Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, many employees have found themselves trying to navigate the unfamiliar territory of working from home. Initially a crisis management strategy, remote working is fast becoming the new norm.
Benefits such as cutting your commute, increased flexibility in the working day, and access to a wider talent pool are causing organizations to question if this may become the workplace of the future, something we would positively advocate. As such, we thought now would be an excellent time to share our expertise and support the positive shift of permanent working from home.
We have been working remotely for quite some time and know that despite the many advantages, it can present a few challenges. Below are five simple tips for creating and sustaining a healthy, productive working environment from the comfort of your own home, we hope they help!
- Establish a routine
Without a clear change of scenery indicating the end of the working day it is far harder to switch off, causing the line between your personal and working lives to become blurred. Establishing a daily routine provides the structure of a traditional working day. Productivity levels often decrease when we are confronted by the prospect of an open-ended working day. To combat this, plan to start and end your working day at the same time. The NHS also suggests scheduling regular breaks throughout the day, avoid eating your lunch in front of your laptop and consider a mid-morning coffee break to increase productivity.
- Structure your environment
Remote working comes with an abundance of possible distractions. If you can, try to set up a designated workspace and encourage other people in the house to respect your boundaries whilst during working hours. Pick a calm corner of your home to work in, keep it organized and turn unnecessary notifications off.
- Utilize technology
Developments in technology mean there are now digital tools to assist with nearly all aspects of remote working, take advantage of them! Video conferencing apps and content collaboration platforms simplify the processes of remote working whilst companies such as Microsoft are providing free software to companies in need. Organizing or participating in virtual social activities with your team will also help to facilitate interaction, boost morale, and curb feelings of isolation.
- Maintain communication
The success of remote teams is largely dependent upon communication. Without clear lines of communication and access to necessary information productivity levels can easily drop. Creating consistent, open communication channels works to keep everyone in the loop and creates a space for collaborative action.
- Focus on your wellbeing
When working remotely it is easy to feel isolated and overworked which in turn can take a toll on your mood and productivity. Make sure to prioritize your own mental wellbeing; forge out time throughout your day to look after yourself, get some fresh air and make time to catch up with family and friends. Even five minutes of meditation or stretching can help to refocus your mind.