Now is the time to work from home. The coronavirus outbreak means that more workers than ever before are working from home to try and slow the spread of the virus. It’s time to redefine success, whether you do it in your kitchen, your bed or your pyjamas the time is now. Here are the very best ways to make the most of working from home.
1. Mentally Prepare To Work
Many people find that getting up and getting dressed helps them to mentally prepare for work. When we do work we tend to behave differently to how we normally behave. Our daily rituals and routines are riddled with associations and tapping into them can help us to be more productive by helping prepare mentally for work. This means that finding a way to mentally prepare for work, be it by putting on a suit, going for a walk or doing your makeup, can help you gear up for success.
2. Keep A Routine
Keeping a routine can help you stay productive. You’ll want to start and finish work at the same time you normally do This will help to ensure that you have a work mindset, and can get things done. One way to help you maintain a routine is to create external responsibilities. External responsibilities mean that you have to get up and do something. Examples of external responsibilities include playing a game with your children at a set time, taking your dog for a walk, feeding your pets and calling a friend at lunchtime. Ultimately, maintaining a routine will allow you to get work done and stay productive.
3. Create a Dedicated Workspace
You can bring your workplace home by setting up your own workspace. When you create a workspace you ensure that everything you need to work is in one place, and that you can work without interruption. Investing in a headset with a microphone can help you to eliminate background noises and talk to your team. Creating a custom workspace at home means you can adapt where and how you work. Some people prefer working with music, others prefer using multiple screens for multitasking while others still prefer a standing desk. This means that you’re not limited to a generic work environment and can create something that works for you. Setting up a workspace is key to working successfully at home.
4. Make the Call
Making a phone call can be more energising and productive than writing emails. Calling others can also help you practice and maintain your communication skills. Communication skills are crucial both in the office and when working with clients. Making a call can help you maintain your skills. It can also help you to readapt to the office when the epidemic ends. Another benefit of making a call is that it helps reduce feelings of isolation. A recent study of 2500 workers by Buffer found that loneliness was a problem for 19% of remote workers. Having a good mood is crucial to work and productivity so make a call today.
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5. Take Regular Breaks
If you become too tired or start struggling to come up with ideas then your productivity levels can drop, so it’s important to take regular breaks. One popular method for maintaining productivity at home is the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique breaks the working day into 25 minute chunks. This means that you spend 25 minutes working, have a 5 minute break and repeat this throughout the day. Make sure you take a break so you can be a more effective remote worker today.
6. Use Tools
Using tools can help you to improve your productivity, stay on track and communicate with your team members. There are a wide range of tools including collaborative tools, video-conferencing software, scheduling tools and tools to help you focus.
Collaborative and video-conferencing software can make a real difference when it comes to working at home. Video-conferencing software allows you to communicate with your team using video. Zoom has a free video-conferencing plan and has upgraded its service in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Its free plan allows unlimited one to one meetings and group meetings that can last up to 40 minutes and involve up to 100 people. GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and Team Viewer can also be used for video-conferencing.
There are a wide range of collaborative software programmes for teams that are working from home. Slack is a secure messaging platform that allows for video calls and file sharing. Users can set up an announcement channel so that team leaders and managers can post important work information. Slack also includes status updates so that team members know who is on call and who is away from their desk. Photos can also be shared so that team members can sketch out ideas and share them with others before putting them into action. Microsoft Teams is a popular collaborative software programme. It allows for guest access, file sharing, screen sharing, online document collaboration, audio calls, and video calls. In response to the coronavirus outbreak you can now try the paid version of Microsoft Teams for free.
Scheduling and focus tools are also useful for working remotely. Useful apps include Business Calendar 2, Sectograph and Forest: Stay Focused. Business Calendar 2 is a customisable scheduling app with a professional design. It includes a daily, weekly and monthly overview in addition to a large range of widgets, widget themes and app themes. For a slightly different spin on a scheduling app, you can use Sectograph. Sectograph is a scheduling app that looks like a clock. Its unique design helps you track how long you have left to complete a task and makes an interesting addition to your home screen. Forest: Stay Focused is a highly rated app that helps to increase your concentration. It is an innovative take on the Pomodoro technique that allows you to create a virtual arboretum while helping to plant trees in the real world. If you manage to stay focused for 25 minutes then your virtual sapling will grow into a tree. You can repeat indefinitely until you have your very own digital forest. The app also tracks your activity over time so you can see how long you spent working and how long you didn’t. Knowing how much time you waste can be a great motivator. All in all, there are some great tools to help you communicate, collaborate, schedule and focus during the coronavirus outbreak.
Work From Home Like a Boss
The coronavirus is here and adapting to working at home can be a challenge but you’ve got this. Not only that but you can experience the benefits of working at home. You can escape your stressful commute, have fewer interruptions from colleagues, and a reduction in office politics. If you stay positive, mentally prepare to work, keep a routine, create a workspace, make calls, take regular breaks and use tools, you’ll be able to work from home like a boss in no time.