Coronavirus has changed how work is done, at least temporarily, with many people now working from home. This is neither difficult to do nor complicated to arrange, but there are a few simple procedures to follow to make it effective.
London Transcription wants to help you in this difficult time, so here are a few tips about how to work from home successfully.
- Be professional. One of the parts of working from home most people find difficult to regulate is their time. It is easy to think it is fine to start at ten o’clock rather than nine, and it usually is – provided you finish at six o’clock instead of five. Working from home does not mean doing less, although in many cases it does let you organise your time differently.
- Make sure your family appreciated you are ‘working’. Any family members in the house need to understand this is work and they are not to interrupt. If possible set aside a room where you can close the door and call this your ‘office’. Tell your family they cannot disturb you in your office any more than they could in your ‘real office’.
- When possible have your work area away from televisions, your bedroom and anything else that could be a distraction. If this is not possible and your young child wants to watch TV while you are working, try headphones, which can be ordered online. (Open the packaging wearing gloves.) These can be used for the TV, or if this does not work, use them yourself. Soothing music at a low volume should filter out the television and turn your work station away from the screen.
- Organisation is important. Not all homes have the space for tables full of documents, but where possible keep files and papers away from family and in your new ‘office’. Sticky Notes for your computer, (as a desktop app, not physical ones), are a good way to keep to-do lists.
- Pets and young children can be a problem if you do not have a room to work in where you can close the door. Try planning activities for them in advance so you get time to work ‘distraction free’. A colouring book or app for the kids may work, a bone for the dog is another idea.
- Some work requires you to follow a strict timeframe, so follow this. Otherwise, set out a work schedule and stick to it. Perhaps eleven at night is a quiet time, and you don’t go to bed early anyway, so a couple of hours work then could be productive. Alternatively get up a few hours before the rest of the household and get some work done in peace than. Working from home it is easy to do less, or you may find you are actually doing more hours, so a schedule helps keeps things on track.
- Inform people of whatever work timetable you decide to use so they do not interrupt or call at that time. Remember ‘you are at work’, it just also happens to be your home.
- Exercise is something that tends to suffer by working at home. You are no longer even walking from the car park to your office, running for a train or whatever you normally did. Try to maintain at least as much movement as you did before, and this can be as simple as putting on some music and dancing. This lets you stay safe in your home, but is good exercise.
- In your real office you will have had breaks from work; tea/coffee brakes, lunch and so on, but even walking from your desk to someone’s office is a break from work, so try sitting for a few minutes each day to let your mind take a pause to re-group.
- Pretend you are going to work and imagine your boss is looking over your shoulder.
Working from home can be better than going to an office, provided it is done right. You eliminate the travel time, both to get there and get home, and this is extra time you can spend with your family or use to exercise. Provided you and your family recognise this is work, it should be easy.