For many people, they are experiencing Home Working for the very first time. With consultants based around the country, DSCallards has been used to this concept for some time. In this short blog, here are five tips from the pros on how to be effective whilst working remotely.
1. Make sure your environment is conducive to work. This might seem difficult and you may find yourself working at your dining table or breakfast bar. That’s OK, but remember to keep it clear of distractions. Working from home is counter-intuitive for many people as they have a whole lifetime or a completely different relationship with their own 4 walls – removing distractions and working in a well-lit area, where possible, is a good start to getting the most out of your time indoors.
2. If you need it, set yourself micro goals to help you through your day. Not every job is deadline-oriented, setting yourself a few smalls targets during your day will see you through it. For example, if you’re typing a document, x number of pages by y o’clock, or even planning your day in advance with an agenda and a task list. There are also tools out there to help with this kind of thing, such as XMind, which help you brainstorm and graphically plot all the connections associated with a task. There is a limit though, and if you spend all day making a Gantt chart, then you’re not productive.
3. Keep making contact with your colleagues. If you’re used to an office environment, you’re used to constant noise and being able to just turn around and ask someone a question. It’s not that easy when working from home and it’s all too tempting to just resort to email (some people do that in offices already). Don’t fall into that temptation, pick the phone up. It will keep your day focussed and moving.
4. Dress accordingly. Some people are used to working in their PJs – chances are, if you’re usually an office worker, you aren’t. Get dressed, brush your teeth, keep the hours you’re used to. And don’t blur the lines between work time and home time – it really hammers your efficiency.
5. Stay healthy, especially now. It’s too easy to fall into a rut and your mental health will suffer. Take regular breaks, exercise, keep hydrated and review if you’re feeling cut off. Take the time to look at what you’ve achieved, at the end of the morning and the end of the working day. This will help gauge how effective you’ve been and identify any issues before they snowball into a negative pattern of non-productivity.
These tips will all help you stay focussed and continue to deliver quality work in what is best described as ‘Interesting Times’.