Working from home is the new normal for lots of us (sorry, seasoned homeworkers, your niche has been invaded!), but there’s a big difference between being at home during the working day and being a productive team member. Use these tips to get you closer to promotion than a P45.
1. Set up a designated workspace
Your sofa and laptop aren’t going to cut it long-term, so think about making yourself a functional office space with a desk and supportive chair, at the very least. Of course, you could get really invested in the process and try to create the ultimate in stylish offices. If you want to do this, make sure that you take advantage of companies geared towards making your project easier, such as vidaXL which makes the furniture shopping element a lot simpler, and online interior design simulator HomeByMe, which lets you visualize your new space before making any purchases.
2. Use task management systems
It doesn’t matter if you’re a list writer, an app advocate, or a Post-it note aficionado, however, you normally prioritize your workload, you need to continue to do so at home. It can be easy to forget all of your normal working practices as soon as you swap a suit for a sweatshirt, but staying on top of your daily tasks could be the difference between adding in a permanent homeworking element to your career or having to find a new position.
3. Leave the house
Make sure you actually leave the house occasionally but take all necessary precautions such as face coverings. Even if you just pop out during your lunch break for a walk, getting some fresh air, changing your scenery, and, if you use a computer, taking a big-screen break, will help you to come back refreshed and ready to focus more intently. Some homeworkers swear by a morning jog before getting down to their day, but not everyone loves a swift 5K before a shift, although the NHS does have a handy 10-minute cardio guide that can keep you fit, too.
4. Get rid of distractions
Almost everything in your home can help you to procrastinate and it’s your job to minimise the risk. Don’t put the TV on, keep the radio on low and whatever you do, don’t start thinking that you could do some ‘quick DIY’ tasks while you’re not going to the office. You’ll find that all those little niggly home chores that you have been putting off for months suddenly seem more appealing than your paid work, but don’t give in! That’s just your procrastination demon tempting you to down tools.
5. Set specific hours
Even if your company has allowed flexible working while you’re at home, try to set yourself regular hours, as this will help you automatically get in the work mindset. Being too flighty about when you get started and what time you turn off the computer will just lead you down the road to procrastination and make it harder to get in the zone.
6. Maintain your routine
For many of us, personal care has been drastically altered during Covid-19 isolation but taking good care of yourself will make you a more efficient homeworker. Keep your regular work schedule, with showers at the same time, good breakfast, and healthy lunches in order to simply make the location of where you work the only real change to your day.
7. Act like your boss is behind you
If you are your own boss, good for you, although it’s likely that you work yourself even harder than most! For everyone else, if you carry out your day-to-day tasks as though you are being closely monitored, you’ll find that your productivity won’t dip. It might even improve, making a good case for you to be able to continue working from home on a permanent basis.
Homeworking offers flexibility, comfort, and excellent job satisfaction if you play the game properly. Remember, that to get the perks, you have to put in the hours and prove yourself to be a trustworthy and productive team member, even when working remotely.