With more and more businesses sending their workforces home to work in virtual circumstances, we have created a “how to” guide for those new to telecommuting.
These tips will help you transition into your new home work spaces, whilst still maintaining the collaborative nature of usual office environments. A few tools and strategies for working from home can help to maximise productivity and aim to keep individuals feeling connected to their colleagues.
- Set up a clean work environment separate to your family or housemates: having a space separate to where other members of the household may be and/or having an environment which is not easily distracting, can help to keep your focus and a clear mind for the duration of your working hours. Looking for office inspiration? The Balance has a guide to setting up your first home office.
- Utilise video chat conferences with colleagues at set hours of the day: ensuring you have regular check-ins and voice your goals and aims for the day, can help to keep you feeling connected and accountable to your team. Platforms such as Slack, Zoom or Skype, allow for easy conference calls with your team members, free of charge.
- Schedule your breaks: working from home can be difficult when it comes to upholding the routine you would otherwise have in the office. Setting coffee breaks and lunch time in a similar pattern to those you would have at work, will help you to reset and work more productively.
- Keep a track of your workload: It can be easy to slip into working later when you haven’t left the home, it’s important that you keep track of your time to ensure you have quality home time with others and keep refreshed. We suggest keeping to your normal office hours and perhaps logging your time and tasks in a spreadsheet or platform such as Monday.
- Maintain regular messaging: regular emails, instant messages or your company’s messaging platform of choice, is important to utilise between colleagues, to continue the camaraderie and positive teamwork environment in a virtual setting. If you like background noise – why not listen to a themed playlist – such as Spotify’s Focus.
- Reach Out: if you are finding the working environment difficult, reach out to a trusted colleague, manager or friend, and let them know. It is a new working environment and something you are not expected to grasp instantly. Many companies have initiatives in place and in stages of development, for purposes of making these periods of working from home easier on their team. They are here to help!
Here are some other articles on how to work from home:
- Medium, 1 April 2019: The Ultimate Guide to Remote & Work from Home Jobs.
- ABC Life, 25 February 2019: How to work from home (and do it well).