While working from home may sound like utter bliss, it can be difficult to adjust to such a radical change. Here are some tips from Tended’s employees.
As the escalating threat of coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe, many companies are being forced into managing their operations remotely. While working from home may sound like utter bliss, it can be difficult to adjust to such a radical change from your normal working habits.
Skipping across the landing to your PC or laptop may be seamless in comparison to the congested motorways and traffic queues that many of us face on our daily commute, but home life is besieged with potential pitfalls too.
With the Tended team based across Lincoln, Oxford, Derby and London and a flexi-work policy, many of us have years of experience with working remotely already. So, we spoke to the team and have put together five of our own tips for those of you unaccustomed to working from home full time.
Your boss is still expecting you to be productive so don’t eye up extra time in bed and a day of going through the motions whilst still in your pyjamas. Our Office Assistant Elli recommends following your normal routine.
“Wake up at your normal time, shower and get dressed as if you were going to the office or a work event.”
This may feel unnecessary but it will help you get in that professional ‘I’m going to work’ mindset, as well as help distinguish workdays from the weekend by having a set routine.
Try wearing your shoes. This helps you differentiate between work mode and relaxation mode. When you put on your shoes, you are taking charge as it implies that it’s time to go to work. Likewise, when you are done for the day, you kick off your footwear as a signal that it is time to unwind.
Our Commercial Platform Lead Tom recognises the importance of taking regular breaks away from the screen for both your productivity levels and psychological wellbeing.
“It’s easy to feel guilty at home for not working when you think you should be, but you need to clear your head if you want to preserve your sanity and retain your focus.”
In a traditional office environment, you wouldn’t hesitate getting up from your desk to make a coffee or stop by a co-worker’s desk for a chat. Allow yourself to do the same in your humble abode.
A clearly defined, clutter-free work zone establishes an area where you can concentrate solely on your job. Ideally, you need a room without distractions such as a television, games console (and children if possible). If you don’t have a desk or study, use your kitchen counter or dining room table as it will feel like you’re at an office, whilst enabling you to maintain good posture and establish a boundary when it comes to logging off for the day.
On the other hand, Tended iOS Engineer Charlie recommends:
“Using different rooms in your home when you have work meetings as it makes you feel less cooped up in one spot, and mirrors the act of using the meeting rooms in the office.”
Staying connected with your colleagues will keep you organised and enthused, so be sure to check in on each other’s progress regularly, just as you would in the office.
As we are urged to remain indoors, it is still important to take a moment to experience the outside and inhale that magical fresh air. If it’s just a brisk amble round the block or sitting in the garden on your lunch break, a different perspective will help to unknot any mental blocks.
Open your windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible. Even if you can’t go outside, you can bring the atmosphere into your workspace. Charlie recommends playing the ambient sounds and background chatter of coffee shops if you like the notion of bustle and being surrounded by people.
Ever considered a desk plant? According to NASA, plants can improve the air quality around you by up to 60%. Fluent breathing cultivates calmness and greater output.
Lead Embedded Engineer Alex acknowledges the importance of keeping to a set schedule and not falling into the trap of being ‘always available’. If you typically work nine-to-five hours, then make sure you follow suit at home by turning off your notifications after five and putting away the laptop.
“It can be easy to become obsessed in your work and lose track of time, so try and set a timer or a milestone in your day so that you take a break and avoid burnout.”
Working from home also lends itself to greater flexibility. Our Marketing Manager Amanda suggests matching up your biggest tasks with the time in the day when you are most productive or around childcare requirements.
“Whether it’s first thing after sunrise or last thing at night, working from home gives you the flexibility to work to a schedule that suits you.”