With working from home looking like a longer term plan during the pandemic, it is essential to ensure you and your teams have easy to follow ways to optimise your working space and day.
For anyone not used to working remotely it can be easy to loose the balance between work and play. Here are 6 top tips for you and your team on maximising the working day:
1. Have a defined work space.
Even if this means setting up and packing down each day, have a defined space for your work. This helps create a physical boundary as well as a mental one.
2. Optimise the functionality.
Not all of us are blessed with a pre-planned home office with ergonomic chairs and a spacious desk. But where ever you set up make sure the top of your screen is at eye level and you may need to invest in an external keyboard and mouse or use a TV monitor if you have a spare one, to make sure you don’t hurt your neck or back when working.
3. Shut out distractions
Where possible set up in a room where you can shut your partner, dog, cat or other distractions out. It will ensure you can focus and make video calls that much easier.
Where possible, stick to your normal routine. Get up at a similar time, exercise when you’d normally exercise and eat and drink normally at the usual times. Having a routine is vital for staying focused, feeling in control and managing your productivity. Schedule each day, allowing for regular breaks and a clear shut off time.
5. Define your stop time.
We need both work and play as much as ever. Working from home you can easily over or under work. Having a defined shut off time between work and play allows us to do both and still remain focused and productive throughout the day.
6. Recognise your achievements
It can sometimes be hard to feel productive, particularly with work flow not fitting the normal pattern. At the end of each day, recognise what you have done, even write it down, so that you connect to a sense of achievement.
If you are trying to work with your kids at home or any of your team members are, make sure you know how you can flex the day for them.
All of the above points are still vitally important, but you may need to permit parents to flex their days around childcare. Know your policies, so that you can support them. Shorter working hours and being permitted to do the bulk of their work either earlier or later in the day will alleviate a lot of stress.
Parents also have the additional anxiety over home schooling and entertaining their children. Be sure to check in with anyone in your team who has kids and keep a public diary of their working hours so the whole team knows when they can be contacted. Allowing this flexibility on an individual basis will also make all staff members feel heard and considered.
Please note we've not mentioned equipment because we realise this is different for each person and team and that there are currently supply issues making aquiring new equipment very hard, even for thos with existing trade accounts. However it is important to note that several surveys suggest that not having suitable equipment to working remotely is adding stress to almost 50% of your teams day.
I know it's not easy and a lot of people let their offices rather abruptly thinking it would only be for the short term.But don't panic. This could be a great team building exercise to share how your tema have set up their home working space, what have they repurposed to allow them to sit comfortably, have a defined work area or generallly be more focused?
For a complete guide to communicating with your team and staying connected please visit the website Here. If you have any questions on optimising remote working for your or your team/s in terms of wellbeing and mindset (I leave the physical stuff to your OT's, safety teams and HR) then please contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.