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Before the global pandemic, CEOs, managers, organisations and even workers weren’t fully sold on the idea of remote work. Cut to two years later though, and the situation has drastically changed.
Complete homeworking or some form of hybrid working has now become the norm. Organisations across the globe have witnessed how employees working remotely can be more productive, more positive and less prone to workplace burnout. Indeed, research conducted by the London School of Economics demonstrates that remote work increases innovation by 63%, engagement by 75% and decreases burnout by over 26%.
It’s not all plain sailing.
Working from home undoubtedly provides its fair share of challenges as well as benefits, however. For those of us who’ve been working at home for a while – the cumulative impact of unpredictable routines, interruptions from partners, children and pets, or even that uncomfortable kitchen chair can reduce productivity and general wellbeing.
If you work from home and have noticed some bad tendencies creeping back-in, it’s time to reset. To help, here’s some top homeworking tips to supercharge your productivity and improve your well-being…
Your homeworking environment.
It’s been well over two years since many of us adjusted to full-time homeworking. If you haven’t optimised your workspace to accommodate your needs, well now’s the time!
One important benefit of homeworking is the ability to tailor your workspace to your exact requirements. Gone are the days of sweltering or shivering under office air-conditioning, battling with overly bright neon lights and creaky swivel chairs.
With this in mind, here’s some key considerations for your homeworking environment…
- Communicate expectations – this applies to family members and housemates alike, making sure they understand ground-rules surrounding quiet time and when you can’t be interrupted.
- Take designated breaks – just because you’re home, don’t let your work routine disappear. Get outside in the morning and afternoon, as well as taking a clear lunch-break away from your desk. There are plenty of free apps (for instance Stand Up! or Today Habit Tracker) to help with reminders.
- Face-to-face time – remote workers frequently report loneliness. To help, reach-out to colleagues via video chat and make space for running to the shops or ordering a coffee. It’s the little interactions that make a difference.
- Plan meals – if you’re home, it’s tempting to snack throughout the day and let your eating routine go out the window. Unhealthy diets are a drain on productivity and energy, however. Solve this by prepping meals (or planning to visit your favourite healthy café) in advance.
- Start and finish times – work-life balance right is even more important when working from home. It’s easy to check work emails the second you wake-up, or stay at your laptop late into the night. Set clear boundaries for working hours, communicating this with colleagues and family alike.
- Your workstation – you sit at your desk for most of the day, and the odd ache or pain can quickly disrupt productivity. The good news is there are loads of specialist ergonomic chairs and even adjustable standing desks with programmable heights that can transform your experience.
- Hydration – even when you’re at home and near the kitchen tap, it can be difficult to remember to drink enough. Invest in a tech-enabled water bottle that helps you track your consumption. You could even set reminders on your phone to take regular breaks to drink and stretch your legs.
Communication and connectivity.
However efficient your home set-up is, sometimes you might need a few extras to vastly improve your productivity and connectivity. This could mean items such as a new desk, adjustable lamp, wide-screen monitor – or even personal changes such as actively participating in online training courses.
With more and more businesses conducting their operations remotely, a wide array of software has also launched to make virtual communications and collaboration that bit easier.
Here’s our top tips on tech and teamwork to make homeworking a dream…
- Video conferencing – given the importance of “face-to-face” discussion, collaborative software is vital. Tools such as Microsoft Teams allow for simple meeting scheduling, regular chats and document sharing. Of course, there are also plenty of video conferencing options such as Skype and Zoom that facilitate virtual communication.
- Focus on learning – continuing professional development is vitally important, so don’t let your learning stagnate at home. Actively participate in virtual courses and schedule time to discuss learning with colleagues. Tools such as Microsoft Viva’s Viva Learning can help manage this process.
- Task management – there are some wonderful software programs and apps enabling robust collaboration and successful task management. Services such as Trello, Slack, Monday and Asana are all tried and tested teamwork and organisational tools.
- Headphones – even if you’ve set boundaries with family and friends, there’s no doubting distractions can crop-up. Investing in wireless,noise-cancelling headphones can be a great way to improve your concentration as well as improve the quality of work calls.
- Your mouse and monitor – just like your chair and desk set-up, audit your computer system. If you used to work across multiple screens, would an ultra-wide monitor help productivity? There are also loads of great ergonomic wireless mice and keyboards on the market, for instance Logitech’s Ergo Series.
- Cloud storage – cloud services (enabling constant back-up and collaboration on shared files) are essential for home working. There are many reliable services available, for instance Google Workplace, Microsoft 365 and AWS.
- Seek feedback – you’re working from home, not another planet! Don’t feel you can’t request regular feedback from your managers or team, to discuss future plans and performance. It will help maintain confidence, motivation and excitement about your working life.
We hope that the above bullet points provide you with some helpful guidance on how To Improve Your Homeworking Experience. With the above hints and tips and ideas, you’ll be back on track and fully set-up for a positive and productive homeworking experience in no time. Good luck, and happy remote working!