Working From Home 101 – Tips from our Team of Remote Workers
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, millions of people across the globe have been forced into a remote work setting, to help flatten the curve and slow the spread. While this is unknown territory for many, it’s realistic to assume that for now, working from home will become the new normal – at least for the next few months. And, for those working from home for the very first time, it means learning how to stay on task in a new (and often very distracting) environment.
At PMW, we are no strangers to working from home! We operate as a solely online psychology service – and we always have, so believe us when we say that we’ve learnt a thing or two about WFH along the way. Our experienced team of psychologists and psychiatrists live in a number of different states, countries and time zones – we’ve made it work, and you can too!
That’s why we decided to create this post and write down a few favourite tips to help you stay productive and focused all day, including a few tips that help our team members personally.
Our top four tips to help you stay productive while working from home
Working from home does take some adjustment, but here are some habits, from our own experience, that we highly recommend implementing:
Tip # 1 – Keep your routine
Try and keep to your usual routine. Start your work at the time you would usually begin, whether that’s 8 am or 9 am, take a break when you normally would and clock-off at your regular time.
Keeping your routine also means taking a shower or bath and getting dressed every morning. Treat it as a real job. Just because you can lounge around all day in your PJ’s, doesn’t mean that you should!
Our PMW director Samantha says that “getting dressed for work each day and having set start and finish times” are an essential part of her working day that really helps her to stay focused and productive – no matter how busy things may get.
Tip # 2 – Have a dedicated workspace
If you don’t have the room for a home office, do what you can to create an ad hoc space solely for work. Instead of lying in bed with your laptop, try something as simple as moving a bedside cabinet (or another table) into a quiet corner away from distractions. And, for your postures sake, be sure to sit in an upright chair – just as you would at your office desk.
A dedicated workspace also serves as a signal to those in your household that you’re ‘at work’ and helps to create healthy boundaries so that you can switch off after hours.
Tip # 3 – Stay organised
Working from home certainly involves motivation and self-disciple. Kimberly, our practice manager at PMW, recommends starting each day by writing yourself a list of tasks. “I have found it helpful to sign up to free productivity platforms such as Monday or Asana. These allow you to set tasks and projects for your working week and can really help you stay accountable and on track”.
Working remotely requires a schedule, just as your typical job does – the only difference is that suddenly, you are the only one holding yourself accountable. Once you’ve established a set schedule, why not share it with your co-workers? A transparent to-do list will give you an extra boost to work through it. Share it with your family too, so they understand your work boundaries and know that even though you’re around, you’re not free all the time.
Tip # 4 – Stay connected
The sudden and abrupt transition from your workplace to home environment may leave you struggling to become accustomed to your new situation. That’s why it’s extremely important to stay connected to your co-workers and managers. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype allow for face-to-face interactions with your colleagues and will help you and your fellow workmates to stay motivated. Aside from co-workers, make time to connect with those you love too, such as family and friends. Why not use your lunch break for a quick catch up?
If you’re a manager, it’s essential to schedule a regular check-in with your team – especially for those who live alone and may feel even more isolated. It’s also important that you try to keep up staff morale. Given the circumstances, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious right now. To help your staff work through these feelings, why not consider putting an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) into place? You can learn more about that by clicking here.
While working from home has many benefits – the main one being to flatten the curve – it also comes with added responsibility and takes a little more self-discipline and motivation. If you’re struggling with stress management or feelings of anxiety due to changes at work, or around the world in general, PMW is here to help. Why not book an initial 20-minute appointment to find out how we can help, support and guide you through this uncertain time?Click here to book your initial appointment