Like everyone else around the country, our office also has staff members which are working from home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Are you working from home? How are you coping? What helps keep you motivated?
Carly (JH & Co’s Bookkeeper) has been working a few days from home here and there since March. As much as its nice working from home with the luxury of being able to get out and walk the dogs in the sunshine at lunch time or doing some loads of washing so they dry, it is very hard to stay motivated to put in a full days work like you would in the office. There are so many distractions!
Here are some tips which have helped Carly to keep motivated, productive, efficient and actually enjoy working from home.
- Make a routine/schedule
Yes, you have 24 hours in a day and yes we would all much prefer to be out enjoying the sunshine but really, routine is everything. Get up at your normal time, be ready to work at the same time you would normally start work and keep your sleeping patterns the same, so you are not tired. Working your normal time frame for your day will help keep you on track.
Schedule your day each morning so you know what jobs you want to do for the day and how long they should take. Even contact other staff members to discuss tasks. It is also important to have some sort of communication with the outside world other than just emails. If you start talking to your pets like they are human, it’s time to give someone a call- even a client to check in to see how they are going.
- Find a dedicated workspace
Never work in bed and do not turn on Netflix. This is just a disaster waiting to happen even though it sounds fantastic!
Find a quiet place, comfortable and heaps of space to work. Make sure you have everything you need to do your job. Carly enjoys some fresh air and looking out the window to her front yard. Some quiet music in the background also helps maintain your sanity.
- Limit your distractions and interruptions
Its funny how working from home, your family and friends seem to call you during work hours. Save those phone calls for your breaks/lunch time. This will keep you on track for the day so you aren’t having to work until midnight to catch up on lost time.
No – do not go out and mow the lawns at 2pm and then work an hour later for the day. You will end up adding these little jobs into your work days more and more which means your still working at 10pm at night instead of enjoying quality time with your family or relaxing, exercising etc.
If you establish some rules eg; set a lunch time, use your coffee breaks to reply to a text/play on facebook. It is important to make sure you do have breaks, get up and go for a walk and talk to people – no different to being in the office.
There are a lot of parents out there also home schooling their kids while working from home. This can be a huge distraction, and we feel for each and every one of them. Ground rules are a good thing to have in place so everyone in the household can follow them.
- Self care
Might sounds crazy, but getting up, putting your work clothes on and doing your hair etc will actually help motivate you for the day ahead. Under no circumstance should you still be in your PJ’s at 2pm. That is for weekends only.
Also eating well, drinking lots of water and avoiding 30 cups of coffee will be very beneficial.
- Reward yourself
Once you have worked your day or before you start your day, make sure you do everything you normally would. Do your exercise, call your friends/family, watch TV, get a good night sleep. If you don’t manage your home life and work balance, you will lose all motivation which is what people are currently struggling with. We get into that rut “I’ll do it tomorrow”. But tomorrow will never come once that mind set kicks in. Set goals, reward yourself and remember to separate the two so your home does not become the reason you are not motivated to do your normal day to day.
It is said that working from home is going to be the new normal. With a lot of workplaces having all staff working from home- it is getting harder to keep productivity up and the hours put in. Routine and avoiding distractions are the key to working from home effectively and efficiently. It is also so important to reward yourself and look after yourself so you do not getting into a rut.