As companies are forced to change their working practices to save the human race, drastic measures have meant the office has re-located to the home, which is a testing time as people juggle life, families and the demands of a job all under one roof - or on the flip-side, possible social isolation. We offer you tips on how to survive. Who knows? You might learn to love it.
- Put some structure in place. Start the day the same way as you would if you were going into the office: shower, get dressed, eat breakfast etc. to put you in a work mindset.
- Choose your work location wisely. Don’t use areas associated with leisure time, like the sofa or your bedroom, or you will not separate the two. Opt for a certain table or chair that’s “your work space” and stick with it.
- Plan your top three objectives for the day before you start working, write them down and keep them nearby.
- Make it difficult for yourself to be distracted by social media; this will increase your productivity. Some people remove all social network links from their browser to avoid the temptation of checking them.
- Work in solid blocks of two hours; you need 30 minutes to get immersed in a task. During this time, cancel notifications from email and messaging apps. and mute your phone.
- Use headphones with noise cancellation – especially when other members of the family are around or sharing the same space. Or if you are sharing workspace with a partner, define the space that you each have to work in.
- Fight isolation – check-in with your work colleagues by phone or video link and choose video conferencing for meetings of 30 minutes or longer.
- Pause – take five-minute breathers between calls. This will improve your overall focus. Also, ensure you take five-minute breaks every hour and do something other than work… walk around your home or check on your spouse or children or try using a yoga or fitness app.
- Get out of the house every day, even if it's just to go and grab lunch or go and eat in a park or go for a run or a drive. Make time to have a complete break from your desk.
- Make sure you know when to step away from the (work) computer… it's all too easy for working hours to take over personal time when working from home and before you know it the day is over, which is the fast track to burnout.
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