How to maintain ‘Business As Usual’ while working from home
Are you working from home? For many of us, it’s the first time we’ve had to conduct our business from home and even those who have flexible working arrangements aren’t usually out of the office for such an extended period.
It’s important to set up strong and reliable communications channels to connect with your team. This might include the use of SharePoint or Google Drive to collaborate on documents in real-time, or Dropbox to share and store files. Programs such as Slack and Microsoft Teams are effective ways to share updates and chat online.
Keep your regular meetings by using phone calls or video conferencing. You can still be creative and brainstorm ideas through a social and collaborative video call. Skype and Zoom offer reliable video conferencing and options to share your screen to effectively work together.
Make sure your team has access to a strong internet connection, laptop, webcam, and headphones.
To increase productivity, try to keep your schedule as normal as possible. This means waking up at the same time, starting and finishing work at the same time and even taking lunch and coffee breaks at the same time. While it’s tempting to stay in your PJs all day, getting dressed for the day will help you switch into your work mindset.
Create a separate space for working in your home that is separate from your bedroom. Try to replicate your office as much as possible and make your space comfortable and relaxing.
Distractions are endless at home, so it is important to set boundaries for yourself. Cleaning, online shopping, or scrolling through social media can wait till break time or when the workday is done.
Self-isolation and working from home can put a strain on mental health. It’s important to stay connected with your team. Here are some quick tips to improve your mental health at home:
- Have a set working space: this will allow you to switch into work mode when you’re at your desk and switch off when you leave.
- Change the mood when you finish your workday: change out of your work clothes and do something that relaxes you. Put on a movie, read a book or play some music to help you shift out of a work mindset.
- Food: don’t let being at home encourage you to order take-away or snack all day. Try to eat what you usually would during a workday in the office.
- Move: Keep up your exercise by putting time aside each day. Exercise is great for your mental health and can help you deal with stress, increase motivation, and make you more optimistic and sociable.
- Social connection: if you would usually grab a coffee with a work colleague, call or text them to check in while you’re making your coffee at home. It’s also important to keep in contact with people outside of work.