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When lockdown rules meant people were sent home to work, the world had to quickly adapt to this new way of working. For those who have always travelled to a place of work outside their home environment, it has been quite an adjustment. With many employers adopting a work-from-home approach for the coming months ahead, we have a few tips to help individuals who must now work remotely.
If you ask anyone who worked from home prior to the pandemic, their advice would be to follow a set routine in order to maximise your time. Your hours may be more flexible than ever before, but this does not mean you can enjoy leisurely lie-ins and breakfast in bed. Treat every day like a day in the office by setting your alarm clock to get up early, and by not being tempted to spend the day in your pyjamas. If you dress appropriately, you will feel more prepared to carry out your daily tasks.
Speaking of which, it is very easy to get distracted from your day job when you work from home. You might find there are household chores to do or something on TV could catch your eye. Ensure you don’t lose focus by setting up a designated work area. Not everyone is lucky enough to have an office at home, so you could use the kitchen table as your workspace during the day. You are more likely to be productive if you are sitting at a makeshift desk, rather than the living room sofa! Another way to keep your attention on the job in hand is to set yourself goals. Why not write a to-do list to ensure you reach your targets? If you have a plan of action, you stand more chance of working-from-home success!
If you are spending all day on your own without any human contact, you might find it quite lonely, especially if you have been used to a busy office full of your co-workers. Find support from other members of your team and make sure you engage in daily catch-ups via video conferencing or telephone calls. This will help keep you motivated.
It is also very important to take time out of your day to have a couple of breaks. You should always ensure you have your lunch away from your computer screen for the designated time you are allowed. Why not go for a walk to enjoy some fresh air and a chat with your neighbours? You should never feel guilty for allowing yourself the opportunity to relax and refuel.
One of the hardest parts of working from home is ensuring your life/work balance is not affected. It can be more difficult to switch off when your home becomes your office. It is essential that you learn to stick to your working hours and you do not fall into the trap of always being available. This could have a really negative impact on your mental wellbeing.
Many workers have been campaigning for greater workplace flexibility for years, and one of the upshots of the pandemic is that it has resulted in a positive shift in employer attitudes. This means more employees are now able to set their own working hours and fit work around their lifestyle. This is fantastic news for employees, but they must not lose sight of the fact that they still have a job to do. If you work from home, you need to be more organised and demonstrate a good work ethic in order to continue to fulfil your role. If you have an appointment in the morning, for example, you must be prepared to work later in the afternoon. The job might have evolved, but employees still must show they are doing it to the best of their ability.
Managing your own workload when working from home can be a tricky business, and not everyone is able to do so. If you are having problems with getting to grips with your new way of working, speak to your line manager. They will be able to provide further support and guidance to help you adapt.