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How To Effectively Work From Home

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Work From Home, Top Tips, Orbis Consultants...

 

How to effectively work from home:

For some companies, working remotely isn’t a foreign concept. A few of us at Orbis regularly work from home and luckily our systems are set up accordingly. However, it’s not always the physical capability that holds some of us back from WFH full time, sometimes it’s the lack of interaction, team energy and a comfortable office chair.

Now we’ve been advised to work from home for the foreseeable future. It’s super exciting for the team to embrace a new style of working and get a break from the commute (hallelujah) but there are still techniques for us to learn.

I like my home and I hope you like yours too, but if you’re situated in the same place for a long time, it can be difficult to maintain balance and define any separation between work and home life.

Get a morning routine sorted.

Wake up at your normal time, get out of bed, get dressed, then leave your bedroom.

Whether it’s a jog around the block, online yoga class, a cup of coffee on your doorstep or stepping out into the garden with your dog. Use your original commute time to do anything that doesn’t involve pyjamas and grabbing your laptop or phone.

Don’t allow your mind to start working and consuming the world’s news until you’ve had a chance to truly wake up.

If you're really pining for some normality, you could pop out for a stroll, buy a coffee, have a natter with the barista and support a local business. 

Make a plan and list your priorities for the day.

Flexibility is great, but when you have a house full of distractions (oh hello, is that Netflix calling?) it can be really hard to remain productive. Set up a regimented work pattern with balanced working hours.

If you find yourself in an opposite scenario, superglued to your chair, set alarms to remind yourself to take lunch or log off. Working long slogs late into the night will not do you any favours and burn out is still real – even when you work from home.

Take a quick break every hour.

A video call with your colleague to chat about unrelated work topics doesn’t count. Step away from your workspace for 5 minutes and refresh.

What you could do screen-free in 5 minutes:

  • Make a cuppa
  • Do 10 star jumps and stretch
  • Put your laundry in the washing machine– then hang up the washing in your next break
  • Same goes for your dishwasher, or washing up old-school from the sink

Communicate.

Try to video call whenever possible. Not only will this help with any feelings of isolation, but it will also help you with communicating points clearly.

Make sure you have a call with your team, then include all the small talk and gossip you’d normally have in the office. Hand out virtual high fives and discuss the challenges you’re facing together. The key is to bridge the distance through virtual and visual communication tools.

We have a company group chat set up purely to share positive news and another for exercise and sporting updates. Another great technique to fill the void.

Conference and business calls may need a little more formality. We recently wrote a blog on our top tips for video interviewing, which are handy for business calls too.

Prepare a fresh lunch.

You can get some decent downtime when you cook and prepare a freshly made lunch. A good diet with lots of nutrients is more important than ever in the current climate.

Cats have no regard for video calls.

Pets and children will get involved and on camera, especially if you have it on whilst talking to your most important contact. Dogs and kids don’t have a volume button either, making calls a little tricky.

If you’re like me and have a menagerie of creatures, or a human flatmate, make sure you can establish a safe space for refuge and focus, for work and those calls or just your own sanity.

Social media.

Connect to the universe, chat to your friends and family, be inspired, help people and gain support. Use it however you wish – but as soon as it begins to encroach on your wellbeing, turn it off, delete the app and get on with something else.

Exercise.

It feels like an obvious bit of advice, but when you’re cosy at home it’s easy to become sluggish and take advantage of your snack cupboard. For your mental and physical health, it’s essential to incorporate P.E. into your daily schedule.

There are a lot of options ready for you that won’t cost a penny. HIIT workouts on the living room floor, circuit training in the garden, 5 km around the park and back, cycling, yoga – or simply walking the dog. A decent walk is a brilliant way to clear your head, your lungs and get your heart pumping.

Meditation apps are also a great option for your mental wellbeing, any sleep issues you may be experiencing or anxiety.

Music.

For the first time in forever, you don’t have to worry about what others think of your summer 2010 playlist. You can explore genres and volume levels at your own pleasure. Alternatively, the radio can provide some great company if you find yourself more productive around a buzzing office atmosphere.

Switch off.

It’s ideal to set up your home office somewhere you can step away or rearrange at the end of your working day. Whether you have a desk set up in a different room, or you’re set up at the dining room table – put your laptop away, close the door and get into ‘home’ mode. Create a divide between home and work life.

 
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