If like thousands of others you have joined the working from home revolution thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, you may be finding this all a bit strange. For those who work from home on a full time basis the discipline and motivation required is something they evidently cope well with but if you are used to a busy office, chats with colleagues, and find sticking to targets with no one around difficult how can you make the best of the situation?
One of the things you should do is create a home office. This doesn’t have to be a whole room, and if space won’t allow a simple table and chair is perfect. You are looking to create an area that your brain can associate with a working day. You can still customise it, add photos, a pot plant, and things that you would find on your office desk. It is then important that you take a break to have your lunch away from your workspace, and you leave it at the end of the day so that there is still a differentiation between work and home life.
With tools such as Skype, Slack, and Zoom it is easy to create a virtual team to ensure that everyone you work with feels they are still in touch with each other. During the working at home period, many large companies are beginning the day with a team call to ensure that everybody is kept in the loop and they are using task organisation apps such as Slack too have a visible reminder of what everyone is up to in their own homes. Do remember that this is still your work and if you are going to be appearing on Skype calls and video chat you need to be appropriately dressed. It is important you accept the fact that everybody has distractions in the background such as children and animals an ignore these where possible.
If you are prone to procrastination or likely to get distracted it is important that you set yourself manageable goals so that you can see the progress. To do lists are a great way of charting your progress and, the crossed-out tasks give you something to be proud of at the end of the day. It also helps you to arrange your day and prioritise the work from most important to things that can wait a bit longer. You can organise your task list with due dates and even colour schemes to differentiate between areas of your work.
Working from home also means that you have the opportunity to be able to organise your own time. Perhaps you would rather hit the gym for an hour in the morning and work later into the evening. With home working so long as you are involving your managers and keeping them informed this may be considered perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged. So, try and see this as beneficial and enjoy the change.