Top tips for working from home
Whilst many of you are used to being homeworkers, for some of you this may be the first time so we thought it might be helpful to pull together some tips as we will all be spending time working from home over the next few months.
- Have a dedicated workspace. This may not be possible, in which case pack your work stuff away at the end of the day – you don’t want to spend your evenings looking at it!
- Try and stick to the same daily structure – start and finish work at the same times you would have done if you were in the office. At home it is easy to slip into working longer hours. Equally it is easier to start later/ finish earlier – if you do this you will end up doing your work at evenings or weekends.
- Get properly dressed. Be prepared for videoconferences at any time. Teams or Zoom has a blur function, so you can blur the background – but you can’t blur yourself! Getting dressed for work means that your mind is also ready for work.
- Make sure you take proper breaks and keep hydrated. If you were in the office and had back to back meetings you would ask for a five minute comfort break. Somehow it doesn’t quite work like that when you work from home. You can easily not leave your desk for a whole morning.
- Try and leave the house. You need to be sensible about Coronavirus, but getting some fresh air and a bit of exercise before work and/or at lunchtime is good for you and makes you more productive.
- Ask IT if you have any problems not muddle through, get the Tech sorted to make work easier.
- Keep in regular touch with colleagues – use the functionality of Teams or Zoom to message, call or video conference. Make sure that you do speak to people and not just message/ email. Working from home can be a bit lonely, but Technology is your friend. Most of you will have used it already, but you’ll rely on it more when you work from home.
- It is okay, in fact it is a good idea, to leave your desk regularly. If you are in the office no one expects you to be at your desk for all 7.5 hours. When you first work from home you may panic about this.
- Focus on outputs rather than the time spent in front of your computer. What really matters is that you get what you need to get done by the appropriate deadline. To do lists and setting your own deadlines can be very helpful to keep you focused.
- Background music/ noise might help to replace the background noise in the office – but be aware when it becomes a distraction and turn it off.
- Discuss working arrangements with your family/ housemates – you’ll need to work out ground rules that suit everyone. This will particularly be the case with young children (and pets) who will see you as ‘fair game’ if you are at home – if you can be in a separate room with the door shut, that helps them forget you are there (although a dog can be good company).
- Plan your meals so that you don’t end up grazing all day just because food is there. If you would normally make your lunch to take to work, then carry on doing that so that is ready when you want it. Do not keep the biscuits next to the kettle.
- Turn your personal mobile off if it is not essential for school contact and so on. It is easy to get distracted at home.
Finally, something light-hearted, but as we are all analysts – it is got be something analytical!