26 Mar How to be productive whilst working from home
Everybody’s working life has been turned upside down over the last few weeks and it looks set to be this way for the foreseeable future too. Those who seem to coping better are those that have had a greater degree of home working in their roles prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular working parents who had already arranged a working schedule that included having kids at home for part of the week will no doubt have stood them in good stead for these unusual times. For others there may be a sense of panic and anxiety.
For some considerable time at Lewis Davey, we have been an advocate of flexible working. In fact 80% of contracts for our placed permanent candidates during the first few months of 2020 have included a significant working from home/flexible working component.
This is an opportunity for many people to devise new ways to be productive outside of the office environment. Maybe this will be a more common part of your work beyond this period. Now yes, those with children face even bigger challenges but all of us can put together practical solutions to allow us to get the best out of our working from home days.
Here are a few tips that I feel will help you still to be productive (and in many cases be more productive) whilst working from home.
- Get up early – prepare yourself for a successful day. Be positive. Don’t dwell on things too much.
- Make a daily plan – Use that time that you would usually be travelling into work preparing a plan for your day. Allocate tasks depending upon their importance, urgency and intensity. You can find times through the day to do specific tasks which will allow you be in the right mental place to do them and will ensure you do them well. Set goals for where you want to be by the end of the day.
- Recognise that you may likely need to work longer hours to get all of your tasks done. You may though work less intensively. For example you should allow yourself more regular breaks – sometimes even a few hours – to ensure that the other things in your life get the right amount of attention too. Maybe write that report once the kids are asleep. Maybe make that phone call whilst they are settled doing some school work for example..
- Delegate tasks where you cannot do them.
- Keep in touch with your team. They are trying to adjust to new ways of working too. Try to not just email everything but do pick up the phone. Things can be lost over email and also a familiar voice is reassuring.
- Review your progress against your goals on a daily basis and reset the goals for the next day.
- Given the current situation, try to condense your work into 4 days so that you have a full free day during the week (maybe a Wednesday?) to make sure other parts of your life are prioritised.
- Make sure you ask for help if you are struggling. Not everyone adjusts well straight away to this way of remote working. Likewise do share your positives with others to help them get the best out of their remote working experience.
At the end of all of this you may find that you want to have a greater degree of home working in your life moving forward. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to your employer that you can manage these things well.