Due to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses in every part of the world will be allowing many employees to work from home where possible. This will help them remain productive to some extent during these uncertain times. However, this isn’t as simple as turning on a laptop at home and continuing as if it’s ‘business as usual’. A number of challenges will present themselves.
As firms ease workers back into the office as the rate of infection and death toll decreases, tough decisions will need to be made by company directors and other key decision makers. For companies to survive, they will need to find a number of ways to reduce their expenditure. Unfortunately, this will mean that some employees may face redundancies, operations may be cut back to offset the negative impact COVID-19 will have.
Other steps that can be taken include renegotiating rent with landlords and finding a cheaper commercial gas and electricity tariff and supplier through business energy comparison sites such as Utility Saving Expert. Cost-cutting aside, companies will need to support colleagues in enabling them to become as effective as possible during home working. We’ve put together a list of tips below to help workers be as productive as possible when working from home.
- Start early
When you’re working in an office, the morning commute can help you wake up and be ready to go as soon as you get to your desk. However, this transition isn’t as easy when you’re going from one room to the next.
It may be hard to believe, but it’s easier to be more productive if you start work as soon as you wake up. Staring a project as soon as possible can help you complete it as the day goes on. By starting late, your motivation level will decrease and you won’t be as sharp.
- Act like you are going into the office
The connection you make between work and the office can improve productivity significantly. This doesn’t have to differ when logging on at home. Take all the necessary steps as you would if you were heading into the office. Wake up early, have breakfast and get ready. If you have a separate space such as a home office, this can help you remove any distractions.
- Structure your day in the same way
When you’re working from the comfort of your own home, you will have a lot more responsibility to manage your time. To stay on course, schedule your day as you would if you were in the workplace, this includes start and finish times, in addition to morning breaks and lunch. A consistent routine will help you stay focussed.
- Select a dedicated work space
If you have the option, select a dedicated work space, this will help you separate work from leisure. Sitting in bed or on the sofa isn’t necessarily the best option. If you have a separate study room to work in, this can help. However, a dining table will do just fine. Once you’ve found the right spot, return to it each day at the same time.
- Take a break
As you would in the workplace, you should take a break where possible. Going for a short walk can help you relax. Don’t stay in the same position for hours on end, move around, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Breaking up the day into chunks can help greatly.
- Make bigger commitments
Many tasks will often take more time than you expected to complete. This will mean that you won’t always achieve what you set out to do in the first place. To counteract this, setting higher expectations for yourself and committing to do more will help you succeed. With this mindset, even if you don’t quite reach your goal, you’ll still end the day with a good list of tasks that you can check off.
- Plan your day ahead of time
Trying to figure out what you’ll be working on at the start of the day wastes valuable time and energy. This can all be planned out beforehand, and help you avoid altering the schedule and being distracted from your core mission. Flexibility is important where needed, but having a set out structure to the day will help you remain on task.
- Stay connected with colleagues
Initially, you may find yourself being more productive when working alone. However, it’s important to stay connected with your co-workers. This doesn’t just mean conference calls and work discussions.
The social aspect is equally important as this is something that will be missing when working from home. Send your colleagues an instant message or call them just to ask how their day is going. After all, these are all the things you would do in person at the office.
In summary, working from home does have its perks, although you’ll need to rethink each aspect. Trying to simulate day to day office routines is a great starting place, and remember to pick a definitive finishing time each day.