Work From Home Like A (or The) Boss!
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
We wrote a previous blog aimed at being productive for those people for whom working at home might be a relatively new experience (linked here). If you’re a bit of a work-from-home pro, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something to enhance your working day.
Whatever your circumstances, we’ve put together a few simple ways you can work from home and still look productive, feel productive and, best of all, actually be productive!
1. WAKE UP BEFORE YOU SET-UP
When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to start your working day as soon as you wake up, but that’s not the best way to do it.
Given we now utilise tools that connect us instantly to other people (we’re looking at you Slack and WhatsApp), it’s tempting to dive into work as soon as you hear those notifications pinging. Try to resist that temptation.
When you wake up, give yourself time to come around properly. It’s important, especially given the craziness that’s going on around us, to get yourself into the right state of mind for the working day ahead.
The best way (we think) to do it is to set up an alarm for the same time you would if you working normally. Treat it like a normal day with a normal routine. Don’t work in your PJs, instead get changed into work clothes. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit and tie, but something close to professional (clean shirt, comfortable pants, etc.). If you need to carry out a video conference during the day, your colleagues will be glad you did!
There’s no set routine that will work for everyone, but find one that works for you and stick to it.
2. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL WORKPLACE
Working from home takes discipline to do it well. Whilst it might be tempting to make camp on the sofa and work from there, it’s a mistake.
We know you want to be comfy, but finding the cosiest spot in the house isn’t the same thing. At the very least, working from the sofa for long periods will kill your back!
What you want is to create a space that feels like a place of business. If you’ve got a home office, then that’s perfect, but if not, a place that is conducive to working is best. Create a place that is going to give you all the tools you need. We’re not just talking about your laptop or desk, but things that are going to make working more pleasurable. Family photos, a bottle of water, notepads, pens, etc. Whatever suits you. If you feel like you’re in work-mode, you’ll perform better.
3. PLAN YOUR DAY AHEAD OF TIME
Like any working day, you’re going to have the same (or similar) stuff to do! Whatever it is, don’t let your new environment distract you from that.
Whatever your day looks like, write down all the things you have to do that day. Not for the week, or month, but just for that day.
Once you have the list, prioritise it. Start at 1 then work down from your highest priority to the least. If numbers don’t work for you, think about them in terms of ‘Critical Tasks’, then ‘Must Do’, all the way to ‘Should Do’ (feel free to amend the titles to suit).
Being focused on a task can fill the void of not having an office full of people to bounce off. For some people, it can be hard to stay motivated when you’re working on your own, so a list will help to solve that problem. It will also help you to stay positive as you tick things off throughout the day.
4. EMAIL & NOTIFICATIONS
Depending on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your business, your email inbox might have ground to a halt or just as busy at it always has been. We hope it’s the latter! Either way, before you get stuck in, tackle your inbox and app notifications.
If you have clients around the world, then they may well have been at work for most of their day before you start, so it’s important to check if there are any important messages waiting for you. Same applies for notifications on your phone or tablet.
If there are some that need particular attention, make sure you ‘star’ them or ‘flag’ them so they don’t get forgotten about. Getting these things out of the way early helps to structure your day going forward.
5. ASK FOR HELP IF NEEDED
As we touched on, working from home isn’t easy. It’s also not for everyone, so if you’re finding it tough, please get in touch with someone to help you.
If you’re used to working in a vibrant office environment, being thrust into a solo environment can be difficult, so it’s a great idea to connect with colleagues when you can. This can be through instant messaging, telephone, video calls or email.
The world is tough at the moment, so any connection with people, even some levity, can really light your mood. If it’s more serious, speak to your HR rep who will probably have something to help you.
It’s important to remember that working from home is a different way of working for most of us, so there will be an adjustment period…. and that’s ok. We hope these tips help you. If you’ve got any ideas of your own, please let us know in the comments below.