Working remotely and working from home is a trend that has been steadily growing for years. It’s become increasingly popular as a way of fitting work around lifestyle, with the removal of a daily commute thought to make things particularly convenient for many people. In 2020, during the height of the coronavirus crisis, it’s becoming standard practice more and more to have staff working from home.
Once the crisis is over, it may be that your business returns fully to the office or some employees work remotely for a day or two each week. Whatever the long-term picture may be, in the short term your staff will likely be working from home for several months, so they’ll have to adjust to balancing work and home life in the same setting, all while remaining productive.
It can be a tough transition; having to fight the temptation of distractions like housework or television can be tough, but we’ve got some tips on how to keep productive while working from home:
Create a proper workspace
If you’re using a laptop while working at home, the options on where you work in the house are appealing; you could lie in bed and reply to those emails, enjoy some sunshine out in the garden while typing that report or sit in front of the television, with daytime shows as background chatter while you get on with today’s tasks.
Those settings can become all too distracting, however, leading to a disjointed day of work. Setting up a spot in the home specifically for work, whether that’s a proper office space you already have like a desk in a spare room, or a makeshift “home office” like on the dining room table or a desk in the corner of the sitting room, having a space that you set aside just for work will make it easier to get into the work mindset and stay focused.
It also lets your family know that you’re at work and shouldn’t be disturbed unless it’s truly important. This is especially useful if you have young children at home during lockdown.
Put that mobile phone away
How many hours do you waste scrolling through apps on your phone? You’d be surprised how much we’re all guilty of being glued to our small screens and if you’re working at home, it can be very tempting to pick up your mobile every few minutes to send a message or have a quick look through Facebook.
This disrupts your work flow when it happens several times a day, so a simple step is to put your mobile in a drawer or leave it on charge in another room; out of sight, out of mind after all!
You should already know your company’s policies for lunch breaks and other breaks throughout the day. When you’re not in the office routine, it’s all too easy to overlook them, but you should take the breaks that you would normally be entitled to while working at home.
Try and stay away from your desk before your lunch hour is up. Use the break as a chance for a walk, to get some fresh air and clear your mind before the afternoon hours. If you have children at home, set breaks helps build a routine for them too, so they learn when you’re available and when you are not.
Keep in communication with your team
It sounds obvious, but communication between colleagues is crucial to making sure everyone is productive when working from home. Regular emails help, but there’s nothing like a phone call to establish tone of voice and avoid simple misunderstandings that can happen via email.
A VoIP system can really help ensure that your team stays connected to each other while working remotely. The right system will be flexible enough for all your communication needs, from a simple phone call to functionality like group calls, virtual meetings and other handy features like hunt groups and virtual assistant.
VoIP phones plug straight into an internet connection anywhere in the world and start working, so staff can take them home and remain connected to each other — and customers alike — easily and quickly.
For more information on how our VoIP systems could keep your colleagues communicating, give us a call on 01237 420010 and we’ll answer any questions you may have.