In the current environment more people will find themselves working from home where their profession allows. This can be a new and daunting concept for some and for others it is the norm.
So, not sure how to tackle this working from home stuff? Here are a few tips.
- Have a dedicated area set up as your “office”. That can be in a separate room or a table in the corner, whatever works for you. A comfy chair that you can sit for an extended period of time is an essential.
- Make sure you have all you need – obviously a computer, printer, stationery.
- Be organised – filing printed materials where relevant in a folder allows for easy access and can be filed when you get back to the office.
- If you are gaining remote access to your workplace servers, ensure you have everything squared away with your IT department. This will protect your computer as well as the company’s infrastructure.
- When you are completing work on your on computer, back up your files at least daily. If you complete an important piece of work, back it up straight away. External hard drives are a good option for this. Another way is to email the document to yourself.
- Treat it as a normal working day. List out the deadlines you have and work towards achieving those always remembering to leave some flexibility.
- Stay in touch with your manager and colleagues. It could be through online meetings, over the phone or emails. This will give you the sense of being in the loop. If you are a manager, it is important to touch base with staff regularly even for just a check in to see how they are doing.
- Take regular breaks. No one expects you to sit at the computer for 8 hours straight. Have breaks like you would at the office.
There are a couple of schools of thought – some people like to go through their morning routine as if they were going to the office. Some even dress in business attire and “go to the office” ie the office space in their house. Others are quite content to work at their home office in their pyjamas!
“I can’t work from home – there are too many distractions” I hear you say. This can be true at times, however if you focus on what you need to achieve and meet your deadlines, you may find that you have some extra time without all the office distractions. You may also be able to have some flexibility around start and finish times. Getting work done early in the morning or in the evening may be an option for you if you have the distraction of others at home.
It may take a little time to get in to the swing of things and see what is best for you in the work from home environment. Give it a go, you just might like it!