With the benefit of 15 years of home working experience we wanted to share some of our top tips to help you adapt to your new working environment – your home!
Before starting your working day:
- Set your alarm clock, shower & put on nice 'work clothes' every morning – start your day in the exact same way you did when you were going into the office. Remember you never know when you may have to turn on your camera on a call… don't get caught in your PJ's!!
- Any household chores do in the time you would have been commuting. As mundane as washing and cleaning is, it may suddenly seem an attractive distraction from work
- Ensure you have a properly set up work station in a dedicated area of your home. Consider getting a monitor, raising your laptop screen and have an ergonomic chair. This may not be possible for everyone by try and be as comfortable as possible.
- Not all work stations require lots of space or an office, consider some unusual set up's for comfort too e.g an ironing board can be raised to various different heights if you wish to create a temporary standing desk.
- Disable notifications on your personal phone for news, social media etc – these are incredibly distracting, especially at the moment.
- Take proper breaks. Ensure you have coffee breaks and a proper lunch break - take this time to move.
- Whenever possible get some fresh air – this could be as simple as having your morning coffee in your garden/on your balcony
- Have a routine. Start at the same time each day, finish at the same time each day and if you can have lunch at the same time each day.
- Set yourselves tasks at the start of each day of things you want to achieve and tick them off as you go
- Keep connected. Stay in regular contact with you colleagues – do this by phone, text message, WhatsApp, schedule virtual 'coffee mornings'
- When you have work meetings online, put on your camera's – it makes it much easier and it's nice to see everyone's faces! If your having issues with sound quality, make sure everyone who isn't talking is on mute (just remember to unmute yourself when you want to speak!)
- Before you send an email, think whether you could actually just phone instead. You can always follow it up with the email. Remember email is not the best medium for a difficult message!
Looking after yourself:
- Stay hydrated
- Take advantage of having your own kitchen to hand - knock up something you could only dream of in the office for your lunch.
- For example turn the oven on at 10am, pop in a few baking potatoes when hot and forget about it for a while, before tucking into a really warming and comforting lunch to power on through the afternoon.
- Appreciate this unusual period of time working at home and do something that you could only do at home such as grinding your own coffee each morning or making a sourdough starter.
- Noise cancelling headphones can be a life saver when trying to concentrate
- Keep your cat/dog/rabbit/hamster away from your keyboard!