Set Up to Succeed Working From Home
With the current COVID situation and a lot of people working from home and this is likely to continue for some time.
How do you set yourself up for success in a work-from-home environment? Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Look After yourself. Just because your commute is 30secs does not mean you should work all day non-stop. Make sure you find time to look after yourself by getting some exercise, reading a book, meditating or whatever works for you. It’s critical that you look after your mental and physical wellbeing, which can be a challenge particularly during busy times when you work and live in the same space.
2. Find your routine. The benefit of working in another location is that you have a routine every day to get up, get organised and go to work. Working from home should be no different. Find your routine so that you start and finish work as you would if you were in the office. Schedule your week with your critical deliverables and objectives in mind and if you can switch off when they’re achieved. The routine is critical in helping you ‘Look After Yourself’ as it helps define when it’s work time and when it’s not.
3. Setup your workspace. For those who can, setup your workspace in an office or separate room or any space that is solely dedicated to work. This helps create separation so you can walk away at the end of the day. The space should have a comfortable chair and be large enough to do what you require. You should also have your computer and monitor/s setup at the best height for you so you can sit comfortably and work. There’s nothing more distracting than trying to work if you’re uncomfortable. Other tools required may include a good headset or speaker and microphone combo for online meetings. The other important point here is that everyone is different. Not everyone has a separate space and everyone has their own preferences so do what works for you to make the setup as best as possible.
4. Be flexible and cut yourself some slack. Working from home creates a number of different challenges we’re not used to, especially if you also have children at home. There will be days where interruptions with family and children will result in a less than a productive day; the dog may interrupt an important online meeting; the printer may not work – they always stop at the most inconvenient time. When these things happen relax, take a deep breath, review and adjust your most critical deliverables and outcomes and move on. It will be fine! Everyone has been adapting to the changes and experiencing the same thing. It’s OK!
I’ve had my daughter homeschooling which meant I looked after her in the mornings (my wife did the afternoons so we split the school day), started my workday at lunchtime and worked into the evenings. This was the best way for me to find a routine, be flexible, look after myself and do what needed to be done.
5. Stay in Contact. Finally, make sure you stay in contact with friends, colleagues and your boss. I’ve been holding daily catch-ups with cameras on to see everyone, check in on them and make sure all is well. Sure, we talk about work as well but that’s not the priority. Weekly or fortnightly updates with boss keep them up to date on what you’re working on and provide an opportunity to discover what else has been happening across the business. Organise Friday drinks online at 4pm with some people from other parts of the organisation and do a quiz with Kahoot to make it more fun. There are plenty of ways to meet socially utilising the same online tools you do for work and it’s important to keep in touch and keep relationships strong.
Using these 5 simple tips will help you be successful working from home.