Well, we are living in very unprecedented times thats for sure! Not since the Second World War has their been rationing of food items and restrictions on movement like their is at the moment. And in Europe we have not even reached the peak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Social distancing seems to be the order of the day. Keeping people at arms length and not shaking hands are very odd things to be doing when in a business environment, I can tell you!
With many people being forced to work from home for the first time in their lives, it is a real shock to the system! Take it from someone who has worked from home for the last 12 years, it comes as a real strange way of life at first!
Trying to stay focussed and not getting distracted are the 2 main issues when working from home for the 1st time.
So, we thought you might benefit from the Top 5 Ways to work effectively during the coronavirus epidemic.
1. Have the right tools before you start
Write down all the things that you will need in order to conduct your work from home. Your PC or laptop, files, a pen, a notepad, a calculator, your phone. Make sure that they are all in one place and there to hand so you don’t have to keep getting up and distracting yourself when in mid flow!
2. Make an office space at home
When thrown head first into working from home it probably isn’t always possible to dedicate a seperate room as a home office. If you haven’t got one available, work out a place in the house where you can work, as uninterrupted as possible and where you will not be in the way of other family members. Don’t forget that if you are being forced to work from home, your kids are more than likely going to be off school as well.
Maybe, if you do have a seperate room you could make a sign which will inform people that you are busy or on an important phone call, so that they don’t barge in, or make too much noise.
Don’t work on the sofa with your laptop on your lap. Not only will it become uncomfortable rather quickly but if you are going to be doing it for weeks or months, you will harm your back and/or shoulders.
You need to stay focussed and working on a couch, where your brain tells you is a place of relaxation, is not conducive to a focussed mind.
3. Get all your access information ready
If possible, before you disappear from your office, try to log in to all the websites you will need, from your home computer/laptop. The last thing you need is to not be able to do some work because you don’t have the right password or log in details.
4. Limit your distractions
Trust me, if you don’t sort this one out it will quickly become a real problem! Staying focussed is a difficult thing to achieve when at home. There is always something better to be doing! Sleeping in longer in the mornings, binge watching Netflix, playing with the kids, your wife giving you that long list of jobs to do around the house that has been gathering dust for months!
Get a routine going and stick to it. On the other side of that coin, if you make a routine which involves snippets of spending time with the kids and your wife/partner, this could actually make your family and home life relationships much better in the long run.
5. When in the zone, work from home, don’t work on your home!
When you are in your place of employment, you are forced into a routine. However, when you work from home there is often a tendency to try to do household chores whilst at ‘work’. Things like folding the ironing whilst on the phone! Don’t do it! Make sure you do proper sections of work and if you need to do chores, put them into your routine.
It is vital that before you start working from home during this period of uncertainty, you have a family meeting and set out the ground rules of what you need from everybody. This includes what time you will have available for the other members of your family to be able to approach you as well.
Who knows, this period of mass working from home might become the norm after this is all over. After all, it kind of sets a precedent doesn’t it?!
Whatever happens, we wish you every success and most importantly…