Well, this year has been eventful, hasn’t it? Particularly the last month or so, when the country has gone from a little anxious but otherwise channelling the ‘keep calm and carry on’ mentality, to full on lockdown across the globe as we tackle this horrific virus. This means people all across the country have had to abandon their offices, and instead set up shop at home for the foreseeable future. If you’re not used to working from home, this will be a big adjustment for you. But don’t worry, we’re old hat at this kind of thing, which means we can give you some tips to make the transition to home-worker more bearable and help keep you just as productive as you would be at the office – if not more so!
Build Yourself a Workspace
The first step in your ‘work from home’ journey should be to set yourself up a workspace. A proper one. Don’t be tempted to work from the sofa with the news on the TV all day – you will get absolutely nothing done. Now since you might be sharing the home working journey with partners and children, you might need to be flexible with this. If you’re lucky you may be able to hijack the spare bedroom. If not, you might be stuck with a laptop or computer at the dining table, next to your partner and across from the kids. But that’s OK – as long as you have a dedicated space that is just for work. This will help you get into the mindset of work and separate it from the home tasks. If you can, make it a quiet space with everything you need to do your job within easy reach
Set Work Hours
Yes, we know things are topsy-turvy right now, and there are lots of new things you need to pay attention to. Whether that’s making sure the kids are doing their school work, all the housework your partner is bugging you to do for months, or just constantly refreshing the news to see what’s happened now, there is a lot vying for your attention. But if you want to be productive, you need to carve yourself out some time to work. So figure out what your new daily schedule looks like, and make sure you set aside your ‘work hours’. During this time you focus on your work, preferably in that workspace you built, and everything else can wait. Having this clear separation will help you keep some balance in your life, and make sure you actually get some work done instead of procrastinating (or getting distracted) all day. If nothing else, it’s a good way to get away from the stress of the news and reduce some of that anxiety!
Work Within Your Productivity Periods
If you were previously stuck working in a 9-5 shift at the office, this approach will be a breath of fresh air. Because different people are productive at different times of day – and that rarely fits into the 9-5 window. And odds are you probably know when your most productive periods are during the day. You might feel super energised first thing in the morning but have a slump after lunch, or get your best work done after dinner. The joy of working from home is that you can set your schedule to your productive periods – not the standard work day. Bear this in mind when you’re setting your working hours, and you may find you actually get more work done in less time than you did when you were going into the office.
Honestly, everyone is full of stress and anxiety right now. We’re all in the same boat, and it’s terrifying. So, cut yourself some slack and give yourself a break! Turn off the news, put down your phone and try to focus on what’s best for you and your family right now. Work when you are in the right headspace to work, spend time doing things that bring you joy, and try not to worry too much ab out the state of the world. A few things you can do to help you switch off (and therefore be much more productive) in your work-from-home days include:
- Only check your news app once a day
- Go for a walk (only once though!)
- Have some family time
- Exercise (there is no better time to start)
- Watch a new TV show
- Try ‘unplugged’ working for an hour
- Move from typing to writing by hand
- Use the pomodoro technique (where you work I 20-minute chunks, then take 5-minute break)
Looking after your mental health is important when you’re working from home at the best of times – but in the current climate it’s critical. Give yourself permission to relax and focus on your own wellbeing.
At Your Admin Hub, we’re used to this whole remote working malarkey. In fact, we do it all the time! As VA’s, we work from the comfort of our own home, giving your business the support it needs to run efficiently. Given how difficult times are getting for a lot of businesses out there, a little support and encouragement might be what you need to get through. So if you want any advice or information on hiring a VA, or just on working from home, we’re here to help! Get in touch using this little button here.