This recommendation might sound a bit obvious but you’d be surprised how hard it is to stick to a routine. Working from home might open up an extra hour in the morning that you would usually spend commuting to the office. Take advantage of this!!
Do: Get up – shower/change/eat breakfast or have a coffee at the normal time you would if you were heading into the office.
Don’t: Get up ten minutes before you’re supposed to start work and sit down at your desk in your pyjamas. (We all know we’ve done this once)
Have a dedicated workspace
Do: set up an area in your house that has good natural lightning, a comfortable desk/chair away from distractions like TV/communal areas in your house.
Don’t: Move around to different areas in your house while you work. If you can try to avoid setting up your workspace in the kitchen if you share it with multiple people/family members.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Do: If you are finding the transition to working from home hard talk to your colleagues or managers. You might find your colleagues have come across the same issues as yourself and might have their own suggestions on how they overcame them. Managers understand that these times are abnormal for everyone and it is their job to make sure that you are given the right tools to make sure you can work to your full potential.
Don’t: Sit in silence while you’re struggling or pushing the issues you are facing while working from home to the end of the list.
Have an understanding with the people living in your home about your workspace
We know how tough it can be to work from home when there are multiple people in your household, especially children that are loving all this newfound attention with everyone being at home all the time.
Do: Set some simple ground rules (for adults and children alike) around your workspace and allow people to know your hours of work and when you have calls.
Don’t: Be too hard on the people you live with. These are strange times for everyone and we are all trying to adapt to this new norm.
Do: Start everyday by working your breaks into your work schedule. Breaks can be anything from going to make yourself a coffee to a five minute stroll around your garden. Breaks are just as important as work so when you schedule them take them in their entity.
Don’t: Be unproductive during break periods and go over the time limits you set for yourself. This will only result in you having to make up for this lost time later in the day.
Socialise with colleagues (Remotely)
One of the most important things we are missing from working at home is the daily interactions and conversations we have in the workplace. Managers and colleagues alike must try to incorporate daily or weekly group video calls and conversations with each other to ensure no one is left feeling isolated.
Do: A popular approach that we have even incorporated into our remote working here at iPPi is weekly “fire up” video calls on Monday mornings and end of week “round up” on Fridays evenings. This time allows us to discuss with our team how our week went and catch up on how everyone else is doing. It is a great way to boost morale and share any achievements that would normally be recognised in the office.
Do: Another socialising tactic is to schedule your lunch break at the same time as a few other colleagues so you can have those random lunch room chats that everyone dearly misses over group video calls.
Try to leave your house everyday
Working remotely means you can easily fall into the trap of not leaving your house for days on end.
Do: Changing your environment and getting out for some fresh air and exercise even for 30 minutes will clear your head and make you more productive. Try and incorporate it into your daily routine either before or after work or during your lunch break – you won’t regret it!!
Take advantage of the perks of working from home
Working remotely and not having to factor in the stress and time commuting to and from the office involves has opened up a world of possibilities for people.
Do: Use this extra time to take up those hobbies or work on those skills you’ve been meaning to do for so long like mastering your cooking and baking skills. Or finding a new podcast series to sink your teeth into like I said the possibilities are endless!!
Do: Calculate the amount you would usually spend on a day in the office like coffees, lunch or public transportation and create a savings account where you can use that money at the end of each month to buy yourself something special (you deserve it!)
End your day with a routine
How you end your working day is just as important as how you start it.
Do: It can be something simple like signing off on your work messaging app or sending out an end of day round up to all of your colleagues. Or once 6pm comes around you take your dog for their daily walk or do your daily yoga class. Whatever you find that works best for you, do it consistently to mark the end of your working day and a job well done.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Number 10 on our list of do’s and don’ts when working from home is the most important one. Life as we know it right now is very strange and confusing and it is perfectly normal to have off days where you feel you don’t work to your full potential. Let yourself have those moments and don’t try and force yourself to work through them. The importance of balancing productivity and self care is necessary now more than ever and remember everyone has off days – we’re only human!!
“Nifty Tools For Agents”
Finally, we asked our director – Kenneth Kelly for his views on the top tools for agents who are working remotely.