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Working From Home/Remotely – Help Guide

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You’ve Chosen Or Have Been Told To Work From Home/Remotely.  Now What?

We feel this article is of importance now more than ever.  As a leading digital agency we’ve always recognised remote working for various reasons as an essential ingredient to a successful business.  However as the list of companies mandating employees to work remotely or from home grows due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), We feel that more and more people will now be wondering exactly how you can stay positive and productive if it happens to you.  Of which there is an extremely high chance.

Most digital professionals and some executives will already have a home office however, not everyone is that fortunate so we’ve put together a list of tips and creative advice on how to make the most of your make shift home office. 

Okay so here goes….

First & Foremost, Set Boundaries

Firstly, It’s important to set boundaries with people around you in work from home settings or remote work settings.  Tell everyone who’s home with you that you’ll be working during certain hours and to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency.

Create a Daily To-Do List & Stay Organized

When you’re working from home, your job can actually become more stressful. Suddenly, you’re battling between home and work life, and a cramped schedule can disrupt your workflow. That means you have to do everything you can to optimize and organize your home office.

Getting organized before you ever sit down at your desk can make you less stressed and more productive all day long.

Setting priorities is important at the office and infinitely more so when working from the comfort of your own home.  It can help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Writing down what needs to be done during a particular workday, then number each item in order of priority. When the day is done, immediately transfer anything you didn’t accomplish to the next day’s list to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Planning out your whole week, including work and personal goals, could also help decrease distractions and get more stuff done. Invest in an agenda book or use a free of charge apps such as Reminders, Microsoft to do or Evernote.

Keeping a clean office also helps you stay on top of things. By organizing and filing loose papers, you’ll spend less time searching for them when you need them.

Stay on Task

Checking your email is a necessity when you’re away from the office. However, constantly clicking on that email tab can impede your own projects and disrupt workflow. Instead, close your email, turn off all phone notifications, and check your messages and social networks only at designated times throughout the day.

Even if you check every 30 minutes, you’ll still score some solid, uninterrupted work time. At least as long as you don’t spend an hour browsing through Instagram or Twitter.

Batch tasks

Knock out similar tasks in one batch to maximize productivity. Have a bunch of calls to make or emails to respond to? Do them all at the same time instead of doing a few and waiting on the rest.

This could help clear out smaller tasks, which can be mentally distracting when trying to tackle bigger projects.

Get dressed

Getting dressed and ready to face the day ahead seems like a natural task. However, for many people working from home equals to working from bed… and most likely in pyjamas. Maintain a schedule similar to what you would follow if you worked in an office, including getting out of bed and putting on clothes other than pyjamas is vital for mastering work at home.

Beyond our ability to switch off once we are changed into our relaxing clothes, changing into work clothes for our home office promotes and maintains a professional attitude. We cannot forget that when we work from home, we are still at work.

We have to recognize that in order to approach our work professionally, we have to maintain a professional attitude.

Of course, this may not work for everyone. If you find that working from home in pyjamas works for you, then carry on doing what you’re doing. There is no rule regarding how to do it, but proven ways that can help you if you are struggling with getting started.

Create a Dedicated Office Space

If you start working in bed you’ll likely get sleepy or have a hard time feeling truly awake. Instead, get up and make your bed first thing in the morning, just like any other day. Avoid the urge to work in your bedroom at all, unless that’s the only space where you have privacy.

If your home is big enough to accommodate an entire room dedicated solely to work, you’re one of the lucky ones. If not, simply establish an area where you can use your computer, talk on the phone, and keep important documents stored.

One of the keys to successfully working from home is to pretend you’re at an office. Would you stop to do laundry, watch Netflix or do the dishes if you were on the clock at work? Probably not.

So don’t work somewhere that will tempt or distract you.

Use a Dedicated Browser

Having two different browsers on the computer: one for work and one for casual surfing can help.

The casual surfing browser is usually packed with distractions, from open tabs to bookmarks, email notifications, and messaging.

By contrast, my work browser is almost completely bare. I only keep job-related bookmarks and outfit it with apps and extensions that help me stay productive.

The result is the ability to access the Internet without being distracted by funny videos or social networking feeds. You can choose between Google Chrome, Opera, Safari or Mozilla Firefox.

Take clear breaks

Along with keeping a real schedule to make sure your work-from-home arrangement remains productive, you need to take real breaks during the day to make sure it stays manageable.

When you’re striving to hit a deadline, or a tough challenge has got you feeling the pressure, it can be tempting to force yourself to focus well past the point of fatigue.

Rather than just opening YouTube, Facebook or other social media, use your breaks to get away from your desk and stretch. Go for a walk outside or make yourself a cup of tea/coffee.

Log off

One of the most important aspects of a healthy work-from-home routine is creating boundaries. So, at the end of a workday – log off —and not just from your laptop.

Consider developing a phrase you say to yourself at the end of the day, to signal your mind that it’s time to stop thinking about work. Have a last-minute idea come up after office hours? Jot it down, but come back to it tomorrow.

Just because you have access to work anytime doesn’t mean you should be logged in 24/7. Allow yourself to have downtime to create a work-life balance—we all need it, no matter where we are working.

Make It Personal

The key to work-from-home success is to create an environment that allows you to focus on the tasks at hand.  Above all else, also try and figure out what works best for you. Sometimes the answer is apparent, but other times you might need some inspiration from other people who are in the same boat.

 

 

 

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