For many of us, COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we live, work and connect with each other. With many workplaces directing their staff to work from home, it’s more important than ever before we remain productive, focused and connected.
While working from home is becoming the new norm, maintaining motivation can be challenging and it’s vital that we have a routine in place to ensure we get the most out of our day.
When it comes to remote working, there are a number of strategies we can put in place to effectively transition to this new way of doing business.
- Set boundaries with your partner, family members or roommates – do you need to put a sign in place that says ‘do not disturb’? It may sound drastic, but we all need our privacy especially when taking work phone calls or videoconferencing. It can be unprofessional (and even embarrassing) if you’ve got a family member yelling in the background.
- Schedule frequent breaks – do you feel guilty if you take a quick break when working from home because your boss may not be able to contact you? When it comes to remote working, you need to take more regular breaks. Whether it be a quick stretch, a coffee run, or a walk around the block – we need to get up and move around. You could even set an alarm each hour on your phone as a reminder.
- Designated work space – you need to have a dedicated workspace that sets you up for success, whether it’s a home office, kitchen benchtop, or a spot at the end of the dining table. Ensure you have adequate lighting, a comfortable chair and that your work station is ergonomically friendly.
- Establish a morning routine – whether it be an hour of exercise, a trip to your local coffee shop for some liquid gold, you need to do whatever works for you that will kickstart your day. At a recent BJCC virtual event, Matt Boyce from the Human Connection Project stressed the importance of making your bed first thing in the morning to start your day off right. Have a think about your morning routine and what will mentally prepare you to start your working day.
- Set team protocols – how do you want to communicate with your boss and colleagues throughout the day? Do you need to schedule in a daily huddle to confirm your priorities for the day? Do you need to use a platform like Microsoft Teams where you can log in first thing in the morning and make your team aware that you’re online and available? Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and you need to have an open conversation with your colleagues around team protocols and how you’ll communicate with each other. Remember, communication is key!
- Eat your frog – have you ever heard of that saying ‘eat your frog’ first thing in the morning? Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important or difficult task, and probably something you keep putting off. Whether you’re working from home or in the office, start your day off right by accomplishing this task and with the satisfaction of knowing that it’ll be the worst thing that is going to happen to you.
- Maintain work-life balance – have you noticed over the past few weeks that you’re working more hours than when you were in the office? Look after your health and wellbeing, and maintain a routine where you start and finish at similar times each day. Without the commute to and from work, most of us are working more hours than ever before and having little disconnect from work. Use this extra time you have in your day to exercise, learn a new skill or read a book.
What’s been working for you in your transition to working remotely?
Written by (Proud BJCC Committee Member):