The Government have told us all to work from home as one of many measures to fight The Corona Virus. With this in mind, how do you create the right office environment at home? Here are my tips.
1. CHOOSE A LOCATION THAT IS NOT A COMMUNAL AREA/HOME SPACE.
This will lead to you separating out your work and home space.
2. CREATE A SCHEDULE.
Through listing everything that needs to be done in a specific time period, you will get everything completed. It does not have to be in an eight hour window. For instance, listing what needs to be completed in 60 minutes will increase output. Then simply repeat.
3. RELAX AND COMMUNICATE IT!
Working from home does mean things are going to be different. And, you have to accept that this comes with a more easy-going environment. Don’t worry, I don’t mean doing a conference call in your PJs! But if you do an online meeting, you should not feel it should have the perfection of the office. Therefore, if you are juggling child-care tell the other person on the call from the outset this so if you are unexpectedly called away it’s understandable.
4. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.
I know, you don’t want to think about it, but desperate times mean desperate measures. So, if you are managing a team from home, be organised and make it a priorty that not everyone should be working at the same time. Create a spreadsheet where everyone knows when they are working and for how long; have back-ups to take over if people are sick. This model would mean a 7 day plan over 5 days. At the end of a shift employees should be encouraged to send an email to other team members to clarify ongoing issues as extrordinary times mean clearer procedures.
5. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS.
I am a victim of this one, particularly when I am updating my websites. I can start work on it and then find it is hours later. Therefore, use the following rule: for every focussed hour of work take a ten minute break. And, as this is the most unusual situation we may experience, remind yourself of this. For instance,play with your children, see your family, partner or friends.
6. GET STARTED EARLIER.
You may process your thoughts on the way to work but with your home your office you need to get started straight away. Save time by starting it as you wake. This will make a project commence even before kettle boils! It will also mean you have a clear objective which means breakfast can be swiftly done and on with your morning work.
7. FOLLOW YOUR NORMAL WORK ROUTINE
Do everything the same as you would normally do getting ready for work, as it will make you more productive.
8. CREATE A PROJECT PLAN.
You will not have other team members with you all the time, so this will guide your proposals. Each day should have an objective; do not see not meeting the day’s objective as a negative. You will have ticked-off items and guide your further plans, so it is a learning process (type it so you can update this).
9. IDENTIFY PRODUCTIVE PATTERNS.
You are not going to have fantastic output all day, so observe when your energy peaks and dips. This will show you where you need to boost energy and what you can do to help you do this. Establishing patterns will show you when certain objectives should be carried out.
Encourage instant messaging and video conferencing to enable staff to keep in touch and make members feel valued. It can help with group meetings too.
I offer face-time, skype or telephone consultations. The first 45 minute consultation is free. If I can help further, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07544 899681.