8 Tips for working from home
Now, I’m going to try not to get up on my working from home soapbox here because, I’m sure you’re all aware of my thoughts on the matter. However, it is interesting to watch the attitude towards working from home being forced to dramatically shift in such a short period of time.
One story I’ve been told is of a candidate who was hired just the other day after having spent the last 6 months telling their potential employer of their inability to relocate for the role. Now that everyone in the office is working from home, and doing it successfully, the employer has had a perspective change and are more open to finding a way to make the right candidate work. COVID-19 has helped them see another way to do business and now they’ve been able to employ their dream candidate. If there’s something positive to come out of this unsettling crisis, it is people’s ability to change their thinking and look for new ways to do things. Thinking seems to be shifting from, this can’t work, to how can we make it work?
As someone who has worked from home for many years now, I’d love to share some tips with you about how I navigate the work from home juggle:
- Dress like you’re going to work – the best way to get your head into the right space for work is to present yourself like you’re heading to the office. Okay, maybe not exactly your office gear but, do make an effort with your appearance. Rolling over in your bed and picking up your laptop is hardly going to make you feel inspired to achieve great things AND won’t look great when your boss springs a surprise video conference on you!
- Start work early – this one may be a little tricky if you’re juggling the home-schooling duties as well but, getting a head start on the day is a GREAT way to keep on top of things. Even if you can’t sit down and work for hours and hours, sneaking in anything from half an hour to an hour or two before the family gets up will help manage the feeling of overwhelm before your tasks begin to pile up.
- Turn off all social media – this point could not be any more important, especially right now!! When life is chugging along as normal, it’s best to remove all distractions so you can make the most of whatever little window you have. However, right now when we’re being inundated with all kinds of confusing and frankly, quite scary messages, stay away from social media when you’re trying to work and consider limiting your access across the board.
- Plan your time in batches – block out your available time throughout your day, or even week, and plan how best to use it. I suggest batching all your tasks together and allocate those activities to the times when you’ll be best suited to complete them. For example, attack your inbox in those quiet hours before everyone wakes. That way, you won’t have people responding immediately and you’ll make some real progress.
- Turn off your pop-ups – and this includes email notifications! We’re removing distractions people, and pop-ups must go!! There aren’t too many things which must be responded to immediately. The best way to ensure you complete a task in one sitting is to remove anything which might take your mind away from it. Now that you’ve planned your day into batches, you know that you’ll get to your inbox later, so you don’t need to switch your head back and forth between a whole lot of tasks.
- Play some good tunes – this will not only help you moving through those boring tasks, it will also help keep your spirits high. You might choose some high-energy songs to get you through that mid-afternoon slump, or something a little more lyrical and soothing to help you focus. Whichever your choice, there’s a playlist to suit on your favourite music platform.
- Call your clients – the very best thing you can do for yourself and your clients during this period of uncertainty is to simply reach out. It’s true that, with social distancing, you can’t be face to face with people but, there are certainly other options. Pick up the phone or schedule a video call to re-establish that connection.
- Log off – you need to have a very clear delineation between work and home. Just like you would prefer your family not to interrupt you when you’re working, don’t allow a work call or email to take you away from that precious time with your family.
And now, I’d love to hear from you! How is your work from home situation going? Are you managing the juggle without too much fuss? It may take a little time to settle into your new routine however, if you follow the tips above, I’m certain you’ll be just as productive as you were in the office.
Shannon Wood, Managing Director S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions. I have over 14 years recruitment experience specialising in the animal health industry across the ANZ region. Areas of expertise include sales and marketing, technical roles (Quality Assurance, Quality Control & Regulatory Affairs) and operational & financial positions. I work extensively in the veterinary, ruminant, monogastric, aquaculture and the pet specialty industries and I look forward to the next 14 years.