Just a few short months ago, your home and office were likely to be very separate spaces, accessible only by commute. Your home would be your haven, to where you could escape after a busy, stressful workday, but with more and more companies implementing homeworking policies due to COVID-19, many employees are now tasked with making their homes functional as a home office. In theory, this sounds like a luxury, however, being productive and finding the right space to work from is easier said than done.
Every job is different and what you are able to achieve at home will depend on your career, employers and internal work policies, but there are some ways you can make working from home easier when it comes to getting tasks done.
Stick to your routine
Even though you are no longer commuting to work and working from an office, this doesn’t mean that you should skip your usual morning routine. Sure, it’s tempting to grab an extra hour or so in bed, but by waking up at your usual time, having a shower, getting dressed and eating breakfast, you’ll feel more mentally alert and in the “I’m going to work” headspace.
It’s also important to stick to your usual work schedule. If you work 9-5 hours, then stick to this at home – avoid starting work early or finishing later just because you’re at home – it is more important now than ever to keep a positive work/life balance. It’s easy to lose track of time whilst working from home and during this pandemic, you want to avoid becoming even more overwhelmed, or you’ll risk burnout.
Creating your workspace
When working from home, it’s tempting to just stay in bed, or work from the comfort of the sofa, but if you want to stay in the “work” mindset, you need to set up a work station. The space you choose to work from will make or break your concentration and efficiency to work. If you don’t have a desk, then use your dining room table instead. As well as making you feel like you’re “in an office”, sitting at a proper work station will help you maintain good posture, avoid unnecessary distractions and separate your work from your home.
If you have a home office which is in need of a little TLC, then now is the perfect time to make it how you really want. With a few coats of paint, some new furniture and finishing touches, you can create a home office you want to work in. As well as a desk and office chair, you might want to consider adding things such as a bookshelf, luxury coffee table or stylish sofa to make the room more cosy and enjoyable.
Stay connected with your coworkers
If you work in a team, be sure to check in with them regularly the same way you would in an office. Whether you use Facetime, Google Hangouts or Zoom, set up weekly check-ins so that you’re all on the same page and can actually see one another. Create to-do lists to keep yourself on top of the tasks you need to do and so you can organise your day and share your progress and updates with your manager or supervisor so that they know you are keeping on top of your work whilst out of the office.