Many Australians have been forced to start working from home due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. This new work environment comes with some new challenges, such as being away from your co-workers and being in a place filled with distractions. It may be difficult to adjust to this situation, but we have some tips to help you get the most out of working from home.
Learn to use online platforms
There are a number of online platforms that will allow you to stay connected to your co-workers and clients despite being at home. Applications like Zoom or Skype will give you the ability to make video conferences, meaning you can still have face to face meetings. Even instant messaging platforms like Slack will help you to remain in constant contact, which is not only convenient for work, but can improve your productivity by providing some much-needed social interaction.
One of the benefits to working at the office is that you can collaborate with your team much easier. You can talk face-to-face and share ideas or show them your computer to get feedback. Doing so from home may be a bit more of a challenge, though there are some platforms to help alleviate this. Microsoft SharePoint and Google Docs allow for multiple people to collaboratively work on the same document, meaning you don’t have to keep emailing the same document with new edits to each other. Instead, you can see changes to the document in real time, ensuring that your team is on the same page and improving collaboration. Learning to use these web-based platforms, and others such as the accounting software Xero, is a good investment for your business.
You may find that the usefulness and convenience of these services extends beyond this current time and back into the office.
Set up a dedicated workspace
To keep yourself from getting too easily distracted, it helps to set up a dedicated workspace at home. Sitting down on the couch with your laptop may be comfortable, but it can also kill productivity. Having a separate, and preferably quiet, workspace allows you to stay focused on the task at hand. This could be anything from a spare room to a garage to a corner of the living room. What matters is that it helps you keep the distractions to a minimum, whether that’s a TV playing in the background or other household members going about their day. It also helps to make this space comfortable, after all you will be working here every day. Invest in a nice chair and make sure you have all the equipment you need to keep you from wandering around the house. By treating this space just like an office, you will be in the right frame of mind when it’s time for work, creating a clear and tangible boundary between home time and work time.
Try to keep work and home life separate
Following from the previous point, it can be difficult to separate work from home when they share the same location. Establishing boundaries will ensure that work doesn’t seep into your relaxation time, and vice versa.
An important step is getting dressed for work every morning, despite how tempting it may be to stay in your pyjamas all day. Like with the workspace, this gives you a clear transition into work time and keeping regular work hours also serves this purpose. Make sure you’re not doing the laundry during work time and try not to be working after hours.
Taking dedicated lunch breaks also helps to stave off distraction, rather than getting snacks while you’re meant to be working. Take this time as an opportunity to indulge in those distractions you’ve been avoiding, so you can come back refreshed and ready to work again. By giving yourself this routine, you help to bring some much-needed structure to your day and boost productivity.
The best thing you can do to get the most out of working from home is to make the experience as similar to the regular office as you can. Taking advantage of online communication can help you to connect with your co-workers, while setting up the right workspace and establishing a boundary from home life will help to stave off distraction and keep you focused. If you need a hand adjusting to working from home or want to know what more you can do, contact Link Strategies for a chat.