With thousands of people likely to be working from home this week due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, whether you’re new to this or a veteran, staying motivated is key.
The growth of remote working is nothing new, but the urgency that has been necessitated by Covid-19 means that many have suddenly been thrown into the mix with a lack of process, policies or training.
I have had experience of working from home daily, so this is not out of the ordinary for me, but I understand that others may be struggling with ways to be productive, creative and motivated. A little preparation can go a long way to helping you prosper in this new world of work, so here are some tips for the uninitiated to help you get started.
1. SMART WORKING
Working from home presents new challenges and opportunities that require you to think a little differently. The great news is you have a new freedom and control over the way you work but to continue to be impactful you need to align that with your company’s goals and your own working from home style.
Does your creativity and productivity peak in the morning or the afternoon? Do you work better in silence or with music and background noise? Do you work better on your own or with your team? By understanding this, you can plan your working from home and set up your environment, helping you to be more productive and more motivated.
2. SMART WORKSPACE
A big part of working from home is setting up your workspace – you don’t need a home office or to make any big investment, just a bit of planning… and maybe to move some furniture around.
Setting up your workspace to keep you productive and motivated all day long is tricky but considering some of the following may help:
- Where in your home gets the best Wi-Fi reception?
- Is the kitchen table going to do the trick or will you need something bigger?
- Does a window looking out on the world inspire you or distract you?
- Do you want to be near a wall so you can put up some Post-its?
- Will you need somewhere to store documents?
- How will your workspace look and sound on an audio or video call?
Position your workspace in such a way that you can concentrate and have the resources you need. If you’re going to be working remotely for an extended period, try to make this workspace semi-permanent, so you can return to it each day and pick up where you left off. It makes it feel like your personal space.
3. SMART THINKING
Working from home is not just a matter of opening your laptop and sitting at the kitchen table all day in your pyjamas. Try making it feel like work, which in itself can be a challenge when surrounded by your family and/or pets, but making the mental shift to “work” will help your focus and productivity – if you set up your workspace right your already halfway there.
One trick can be to dress the way you would at work, so no sweatpants – you don’t need to be formal but dressing like you would for work, even just a little, will go a long way to helping you feel like you’re at work and switch your “work mode”. Plus, I’m sure your colleagues will thank you for it on conference/video calls.
4. SMART PLANNING
To keep your focus throughout the day, make a plan of what you want to achieve each day and break it down into smaller tasks. Schedule your creative tasks for those times when you know you are at your most innovative and productive – and make sure to build in time for daily tasks such as checking emails, teams calls or administrative tasks.
5. SMART COMMUNICATION
Working from home brings unique stresses and social isolation is one of the most significant. During office working we have the ability to be social and being isolated at home can affect our physical and psychological health. Keeping in touch with your colleagues is a great way to defeat this; finding time for video calls will strengthen that social bond, keep the team strong and keep you mentally fit, with the added benefit of helping you keep up with what’s going on in the company.
6. SMART BREAKS
In your Smart Planning take time to build in breaks that get you out of your chair and away from your computer. Lunch is an excellent opportunity to develop a routine, combat social isolation and stay fit.
Don’t feel bad about stopping for lunch, going for a run, or taking a walk while working from home — it’s good for you and you’ll become more creative and focused.
LAW is a DRUM recommended agency offering Smart Thinking for strategy, creative, technology, data and content services. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.