I’m no stranger to working from home but many for whom the norm is corporate 9-5 have found themselves in recent months flung into new ‘work from home’ arrangements. Companies have adapted to video conferencing software and remote team meetings. As some companies are enow operating a return to work policy, others are erring on the side of cautious. One thing is certain some of the new norms of working form home will be around a while longer.
With new norms established, the question is, how do we cope without our previously defined corporate structure? The answer is create a new structure, as working from home seems to be hanging around for the foreseeable future, we need to make sure that productivity is at its peak.
It may sound obvious but…
Get up and get dressed, tempting as it may be to stay in your pyjamas all day and work from the sofa this is not going to serve you in the long run. Get up and get dressed as usual, you are signalling that your day has begun and you are ready for work.
Create a work space.
Not everyone has the luxury of a home office. But it is important to create a dedicated area at home to work from. Think about lighting and make sure you have everything that you need around you, chargers, printers any stationary needs and of course good wifi signal.
Structure, Structure, Structure
This is a tricky one, if like many you also have children at home who are being homeschooled or on school holidays. Structure however is even more key in this situation. Structure your days so that you (and everyone in the household) knows what to expect. Schedule time for work and time to b available for family/school questions. Start work at the same time each day, have regular breaks and be disciplined with this. This also means that you can stop work at a regular time each day – if you maintain productivity you will be able to close that laptop without guilt seeping in, likewise if you have scheduled time for your children you don’t need to feel guilty for focussing on work when you need to.
Keep distractions to a minimum.
If you have an important call, let everyone in the household know that you are out of bounds at this time. Make sure that children are occupied, if there is another adult in the house they can help out. Headphones are a must for blocking out any background noise.
Clock in and Out
Not literally. But by sticking to a routine and making sure that you work regular hours you will keep your productivity up which in turn means that you don’t have to work all day and all night. Draw a line between work and home life, create boundaries and don’t feel guilty for sticking to them. Start on time and finish on time – work smart.