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Has Covid-19 changed the way we work forever? It’s hard to say, but we do know that working from home has become a reality for millions of workers in the UK.
Here at Aquarium, we were quick to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and implemented a successful remote working strategy.
While working from home has been a success for our team, we appreciate that not everyone will take to being away from the office so easily.
Read on to discover our top tips for remaining productive when working remotely.
Create the right working environment
For all the benefits of remote working, home comforts can make it all too easy to slip into bad habits.
To overcome this, try and set up a dedicated workspace. For some, this will mean a home office, for others, a simple space at the kitchen table or a desk in the spare bedroom.
Wherever you make your workspace, treat it as exactly that – a workspace. You don’t want to blur the lines between work and play, so sit there when it’s time to be productive, and walk away when you’re done.
Your brain will eventually begin to associate this area as a place to knuckle down, making it easier to make the transition from ‘home’ to ‘work’ and back again.
It’s also important that those that you live with respect your working environment. This might require setting clear rules and boundaries, particularly if you have children or housemates.
Set a routine
If you think that working from home means saying goodbye to the nine-to-five, then think again.
While you may no longer be tied to the schedule or standards of a formal office, we believe that sticking to a work routine when at home is best for staying productive.
- Sticking to a ‘normal’ sleep pattern.
- Setting achievable goals for the day.
- Getting dressed into ‘work’ clothes (don’t stay in your pyjamas!).
- Scheduling strict eating times (including breakfast).
- Switching off at the end of the day.
Of course, one of the benefits of remote working is the flexibility it offers and we think that our employees should be able to take advantage of that – but having some kind of routine is one thing we don’t think you should shirk on.
Think of the best way to communicate
If your whole team is working remotely, communication can become a bit tricky – especially as everyone will have their preferred method of contact.
Having so many lines of messaging can start to cause a breakdown in communication or lead to bottlenecks on important tasks.
If this starts to become the case, then you and your colleagues need to make some decisions.
Emails? Social media? Video calls? Work out what’s best for your team and stick to it. It might even be something as simple as picking up the phone.
If this isn’t enough, then there’s a whole range of specialist business communication software to choose from. These will not only improve collaboration, but can also help with organisation and scheduling, too.
Take regular breaks (and don’t feel bad about it!)
Working from home is all about balance.
While you might find it difficult to justify spending time away from the screen, taking frequent breaks is key to remaining happy, healthy and productive.
A typical day in the office presents plenty of opportunities for respite; a chat at someone’s desk, taking on the burdensome brew round and even stepping outside to make a phone call – but this is more difficult if you’re sitting alone at home.
We encourage all of our remote workers to schedule short breaks into their day and not feel guilty about them! Recharged employees are more productive employees, so not only will they reap the benefits of a brief rest, but we know that we will too.
Spend time outdoors
Without the daily commute, it can be easy for days (and even weeks) to pass by without having any extended time outdoors.
This isn’t good for either your mental or physical health.
Just stepping into nature for a while can have a surprisingly positive effect on mental wellbeing and help you in your work life.
It can give you time to think, enable you to see things from a new perspective and improve your general mood.
Leaving the house and coming home again can even recreate that feeling of returning after a day at the office, a feeling that can help you ‘switch off’.
So there you have it, our tips for working from home. While we know that plenty of people will be enjoying being away from the office, we also understand that not everyone will find it so easy.
If you have your own advice for remote working, find us on our social channels and let us know; we’d love to hear from you.