With the outbreak of coronavirus and social distancing measures brought in by governments across the globe, millions are now working from home, and are therefore seeking information on tips for working from home.
As coronavirus quickly escalated, Relevance asked all staff to work from home as of the first week of March.
If, like the team at Relevance, you’re now doing your job remotely here are five top tips for working from home, courtesy of our team of digital experts, to help keep you productive and sane.
5 top tips for working from home
1 – Maintain a routine
Everyone at Relevance stated that maintaining a routine was crucial, making this our top tip for working from home. Just because you don’t have to go into the office doesn’t mean you should lounge around all day in your pyjamas. Try to get up at your usual time, then get dressed. It sounds obvious but getting up and dressed as if you were going into the office will help you feel ready for the day and give you an ‘I’m going to work’ mindset.
“I find it super important to have a routine,” Anna, our account manager says. “To still get dressed as if I’m going into the office and put my makeup on. This makes me feel ready for the day.”
Another top tip for working from home is to keep to your normal work hours. If you typically work a 9-5 day, then stick to it. Don’t let yourself slip into working ad hoc hours at all times of the day, or worse at night; it will impact your work-life balance and leave you feeling burnt out.
Anna adds: “I find it important to stick to my usual work hours. Lunch break is lunch break as normal. I close my computer for one hour and then come back.”
2 – Set up a dedicated workspace
Even if you don’t have a spare room that you can use as a dedicated home office, it’s really important that you try to carve out a dedicated space for work only.
When you work remotely it can be tempting to simply work from your bed or sofa, but you won’t be as productive and you need to keep your workspace separate from your home one, to allow you to leave your work behind at the end of the working day.
If you don’t have a spare room to convert to a dedicated office space, try to find an area somewhere else in your home. Even if it is just a small corner of your living room, a dedicated workstation will help create a defined workspace. If you don’t have a desk, then our top tip for working from home is to use the dining table.
“I’ve spent a number of years of my career working remotely and found that having a dedicated office space is the most important element of successfully working from home,” Relevance’s content editor Joanna says. “I started working from a dining table, but quickly found it a struggle to separate work life from home life, so, for me a dedicated desk, and then finally an office, was a game-changer. Once the working day ends, I can close that workspace off, so work doesn’t encroach into my home life. If you do have to work from a dining table, try and put away all your work stuff at the end of the day to establish a routine and create a switch from work to home life.”
3 – Try and stay active
It’s easy to sit all day at a desk, with no colleagues about to encourage you to move, whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee together, or perhaps heading out for a team lunch. So, one of our top tips for working from home is to try to take regular breaks throughout the day; it will help you stop feeling sluggish and fatigued.
“Step away from screens for at least an hour a day,” Dana, Relevance’s sales and marketing executive says. “Move your body in whatever way possible and take advantage of the great workout videos on platforms such as YouTube. Finally, take the time you would normally dedicate to commuting to read a book or enjoy other creative outlets.”
If you’re not on lockdown or self-isolating at home, try to get out of your house at least once a day for a walk, either before or after the working day, or on your lunch break. Just remember to practice social distancing and wash your hands thoroughly.
4 – Stay connected
One of the most important tips for working from home is to stay connected with your colleagues throughout the working day. Not only will this help with business continuity and productivity, but it will also help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness, which is key to mental well-being.
At Relevance, we use a wide range of platforms to stay connected, such as Slack, which has numerous group topics that team members can join. It’s a great tool for more informal chats and staying connected with colleagues, making this one of our top tips for working from home.
We also host morning coffee socials on Google Hangouts. It offers an informal start to the day, an opportunity to check in on team members, as well as share tips on how to be productive at home. Finally, we have a group chat at the end of each week, Vino Fridays, much like you might enjoy a drink with colleagues after work, only on Google Hangouts.
“When you’re working from home en masse you lose a lot of the everyday chatter and in-joking that comes from sharing eight hours a day with people,” Relevance’s account director Alicia explains. “Virtual work drinks let us kick back, have a drink, show off our pets and chat about all those things we’re not supposed to chat about on work time!”
5 – Take a break from coronavirus
Logged on to laptops or desktops, it’s easy to get sucked into a never-ending loop of news on Covid-19. Our team’s top tip for working from home is to take a break from it all and stay positive. A positive mindset will not only make you feel better but it will also enable you to focus better on work and be more productive.
“Listen to something other than the news all day, such as music, which can be a great boost throughout the day,” Muriel, Relevance’s PR director says. “Do daily updates with your colleagues to see how they’re coping and make sure you get off your chair every hour to either get a cup of tea or coffee.”
What top tips for working from home do you have? Feel free to share them with us!