The Coronavirus pandemic has introduced many of us to the idea of working from home for the first time. Lots of people have been working from home for years now, but with so many other people also at home at the moment in what’s already an unsettling time, there has been a huge impact on productivity. We will explore some simple steps you can take to improve your efficiency at home.
1. Create a good working environment
Creating yourself a healthy working environment is instrumental to maintaining productivity. It’s no good sitting down in your living room with a laptop, surrounded by your family and pets, with the TV on in the background. While it sounds idyllic, it is not an environment conducive to work.
Minimising distractions during work hours is a must. If possible, set up a workspace in a quiet corner or separate room where you can work undisturbed. Of course, being at home, there will always be some disruption to your environment, but reducing this as much as possible will put you in the best position to get your work done.
2. Keep a working routine
Getting out of bed in the morning can be hard. Getting out of bed in the morning when you don’t have a commute can be even harder. We’re sure you’re enjoying the extra time you get in bed every morning, but take it from us“ if you’re not a morning person, don’t let your wake-up time slide. Get yourself up and out of bed at the same time every day, as if you were going to the office. Use the extra time you have to wake yourself up properly, organise your working space and get ready for work. Enjoy it! Ordinarily you’d be stuck in traffic or stuffing yourself into a crowded train at this time of the morning. Instead, why not have a coffee and make a relaxed breakfast with your extra time. You’ll start work at the same time, but we promise you’ll feel more rested and ready for the day than if you had to commute.
3. Take regular breaks
We don’t need to tell you that taking regular short breaks from your work improves productivity. You don’t spend every minute of your day in the office sat at your desk, so why should you force yourself to do so at home? Take 10 minutes away from your screen every hour or so“ it helps you stay focused and will keep you much fresher throughout the day.
4. Stay connected whilst isolated
Keep in touch with your work friends! Keep up informal conversations with your colleagues, as you would in the office. A virtual coffee break is a great way to touch base throughout the workday“ gather round the proverbial water cooler for a quick chat, or have a video call over lunch. Unified Communications technology is giving staff many new ways to keep in touch with each other and it doesn’t all have to be about work. Remember, you’re all in this together, so keeping up friendships with your colleagues will help everyone maintain their productivity.
5. Make use of technology
Video conferencing is the next best thing to being in the same room as your colleagues. Join a video call at the start of each working day to discuss plans for the day; it’s perfect for switching yourself from˜home’ to˜work’ mode, and helps maintain social conversations, improving morale across the board.
Other technologies provided by Unified Communications systems are indispensable in remote workplaces; share your screen with colleagues for input on a project, for example, or start group instant message chats for projects. The presence and status features of Berry’s Unified Communications platform can really transform your working day“ set your status with one click to let all your colleagues know at a glance if you’re available.
6. Get some fresh air!
Granted, this one isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be right now. However, we guarantee that keeping yourself cooped up inside 24 hours a day will drive you mad in short order. Even if it’s just a walk around your garden if you have one, or a five minute stroll up the road, fresh air and a change of scenery will refocus your mind and help increase your productivity. If you’re like us, you’ll occasionally find it hard to switch off at the end of the day. Without having the commute home to decompress, it’s easy for work pressures to start to get to you. We’ve found that a short walk at the end of the working day helps us switch back from˜work’ to˜home’ mode again.
7. Time management is key
OK so this one isn’t just home specific but an all-round productivity corner-stone: make a to-do list! To-do lists help you stay focused and on-track, while giving an easy way to see the progress you’re making. Setting achievable goals will break up any monotony in your day. If you often get the sense of time accelerating throughout the day, lists give a quantifiable sense of accomplishment.
In the right environment, you could find yourself getting more done at home than you ever did in the office“ managing your time is the key. Plan a to-do list the night before to give yourself a better idea of your tasks for the next day, letting you hit the ground running.
Within a short space of time, working from home for many businesses has progressed from a luxury staff perk to a fundamental business necessity. Businesses have been forced to react quickly with home working policies and new technologies being embraced. Getting used to your new normal can be very difficult, which is why Berry are helping businesses around the UK transition smoothly from office-based to remote work. If you would like to discuss how Berry’s Unified Communications systems can help your business, contact our friendly team to book a consultation.