How to get the most out of remote working
Posted on: 26th March 2020
As many of us are now having to work from home in the current crisis, we’ve created a simple guide to help you with setting up your home-working space and routine:-
- Create a routine and stick to it
Dress up to work from home and dress down after work – the physical change will help you to separate your new work life from your home life.
Schedule break times and take them – regular breaks are crucial for ensuring you maintain focus and stay fresh. Get up from the desk, do a few stretches, grab a healthy snack, get some fresh air.
Establish start and finish times for your working day and clarify ground rules with children and anyone else in the house.
Remember to sign out of your computer and leave the desk when the workday is over.
- Make a designated area
If possible, set up a workstation away from your normal living area. Preferably somewhere not too noisy and where there is a desk or a table.
Remove distractions and non-work items and ensure you have all the equipment you need to avoid getting off focus.
When you’re at work, be at work.
- Check your equipment and software
Aside from a laptop, a desk and a chair you may also need to check that you have sufficient connection reliability and speed; you can check internet speed at https://www.speedtest.net (8Mbps minimum download speed recommended).
Ensure you have access to the company server, and any other permissions you’ll need.
Also, will you need extra monitors, keyboard & mouse, a web camera, headphones with microphone?
- Stay healthy
Looking after your physical and mental health is crucial at the current time.
Eat and drink well – use the travel time you’ve saved to make a healthy salad. Your body needs water or other fluids to work properly and to avoid dehydration. As recommended by the NHS, we should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated.
Ensure you do some form of daily exercise and you could practice mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and maintain positivitiy
- Increase your communication
Don’t let yourself feel isolated, ensure you connect socially with your colleagues as well as professionally – try having a coffee break with the team over video conferencing.
Unsurprisingly, research shows we communicate most effectively in real-life, real-time conversation. So don’t just email and text your colleagues, use a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to connect face to face, and to replicate the office meeting room. Research by UCLA psychology professor emeritus Albert Mehrabian found that 7 percent of a message was derived from the words, 38 percent from the intonation, and 55 percent from the facial expression or body language. In other words, the vast majority of communication is not carried by our words alone.
- Keep developing
Forgive yourself if you’re not perfect on your first day of working from home, but ensure you’ve improving every day.
Take online courses to develop yourself personally and professionally – a platform like LinkedIn Learning can be good for this, and remember to write down your main actions
Most of all, keep positive and stay safe.