ITEC has employees all over the UK stretching between Cornwall and Manchester and even a bit further north. Many of our staff have to work from home or remotely, either at customer offices or, in some cases, abroad. So, we put our minds together and came up with...
ITEC's Top Tips for Working From Home
Stick to Your Routine
If you’re working for the same company and just working from home instead of the office, it’s important you stick to your routine. Don’t wake up five minutes before you’re meant to start work. You must switch on work mode and get up at a reasonable time.
You can even replace your morning commute with catching up on the news.
And, it’s important you extend this routine across the entire day. So take your full lunch break. This way, if the urge to clean the kitchen is still really strong, you can do it without interrupting your work.
In a recent poll on Twitter, we discovered many of you believe keeping or creating a routine is one of the best steps you can take when working from home.
Dress to Impress
Following on from sticking to your routine when working from home, another small change you can make is to dress for work.
We understand that for some people, spending all day in your pyjamas is too tantalising an opportunity to turn down. But, you’re not working on a Sunday, you’re working on Wednesday and getting dressed can make a big difference to your productivity levels.
So why do clothes make such a big difference? Psychology.
It seems dressing for work actually makes you work. This doesn’t mean putting on a suit or, god forbid, pairing a dress shirt with your underwear, it means wear whatever puts you in the right mindset.
The biggest reason to get changed is because you’re more likely to work well if you’ve had a shower or cleaned your teeth and split your ‘work’ and ‘rest’ lives.
Create a Dedicated Space
Similar to dressing to impress, it’s important to create a dedicated space for work and try to avoid the dining room table, the bed and sofa. You need to segregate your personal spaces from your work spaces.
This can be difficult, especially if you have a webcam loving pet or a young child. However, having a dedicated space like an office or a seperate desk can help you focus your mind, be more efficient and productive. And, as corny as this sounds, physically closing the door to work at the end of the day will help you focus more on your personal life as well.
Leave the House
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, ITEC recommends you follow UK Government guidelines and only leave your house for essentials. You can find more about ITEC’s COVID-19 policy here and more at nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Many people who choose to work from home often find the house claustrophobic and can struggle with their mental health. This is because social interaction reinforces our well-being and sense of community. Exclusion can be amplified when the rest of your team work in the same office.
One of the easiest ways not to feel excluded is to interact with your local community. If you choose to work from your local coffee shop (a popular place for people most who work from home) or your local library, you can protect your well-being and keep your healthy mind focused on work.
Plus, going to a quick jog, bike ride or walk during your lunch break or at the end of the day can help focus your mind and keep you happy.
Communicate With Your Team
Make sure you don’t feel excluded from your team or unsure of your workload by regularly keeping in touch with your team. This should keep you positive and help you complete your projects.
There are many digital tools that increase productivity and glue teams and departments together. Microsoft Teams offers voice & video chat and instant messaging, two of the most popular remote working tools; sharing ideas has never been easier.
Just as important is keeping in touch with your team. Old-fashioned socials after work might not be possible if you’re working from home. So having a (virtual) coffee meeting over Teams can reduce feelings of isolation.
Simple, quick, non-work related staff catch ups can work wonders. So what are you waiting for, dust off that corny joke and connect with your teammates!
Install a VPN
Working from home does have some freedom but sometimes accessing company documents can be difficult. Especially when you’re using your home broadband connection and IP.
For security reasons, most companies keep their files protected behind location settings and private servers. With a company-approved VPN on your laptop, you can work from home and access your important and shared documents without having to harass your teammates. Even if you work abroad!
If your staff is looking to work from home and want the right technology, talk to ITEC and we’ll develop a bespoke work from home strategy for you...