from home. Get up, get ready and get moving. If you don’t have to do the school run then why not do a little morning home workout to awaken the mind.
Pretend you are going into the office – When working from home, do all the things you would do to prepare as if you were going into the office; set your alarm, make your morning coffee and wear your normal office clothes (as tempting as it is to stay in your PJ’s this won’t make you productive). It’s important to keep that mental association of going to work to ensure you are going to be productive and not get lost in the home working role.
Structure your day – If you don’t structure your day you can quickly lose focus and burn out. Make a plan for the day. With working from home likely to last for a few months at least, we will all be our own personal managers and it’s important that we have self-discipline. Use your Outlook or Google calendar to set reminders for yourself.
Communicate with your team – Make use of the technology you have; we use Microsoft Teams internally to communicate with the whole business. We can instant message, set-up group chats, video call and share/edit files. It’s crucial for everyone’s mental health not to feel isolated during this period of remote working, so why not set up daily catch-up calls with your team to check-in with them, ask about their day and discuss what everyone has achieved. You can then all share your plan for the following day and set goals.
Avoid working in your bedroom (if you can) – Set up a dedicated workspace in your home to act as your new temporary office that has natural light and is free from distractions. Try to avoid working on top of your bed or on the couch, you’re likely to become more relaxed if you do this and not be in the right frame of mind to work.
Don’t let yourself get distracted – As tempting as it might be to have the TV on in the background, don’t! You wouldn’t do this in the office so why start now, especially in the current climate where it is very easy to get immersed in the constant Coronavirus news. If you’re used to having the radio on or Spotify then that’s OK, music helps some people focus. There are lots of Spotify playlists specifically made to help you get in the right frame of mind. Stay off social media too, log yourself out of your social accounts and only check these on your break unless your job requires you to use social media.
Take regular breaks – When working from home it’s easy to just carry on working through but this will be counter-productive in the long run. Take 5 mins to relax away from your home working set-up; put the kettle on or let the dog out. It’s tempting to sit on your mobile for 5 minutes but try to get away from all devices and give your mind a rest.
Remote working technology
As we all face challenges now and in the coming weeks and months, we understand the concerns about business resilience during the COVID_19 outbreak. We can offer advice to businesses wishing to learn more about home and remote working.
As a cloud-based business, all the team at SoConnect are always fully prepared to remote work. We mentioned before using Microsoft Teams to collaborate with colleagues, it’s a great application allowing everyone to communicate throughout the day whether on a group chat or video conference. SoConnect can have your Microsoft Teams application up and running as a business grade voice solution in a matter of hours. We can also provide dedicated or portable internet connectivity to your home to avoid pressure in your home internet connection, find out more here: Home Broadband.
Our knowledgeable consultants can guide you through making a business continuity plan to utilise your VoIP solution alongside Office 365 and collaboration tools so that you can ensure your business can run as normal no matter where your employees are working from.
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