11 Mar 2021
For the past year, normality took a turn. The outcomes of the pandemic are nowhere close to what was initially predicted, with life being impacted on a long term. The use of masks, no large group gatherings and working from home have become part of normality. We have lived this pandemic long enough to adjust to it, that going back to how things were before will also need time for adjusting. One big positive that we can take from this experience is our ability to change and adapt – and learn! Even when everyone will have received the vaccine, some things will not just stop. Our level of hygiene is higher than ever before – why stop it? The environment and atmosphere are benefitting as less people are travelling, reducing gas and carbon emissions as a result. The option to work from home is allowing this to happen, and governments and businesses are realising this – as well as noting that it is also saving extra costs. Hence, working from home is not going anywhere.
Teleworking is a result of “human flexibility, adaptability and dedication, supported by an up-to-date technological infrastructure,” according to Marc Borggreven, a member of the Board of PwC. However, despite it being a relief for some, as it saves the time to commute to work and perhaps the dressing up, but others miss the need of interaction with other people and colleagues. If your job does not require discussions with others, it can be easily to feel alienated and lost by working from home. It could also hinder you from thriving and getting the work done – a lot of things could be going on in your home, your family or roommates could interfere with your work production so it is important that you stay disciplined to make it work. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind when working away from the office to ensure a positive experience.
Do not just set your home office anywhere. Sure, all you need a space for your laptop, but it must be an area where you feel comfortable in. Are you sat comfortably? Is the laptop or computer at the right height? Do you have enough space to move around and stretch whilst having a think? These are all factors that you must consider when choosing the workspace at your home. Moreover, keep your area tidy. Keep your papers or any notes organised, so you will know where to look when you need them. To improve your workspace, you could buy a back pillow rather than an expensive chair to maintain a good posture whilst being sat comfortably. You might also find the need to raise your laptop either with a stack of books or by purchasing some equipment. Whenever you are working away from the office, this will be your workspace, do not hesitate from investing in it.
Discipline is key when it comes to working from home. Especially if you get tip #1 wrong, you may come across several distractions that will hinder you from getting the work done. It is very easy to get distracted at your own home – people could be moving around, making noises and talking, making it difficult to concentrate. Moreover, you must be strict with yourself and avoid anything that will stop you from working. Your phone. If you do not need your phone during work, put it away. If you do, switch off any notifications for the apps that are not work-related. Social media apps could cause a lot of procrastination; hence it would be best to keep away from them. But does this mean that you will have to work all the work hours straight? Check out tip #3!
Take breaks throughout the day, set targets and reward yourself. If you are longing for a cup of tea or coffee, tell yourself that you will only get that cup once you finish a particular piece of work. That way, you will be motivating yourself and rewarding yourself as well. Lists can be also helpful to stay focused and motivated as you will be concentrating on getting things done and crossing them off the list, giving you a sense of achievement. Furthermore, do take a short walk about the house, stretch your muscles and avoid staying seating all the time. Exercise is critical if you are staying at home most of the time – it is essential to look after your body as well as your mind.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have been looking at ways of how to improve our work. Applications such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom are very helpful in our day to day activities, and for any planned meetings. Make sure to download these apps that will be useful throughout your day and know how to use them well to make the most out of them. This will not only be helpful but will also save you time in looking up an alternative.
Stay away from negative people and think positively. Focus on how to improve your work and release yourself from any negative thoughts. When chatting with your colleagues – be positive too! Use emojis and exclamation marks! They leave a massive impact! Be cheerful with yourself and others!
Teleworking might be the future, but it does not mean the end for offices. deVere founder and CEO Nigel Green believes that you need to have a mix. “You need to have time to work from home, as long as you have the discipline to do it, but also the opportunity to work from an office, where you can be meeting your colleagues in a real environment.”