If there’s one good thing to have come from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s remote working. It’s an adjustment that came out of necessity but looks to be sticking around for a good while longer.
Many businesses are adapting and allowing their employees the option to spend a few days a week working from home.
We here at Pur Social have always been a remote company, so we wanted to share some of our tips that you can use for the days you choose to work from home.
1. Have a dedicated working space
The reason offices are setup the way they are is to promote productivity, you’re not going to see any beds in the office so don’t be working from your bed at home.
Make a list of the things that encourage you to be productive and do your best to create a workspace at home built around those things. This might include things like an area filled with bright, natural light or a space where you have complete silence, do your best to incorporate these things into your workspace at home.
You don’t need a home office for this type of setup to work either, just having a space that is exclusively for work.
Find a spot around your home and use it as your work spot, commit to it being your work space no matter how big or small it may be, even a stool at the kitchen bench can be a work space as long as you make it one. Your brain will associate that spot with work and help you to stay focused while sitting or standing at that spot.
2. Minimise your distractions
Just because you’ve created a dedicated workspace at home doesn’t mean you’ll be free from distractions. These distractions tend to come in the form of people that we love. For those of us who live with family, it’s important to set clear ‘Do Not Disturb’ times to minimise distractions during your work hours. This goes for pets as well. Since they’ll be seeing more of you when you’re at home they’ll think that the workday is more structured to a weekend with you having more time to give them attention.
If you have a dog at home like Sezer does, Pur Social’s social media manager. Then it’s important to get a big walk out of the way in the morning so that your dog won’t bug you too much during your work hours, at lunch you can go for another walk and then come back to finish off the afternoon refreshed, energised and distraction free.
3. Keep your hours standard
Clarity on where and how you do your best work is important, but you also need to be clear on when you are working and when you are not.
Working from home isn’t about bring your work home with you, it’s already there. If you don’t set boundaries you’ll start to struggle when working from home. Setting certain hours and not letting work spill outside of those hours will ensure you don’t burn out working from home and are able to create a healthy work-life balance.
Your working hours are there for a reason, they bring structure to your day and help you stay on track with what work needs to be completed without overworking yourself across the day.
One of the most beneficial tips we can give you is a ‘No meeting’ day. A structured week is just as important as structuring your workspace and your workday. Having a ‘no meeting’ day at least once a week will give you time to work on any creative content, big projects or small admin tasks that otherwise won’t get done with constant breaks to attend meetings.
4. Make sure you take breaks
The reality of the workday is that you don’t work for 8 hours straight at the office. At the office you don’t feel guilt when chatting to a co-worker for a few minutes about your weekend, making yourself a coffee or going for a little stroll to stretch your legs because you’re ‘at work’.
Your brain automatically removes the guilt because you’re at work. It’s when you’re working from home that this guilt begins to manifest. Many people don’t take breaks when they work from home because they feel like they need to spend the entire workday tied to their computer otherwise the guilt begins to set it.
Take breaks, you’re not a robot. A couple of 15-minute breaks and getting up from your desk at least twice an hour to walk around to get some movement will have a positive impact on your productivity. The easiest way to keep on top of this is to just set reminders for yourself, download a timer app or just the alarm clock on your phone to go off when its break time.
Always eat your lunch away from your workstation, when working from the office you’ll usually get up and eat in the break room or go for lunch with a co-worker, but at home it’s easy to slip into the habit of just eating where you’re working since you’re already at home.
5. Communication is Key
The importance of having clear communication when working from home cannot be understated. You need to maintain communication and collaboration with your team, even if you’re not in the office with them.
Video calls are a great way to keep communication strong, and very useful if you’re having trouble communicating an idea via email or messaging. Here at Pur Social we use Slack as a messaging tool to stay in touch with each other throughout the day, if we find that messaging isn’t working for us we’ll switch to a video call to collaborate from there.
Working from home is now becoming much more accepted in the general working space, and we know it can be daunting to work from a new environment, so go easy on yourself and take the time to learn how best to balance your work and home life when working from home.
We hope these tips were helpful.