Working hard or hardly working? It seems Brits working from home courtesy of yet another lockdown fall on either side of this divide.
Some UK workers find their home offices perfect for their needs and manage to keep up a solid workflow easily. Others are less enamoured with the most recent stay at home orders and find staying productive a challenge.
Little wonder considering the myriad distractions in our houses, not to mention the small children who make staying on target difficult, to say the least.
If you’re in the latter group and find working from home troublesome, the following easy and actionable tips will help keep your ducks in order, your data safe, and your deadlines on time.
Top 5 Working From Home Tips
1. Stay Secure
Companies around the world and from varied industries are having to contend with a dispersed workforce. Where once offices and devices were centralised, now staff and company systems have to cope with a decentralised working model.
In this climate, businesses are easy targets when it comes to cybercrime. Indeed, pandemic-inspired cyber attacks are a growing trend that we’ve covered before. Part of the onus for staying secure is on staff, if your company hasn’t provided you with proper security tools to do your job securely while working remote, you should consider investing in the basics, such as a decent VPN.
What VPNs do is generate private browsing networks through a process called tunnelling, and while this happens, all data transmissions are encrypted, making it nigh on impossible for threat actors to spy on your activity.
2. Organise Your Tasks
If scattered memos, to-do lists, and way too many starred emails are your issue, using a tool to keep all your tasks in one place is an excellent way to boost your productivity, and make working that little less tedious.
Platforms such as Trello are free to use and allow you to create boards and cards in those boards. Make cards as due, complete, assigned, or whatever takes your fancy and add all the critical info to each card so you don’t need to keep looking back at old emails.
The best bit? Trello is collaborative so you can work in tandem with teammates.
3. Track Your Time
Getting distracted by the dog, the full washing machine, or a sink full of dishes makes it much harder to focus and knuckle down. It’s understandable that other jobs will grab your attention and draw you away from your work, but active procrastination doesn’t pay the bills, unfortunately.
Tracking your time is an excellent way to help you stay on track. Use a free tool such as Clockify and set small targets from yourself. For example, work for an hour solid and then spend ten minutes attending to the dog or halfheartedly folding laundry.
If an hour feels impossible, try a different route. Some people swear by the Pomodoro technique, work in 25-minute intervals then take a short break and start again.
4. Co-Work With Your Housemates
Whether you live with your partner or your flatmates, you can set up a cosy and collaborative co-working environment at home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a small dedicated area for work will suffice. Research shows that many people are more productive when surrounded by other people who are working, so grab your housemates and make working from home a team effort.
Of course, this is less doable if you live with your children and partner. In this case, co-working may have to be closer to co-parenting. Take it in turns watching the kids while the other person works. Try and make it a firm rule that you don’t interrupt each other.
5. Get Dressed
It may sound like a very small matter, but getting dressed in day clothes instead of staying in your pyjamas all day can make a huge difference to your mindset.
There’s no need to dress as if you’re actually heading to the office, so you can leave your suit hanging in the wardrobe. But putting on clothes you don’t mind being seen in can get you prepped and ready to start your day.
While you’re at it, make your bed. Plenty of people swear by this small task as an easy way to boost their overall daily activity and productivity.
We hope these five tips will help you shoulder the lockdown and home office and keep you on track, secure, and employed.
How to work from home effectively