5 tips for going to work at home

We’ve been scratching our heads about what we could do to share something useful right now when all everybody seems to be talking about is toilet paper…or the lack of it… So, as working from home now seems to be the new black for many, we thought we’d share some of the tips we’ve learned over the last few years that you might find useful to stay focused and productive.

Tip number 1: GET DRESSED AS IF YOU’RE GOING TO LEAVE THE HOUSE!

As tempting as it is to hang out all day in your Onesie, make the effort to get ready. Even if you’re the only one who sees how smart you look, it’s actually really important because it gets you mentally ready for work. This will get you in the right frame of mind to knuckle down and actually get stuff done.

Tip number 2: RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PROCRASTINATE!

This one’s tough, particularly when what you’re supposed to be doing is a potential mojo-killer. That’s when the fridge will start calling out to you, or you’ll have the irresistible urge to tidy that cupboard you’ve ignored for the last 6 months but you must resist!! Plan your working time: when you’ll start, breaktimes, and when you’ll finish and then stick to it like glue so that you end your day with a sense of achievement and a significantly shorter to-do list.

Tip number 3: ALLOCATE TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA!

Seriously, this one is a real time-vampire and can suck hours out of your day. Strictly speaking it’s another one of those procrastination devils but this is perhaps one of the biggest distractions you’ll be faced with, particularly in challenging times when so many people are more active on social media than usual. Use the time you’ve set for breaks to check out what’s going on in the outside world and shut it down again when it’s time to go back to work. Just because your boss can’t see what you’re doing doesn’t mean you should…

Tip number 4: CONNECT WITH YOUR TEAM REGULARLY BUT RESPECT THEIR TIME TOO!

Working from home can be lonely, particularly if you’re not surrounded by a hoard of children who think the Easter holidays have started early but it’s not an excuse to constantly chatter with others. Work out as a team what the rules of engagement are and if there are specific times when people don’t want to be disturbed. Then work out the how. For instance, really urgent things could be sent by good old-fashioned text messages, so you’ll notice them coming in and can respond quickly.

Tip number 5: LEARN HOW TO HAVE EFFECTIVE ONLINE MEETINGS!

Though often the case, online meetings don’t have to be dull as dishwater. There’re a few things you can do to make your online meetings more effective and a whole lot more engaging. Keep meetings shorter, prepare an agenda with shorter times for each item and actually chair your meeting to keep everyone focused on the topic at hand. Do that and you’re halfway there.  Another good trick is to regularly and randomly call on people by name to give input. It keeps everyone awake and on their toes, as does insisting that people actually switch their cameras on.

So those are our 5 tips for getting started with going to work at home. Hopefully there’s something in there that you found useful. Or perhaps you’ve got some of your own gems you want to share with everyone else?  Either way we’d love to hear from you!

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