Working from home can be quite challenging if you've never done it before. If you're used to going to an office everyday and having the clear separation of work from home, then there will be some adjustments to make. Our CEO and Founder, Ludwina Dautovic, has been working from home for 25 years. In this article she shares some of her insights around what helps her manage the day-to-day running of The Room Xchange and how she manages her team, who all work remotely as well.
The main thing to remember about working from home is that you now have flexibility. That can be a blessing or a curse depending on how disciplined you are at completing your work. You also have the luxury to choose your own hours. Again, watch the freedom as if you're not focused, you can find yourself distracted. Use the freedom and flexibility to better manage your home life as there are tasks you can do in between that will give you back your evenings. Having said that, if you don't have structure, your work won't get completed.
Right now as we practice social distancing, your mental health and overall wellbeing needs to be front and centre. As we are now restricted to socialising only with the people in your home, (unless you're self isolating) you need to put good structure around you that will give you support and keep your health in check. At the same time, if you live on your own, you need to make sure you feel well connected so loneliness doesn't set in.
Here are my 10 'Work from Home Tips' that can help you work successfully from home while social distancing restrictions are in place.
- Make sure you set time aside during the day for yourself
Block out time that is just for you. Working from home can sometimes make it difficult to prioritise yourself.
Physically block out time on your calendar and colour code it so you know it's your time.
It helps you see at a glance that you have carved out time for yourself.
- Exercise on a daily basis
Go for a walk when you're on the phone or set up a workout you can do from home.
Stretching is beneficial to do throughout the day too. You can set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get some exercise in.
- Eat well and stay hydrated
Prepare food in the morning. Have something healthy on your desk such as carrot sticks or nuts that you can nibble on during the day along. Make sure you have continual flow of water as well.
- Stay off social media unless you’re working on your social media marketing
This one is a time sucker! Turn it off!!! Only have it on when you need to work on your social media.
Every time a ping fires off or you check your feed, it will take you about ten minutes to get the focus back to where you were before.
This is one of those times when freedom needs to be harnessed!
- Be well organised
There are plenty of great project management systems and digital to-do lists available.
Every morning, plan your day and have a clear set of outcomes to achieve.
- Book in phone calls, video calls or even a regular group video meet
If the isolation is getting too much, make sure you arrange video or phone calls during your day.
We have access to technology so use it.
Reach out to some new contacts on Linkedin and book in calls with them.
Use the available time that we all have to form good business relationships.
- Let other people in your house know when you're working and when you're not
Teach your partner and your children that working from home doesn't mean that you're available when they want you.
If you have older children, they can email you their requests and you can book in a meeting time with them!
- Think about dinner in the afternoon and get something started
Start preparing dinner around 4pm.
You can work in the kitchen and keep an eye on it at the same time.
It's a huge time saver and will ensure that you eat at a decent hour.
- Shut off when you’ve finished for the day
Have a set time in the evening when you stop.
Or, if you prefer to start later in the day you can work at night to make up for it. Flexibility and discipline is the balance here.
- Create a separate space that is for work and another for living (if you can)
This is so important. If you have the privilege of space, create somewhere where you can work.
We have a tough time ahead and we're all in this together. Working from home can be a great experience; it just needs some careful planning, discipline and structure.
We hope our work from home tips are helpful. Remember to regularly use hand sanitiser and keep your work space safe.
We'd love to hear some of your work from home tips and how you're making the adjustment. If you want further information you can check out the 'Working From Home Checklist' by ComCare.
Article by Ludwina Dautovic, CEO and Founder, The Room Xchange
Footnote: This article is about the experience of one person. You should take all care in wherever you're working and take good care of yourself