Working from home - Top tips
It’s like the world is taking part in a mass experiment on home working - for many people probably for the first time. Even for those of us who have had flexible working arrangements for some time it is still probably a learning curve to revert to home working full-time, especially during a period when our usual social outlets have also been curtailed.
There’s no doubt that working from home has its many benefits (we’re looking at you, commuter train!) But there are also plenty of pitfalls to look out for, and often people can find it takes a while to find their groove.
We asked LionHeart’s social media followers to share their top tips for productive (and healthy!) working at home. You’re welcome!
- Work in a room where you can see the outside world and ensure the area you’re working in isn’t cluttered. Also, ensure you take a break every now and again!
- The obvious one: communicate with each other! And not just for work purposes either... Send a joke, have a virtual chat or a quick call, same as you would in the office. Oh, and coffee. Lashings and lashings of it.
- Pick up the phone or video call instead of emails all the time. If you're on a video call with lots of people get everyone to mute their microphone and raise their hand before unmuting and speaking - stops everyone talking over each other!
- Have a starting and finishing work routine. A walk round the block if you can - or some yoga stretches - to mark the move from home to work and back again.
- Try to get some fresh air and go for a walk at lunchtime, if possible. Helps break up the day.
- As I've found out, if you are going to Skype chat, make sure the cat is shut out of the room as he definitely likes to join in the conversation!
- Gardening! Get your hands on as some seeds, pots and plants and take time out in your lunch break to go and potter in your shed and water your little mini allotment. Take time to breathe fresh air.
- Have the radio on low in the background so it doesn't feel too lonely. Silence can be as distracting as too much noise!
- Make sure you get dressed before any video calls…
- Go for a walk, take time to spend with family (if safe to do so) and check up on colleagues. Agree with clients how you might support them remotely because it feels good to have a plan!
- Keep to a routine
- I've realised I miss my daily walk to and from the station so I'm going to do a circular walk from my house before I start and after I finish to mark the start and end to my working day
- Get dressed and do some meditation in the morning using an app like Calm.
- Have proper breaks as you would in the office and, if possible, take them in a different room to where your work stuff is.
- If you live on your own it can be quite isolating. Think about having a virtual lunch or coffee break with colleagues to break up the day
- Distractions are plentiful at home, including house chores and raiding the fridge! The Pomodoro technique can work wonders (Google it, or set yourself a timer!) If you need some background noise, there are many videos on You Tube (crackling fire, spring farm sounds, old library, etc.) which are great to keep you focused. The golden rule is to never, ever, turn the TV on!!
- Have structure in your diary, specific goals for the day, and speak to colleagues.
- Take regular breaks and finish work at your usual time.
- Create a social channel on Teams, Slack, or whatever platform you use to share happy thoughts, tips, jokes, photos etc
- Set up a work space at home so you can still ‘go to work’, but also leave the area at the end of the day. It’s easy for the boundaries to get blurred but this helps you keeps some structure.