Many of us are following work from home guidance right now and, even for those used to working remotely, day after day of solitary confinement can get to the best of us. Here are my top 5 tips for making the best of it:
1. Schedule time to video chat with your colleagues
These days, video-conferencing is readily available to most of us so why not take the opportunity to get more comfortable with it? Set up a short meeting with a few team members and use it to share ideas and see how everyone is doing, in the same way you would take a few minutes out of your day in the office.
2. Structure your day
Ok, this is the boring one. We all know from school that we study better when we have revision plans in place otherwise we lose chunks of the day to procrastination. Even a simple structure can help keep you focused e.g. 9-10am: Catch up on e-mails, 10-11am: Work on a deliverable, 11-11:30am: Coffee break.
3.Mix up your working environment and get outside
Sometimes a change of scenery can make the world of good. If you have different areas in your home, try shifting location to start a new task. If you have a local coffee spot, maybe spend an hour working there in the morning (I know, I know, this isn’t strictly speaking “working from home”). If you have a call to listen into, why not combine it with a walk outside?
4. Be realistic about your productivity…
…and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t quite reach “office-level” efficiency. Most of us struggle to get as much done from home as we do at work. Take each day at a time, set yourself reasonable goals and accept that you might not be the productivity machine you can be at the office.
5. Be nice to people
Many of us are in the same boat right now and it is easier to get frustrated over an e-mail or the phone than it is if you are talking to someone in person. Be patient with people and remember that your colleagues may also be suffering from a touch of cabin fever. Kindness is the most infectious virus of all.
Stay sane, folks, and keep your eye on the Swingline…