With work-from-home orders in place, more and more of the population have traded their work environment at an office for one at home. People are having to deal with new demands, such as contending with new routines and acclimatising to working where they previously have otherwise not. This can be difficult. However, there are things which can make it easier. Here are a few tips and pieces of advice to help you stay on top of work matters while working from home.
The home is the home. While you’re comfortable there, you may not have worked from home before. A designated space can be a great way to transition from a home mindset to a work mindset. There is a threshold which, when crossed, begins the workday. To further facilitate this transition, boundaries can be set between you and those you live with. For example, if the children come home while you’re still working then it might be best practice that certain understandings and agreements are in place so you can continue to work.
Many workers have improvised to replicate work stations by, for instance, using ironing boards as standing desks – probably secure in the knowledge that, while these DIY desks look precarious, their business’s general liability insurance covers work-provided equipment like laptops and monitors even while working remotely. Others have adapted to their new environment and have changed how they work. It is all about comfort.
Regular Work Hours
It’s hard to talk about space without talking about time. It is great to have a space to go to which is associated with work. However, when does the day begin? There is a danger work permeates the home to a greater degree. The workday begins and ends with no fixed points. That needn’t be the case, though. New routines can be formed, and it is necessary that they are.
Depending on the job, employers might ask you to sign into a portal or join a zoom call which indicates you are beginning work. This can be helpful as it provides clear events for the start of a shift. Similar practices can finish the shift too.
For others, the working day may be more self-directed, meaning that as long as the employer receives the work by a deadline, or other such arrangements, then it is up to you when you do that work. Instilling a routine should still be paramount. Work has its time. If there is a particular period of the day in which you feel most focussed, and, therefore, productive, schedule yourself to be working then. Remember, days which begin must end.
The casual distraction and disruption of the working day by colleagues is now virtually accomplished. The demand for ‘office noise’ ambience on music streaming services and online radios has risen as workers miss it. It is more important than ever to reach out, even over communicate with colleagues. Both to ensure work goals and progress are clear and to connect with those you have relationships with. They can break up what can feel like an isolating situation, and you might be doing the same for them. You are still working together.