Working from home survival guide
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
It's almost inevitable now that large numbers of people will be trying to work from home, perhaps for the first time, in response to the Coronovirus pandemic. I'm a long-time convert to working flexibly so here are my top tips to make it as productive as possible.
Let people know what you're doing and how and when they can contact you. Auto forward desk phones to mobiles if you can, adjust auto replies. There are great tools out there which can keep you connected to colleagues. Skype is a sound fallback but also try Zoom or Slack to keep the team working going.
This also applies to family who might equate your presence at home for being available for domestic matters. A little bit of tough love is needed here, if you are 'at work' you cant also be available for dog walking, the natter with your neighbor or domestic chores. Be clear about 'work time' versus 'family time'.
If you can, set yourself up in a dedicated space where the internet connectivity is good and you can avoid distraction (not so easy if the schools are closed I know!). If you can close the door it's clear that you're 'working' and not available
Sit up. Resist the temptation slouch on the sofa balancing papers or laptop. If you don't have an office chair then a dining chair or something which is upright and properly supports your back and legs. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-sit-correctly/
Get organised. Clear the desk / table / surface of items you don't need or might distract and have the things to hand that you do.
Get dressed. Maybe its just psychological but I would definitely find it difficult to put myself in 'work mode' whilst still in my pajamas or slacks. You don't have to go full business suit, but smart enough to feel professional
Plan your day. Just as you would in the office, schedule those calls and activities and stick to your plan.
Stay hydrated, take a proper lunch break and finish when you mean to. It's all too easy to lose sight of time and let work intrude into family time when you're at home. Set a boundary and when it's time to finish work turn off the laptop and divert the phone.