Coming back from furlough? Top tips when working from home
Create a workspace: Having a dedicated room/space, where you can sit comfortably, solely for work, will help you ‘get in the zone’ and focus. Make sure the workspace has everything you need before you start so you aren’t constantly up and down looking for paper or a pen, for example. If you live with family or in a shared house, be open with them about your expectations during work time, especially when you are on calls/meetings relating to work. Be reasonable but clear on your expectations.
Craft a daily work routine: Replicate what you would do if you were in the office; wake up at a certain time, take a break at a certain time etc. Make sure you follow a certain schedule, structure your breaks, and in general, create a structure to follow.
Stick to your working hours: Along the same lines as creating a routine, try and stick to your working hours. During this pandemic is has been quite apparent that people may be shifting their working hours to suit them but it’s important to try and retain your working schedule as much as you can. From a Managers stand point what’s also very important is to be open and honest about expectations and flexibility. Also, let your team members know when they can reach out to you throughout the day and be available to them.
Check your internet connection: Make sure you have a secure internet connection and fast enough to keep things running at all times. Communicate with your employer if you are having difficulty accessing the internet or if your connection may be unsecure.
Be visible: It’s important to stay connected with your team and colleagues. Keep on top of emails and any other internal communication channels. If you have a lot of meetings, or are not working specific hours put that in your calendar so people know when you are available.
Limit distractions: Whether that’s taking a TV break, scrolling through social media or making a snack, make sure you have finished (as best you can) the task you are working on so you can leave your work at your desk when taking time out. This will also help you be more productive as it enables you to retain your focus and dedicate your time to your duties.
Share your thoughts: Working remotely may be a huge change for some people and in others it can lead to the fear of missing out. Remember that your manager and team members are always there to hear your ideas and updates and some of them will be feeling the same way that you are. These are uncertain times for us all, don’t be frightened of communicating your thoughts.
Remember to have fun: Relationships with colleagues are important, it’s a key factor in building a working culture in an organisation. Having them around only virtually can seem strange and can make you feel detached and alone. Try and get involved in fun virtual experiences with colleagues whether that be a quiz or a Friday night catch up.
Pursue work-life balance: Maintaining a positive work life balance is something that has been a challenge long before this pandemic. But having work life balance shouldn’t be something you aspire to, you need to create it. Again as mentioned in point 3 “stick to your working hours” - if you work over time on certain days, communicate that to your manager and work out when you can take those hours back, if possible, or at least create yourself a plan to try and reduce this moving forwards.