Five tips for getting the most out of working from home
By Karen Morley, Head of HR, ESS Modular
Working remotely can be challenging. Full-time remote working is different to ad-hoc remote working – it requires discipline, motivation and adaptability for a prolonged period.
Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work and how to create boundaries between work and personal life.
Whether it is from a home office full-time, a kitchen table part-time or somewhere in between, it is important to make the working day enjoyable and productive for one's mental well-being, the team they work with and the organisation they are part of.
Here are some tips to improve the overall experience of working from home:
1. Always Communicate
Communicate with colleagues as often as you can, just as you would do in the office. Being remote doesn’t mean being disconnected. Remember colleagues probably feel the same as you. Ask how they are doing and whether there are ways you can support each other?
2. Try to keep it ‘Business as Usual’
Be pro-active, be productive and set a schedule and try to stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps to maintain your work-life balance. Setting boundaries with other members of your household is key to mental wellbeing while working at home. You can be more flexible when working from home but it can also be difficult if there are other distractions to deal with.
Have a discussion about your needs, especially with family. Remind them that you still have work to do and need quiet time to do it and perhaps share your schedule. Similarly, set boundaries with work. It's easier to stay logged on when your home is your office but try to switch off when the workday is over and enjoy time with family at home.
You are not expected to be glued to your desk from 9 to 5 and you should take regular breaks. Taking breaks is good for your sanity and remember to take your lunch break as normal!
3. Work Environment
Have a dedicated workspace, if possible. If you can find a quiet space away from people and distractions like the TV (or the kitchen!). You may not have the perfect workplace or equipment, but you can make your working space as comfortable as possible.
Reduce health risks - adjust your chair so your feet are flat on the floor. Your lower back should be fully supported by the lumbar support in your chair. Ideally, you should have an office chair, otherwise you could use a cushion for lumbar support. Also, if you can, move your desktop to a place that has plenty of sunlight. Find spaces in your home where you can move around during the day, even if it just means taking a call from your phone somewhere other than at your desk.
Simple mobility exercises and stretching have a big impact on your body's well-being. This is not about whether you're into exercise or not. It's simply a matter of extending your body's movement register to its natural limits every now and again, to avoid stiffening up over time
5. Fresh air
Try to get out at least once, or ideally twice a day, for a walk, run or cycle.
And above all think positive and be kind to yourself!