At McQueenie Mulholland we’ve been working remotely for years – most of our team work from home approximately 50% of the time, and while we all appreciate going into the office, we also all agree that working from home has made us more productive with the time we have.
Here are ten top tips from our team members to help you get the most out of working from home during this unprecedented time, especially if it’s not something you’re used to :
1. Keep it seperate
Find somewhere to work away from places that you relax in the evening, even if this is just working at the dining room or kitchen table. This will give you a different place to wind down in the evening, to prevent you from feeling stuck in the same place all day.
2. Stay in a routine
Get up and dressed as if you’re still going to work. It’s OK to wear more comfortable clothes, but getting ready as usual will put you in ‘work mode’ and make you feel more prepared for the day ahead. If you normally commute to work, enjoy your breakfast in the garden!
3. Make a list
You might do this already, but there’s nothing like a good old fashioned list to keep your thoughts from running away from you, especially if you’re working in a different environment. A list ‘dampens anxiety about the chaos of life; give us structure; and they are proof of what we have achieved that day’
Plus, there’s nothing quite like seeing a fully ticked off list.
4. Take little breaks
Give yourself regular, little breaks. Getting away from the computer screen is good for you, even just having a walk around the house, or sitting outside for 5 minutes with a drink if the weather is nice and this will help with your mental flow. If you’re working on your own, it’s not the same as if you were in an office. The work is more concentrated – you’re entitled to time away from the screen!
5. Keep in touch
Set up a messaging group to keep in touch with your colleagues. Check in each day like you would in the office, whether it’s to find out who watched The Stranger last night, what you’re having for lunch or to share pics of your pets ‘helping’ you work from home.
6. Make lunch interesting
Try different food. Sometimes when we work from an office we may have access to a microwave and kettle, but working from home means that most of us have an oven or hob, so it’s a great opportunity to vary our lunches and it may even be an opportunity to eat more healthy foods, rather than just grabbing something from the shops on our lunch break.
7. Know when to stop
Be strict with your working hours. It’s very tempting to keep on going just to finish things off, but it will be far easier for you to finish on time and pick it back up again in the morning.
8. Talk to people
It’s so easy to rely on email or instant messaging but it’s no substitute for real communication with real people. Aim to speak to somebody each day, and use the opportunity to check in with people that you may not have spoken to for a while.
9. Fill the silence
If you’re working alone fill those airwaves with some music or the radio. If you find it too distracting then try some ‘concentration’ music. You can find this on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple music – search for ‘lofi’ and play it quietly in the background to plug those gaps, you might find you’re more productive while listening, too!
10. Enjoy rare time with family
You can only do so much, and if you’re juggling work with childcare, try not to worry about the challenges and allow yourself to enjoy that rare extra time with your family – at least until the novelty wears off!