For many of us that are used to going into an office, working from home on a daily basis is not the norm, although its starting to feel like it.
In the past I have worked from home for periods of my corporate career before I became a personal trainer, so I understand the expectations from an organisational and a personal perspective. Many of us though have never had to work from home but there is a way to work from home (WFH) successfully.
1) Act as if you are going into the office
Working from home once in a while used to be a luxury, and most people were excited by the prospect; however, we are now living with the reality of working from home having been imposed upon us long term.
That doesn’t mean you need to break your usual routine. Yes, you might have some more time in bed as a result of a reduction in your commute. But it is important to get up and get ready for work to begin your day as you would if you were in the office, with clearly defined objectives on what you need to achieve by the end of the day.
2) Have a healthy to-do list
Structure your day. When you are working from home, you have to be your own manager, and therefore you have to manage your productivity (and potentially, those in your team if you have to manage others).
At the end of each day, write your to do list and goals for the next day so that you have clarity/focus and you do not waste time in the morning.
Segment and prioritise what you will do and when you will do it over the course of the day and provide yourself with regular breaks so that you are able to keep focused and avoid burnout.
3) Think like an entrepreneur
As the corona virus pandemic affects the global economy, I believe it is on each of us to look at how we can add value to our organisations, teams or suppliers.
Think about what can you do to define the problems and seek out the solutions to help your company to stay above water? It is on all of us to go over and above, to rally together to make sure the business survives.
Thinking “intrapreneurially” is essentially having an entrepreneurial mindset within your career and therefore looking at your program or project as if it is your own business. What could you do to help? How could you add value? If your job was on the line how would you approach each problem? This current pandemic calls for more than thinking outside of the box. We need to throw away the box and look for new ways of working.
4) Stay in contact
In an age of technology, working remotely or working from home does not have to mean working in isolation. If you would typically have a weekly team meeting, you can still have the team meeting via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or similar technology. If you don’t usually have a team meeting it may be a good time to start having one.
Maintain the team spirit by scheduling calls and meetings as normal, checking in on your colleagues to see if they are coping or if they need any assistance? Go on that online course that you have been pushing back but which would make you more productive or add to your value when things are back to normal.
You might even find that you are able to increase your productivity at home and have more meetings without the usual office distractions. Of course, being at home means there could be many alternative distractions.
5) Accept distractions
You are at home, so there will be a myriad of distractions that you are faced with:
• The doorbell / deliveries
• Household chores
• Your children
• Technology – TV, PC games, Xbox, PS4
• Social media – Twitter, Facebook, Tick Tock, Instagram, Snapchat
• Your partner!
Let’s accept that some of these distractions are preventable and others not so much, ideally they are not taking over the whole working day.
Try not to get absorbed into daytime TV or social media; maybe have defined periods throughout the day when you delve into social media.
6) Get some exercise
Make sure you get some fresh air and/or exercise every day. Plan that period into you day, if you can. That could be in the form of a regular walk or some form of structured exercise. There are classes online (YouTube) and your friendly Personal Trainer (ME!) is currently running free classes online via Zoom! If you are used to a daily commute, you may also be used to walking or cycling to work so where possible, try and use that commute time as time for exercise and incorporate it into your daily routine, even if it is in the form of a walk around the block, in your garden or to your local shops.
If you are working from home and struggling with the feeling of isolation, remember to reach out to others. I am sure they are feeling the same.
I hope find this article relevant and of interest. If you’d like to discuss further please feel free to get in touch.
Posted by Hugh Brown – BE Offices Personal Trainer
Images courtesy of Press Association and Rawpixel via iStock