Your DIY guide to working from home
Working from home can take some adjusting to. On one hand the ‘commute’ to your office gets really short, you can snuggle your pets, and conference call attire includes pyjama pants. On the other, distractions can increase and your work/life balance can suffer. We’re lucky to have some full time remote workers here at Bachcare, so we’ve asked them for their favorite ways to make working from home work for you.
Starting to work from home? Try our tops tips for a smooth transition to your new normal…
Create An ‘Office’ Space
Whether it’s a spare room, home office, or a comfy chair by the window, having a designated work space will help you stay focused. By creating an area just for work you’re drawing a line between home life and work life – minimizing distractions, helping you get into work mode, and giving you the ability to ‘leave work’ at the end of the day.
Staying focused can be hard when your loved ones (or flatmates) are closer to your workspace than usual. Create boundaries, like that designated office space, and make it clear when you are and aren’t available. Maybe closing the door means you’re on a conference call, or putting a note on the back of your chair lets your kids know you can’t be disturbed.
Most children love to be involved in what you’re doing, so setting them up their own ‘office’ can keep them occupied doing their projects while you work on yours. Find some great indoor kids activities in our School Holiday Survival Guide.
Set a Start and End Time
Setting boundaries around your work day is just as important as setting boundaries around your work space. The line between ‘at work’ and ‘at home’ can blur when there’s no commute to seperate them, so make sure you protect your work/life balance by setting a start and end time for your day.
Maintaining a routine makes this easier, start work and finish work at the same times everyday. If you can, tie your finish time in with something that makes you leave your desk – like your partner finishing work, or walking the dog. Moving away from your designated work space will help you switch out of ‘work mode’ and into ‘home mode’,
(Make sure you turn email notifications off, and close your laptop or switch off your screen so you don’t feel obligated to log in after work hours.)
Taking breaks might not seem like a big deal, but they’re naturally built into most days at a traditional office. You get up for a cup of coffee, have a quick chat as you walk past someone’s desk, or pop out to the shops to pick up some lunch. These small breaks keep us refreshed, and it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home. Schedule breaks into your day (set an alarm if you have to) to get up from your computer and make the most of being home by playing with your kids, walking the dog or doing a quick workout.
Lunch is a great time to check in with the other people in your home, so why not use lunch breaks as a time to eat together and reconnect?
Don’t Forget Your Co-Workers!
Remember those people you work with? You can still talk to them while working from home.
Use tools like Skype, Slack and Zoom to video conference when you’d normally have a meeting, call a colleague to talk over a project or share photos of your pets in a social team messenger chat. Over communicate, reach out often, talk to your team, and let your manager (or your team) know what’s going on.
Staying in touch with your co-workers while working from home can help fight isolation, while keeping team unity and productivity on the rise.
Plan Your Day
Just like it’s easy to forget breaks, it’s easy to lose track of time and get caught up in one task. Check in with your team at least a few times a week to discuss your priorities and keep each other on track – then block out your days and allocate time to different tasks.
If you’ve got children at home, treat it like a school day; set them and yourself blocks of time to work on your individual tasks, with breaks in between to socialise and exercise. It’ll keep you meeting your deadlines and stop your days from becoming too monotonous.
Working remotely doesn’t just mean working from home, it lets you work from just about anywhere! Take the kids away and still stay connected with WiFi in your holiday home.