Into my fourth week of working from home and so far it’s going OK. The office setup has changed over time and I think I’ve got it sussed now for optimum comfort. However that’s just the workstation area. Behind me the rest of the room is like a bombsite. But hey if I can’t see it it doesn’t exist. One downside of working from home is that my previous chill out and relax area, where I play games, edit photos and blog, is now a work area. This was difficult to reconcile at first but again I think I’ve got it sussed. So here’s my tips.
- Work software should not be opening by default on startup or running permanently in the background. This includes your phone! Playing Fortnite and having a Teams message or an email ping you takes away from the point of downtime. As I said nothing opening on startup so once your “shift” has finished switch off or reset your PC and start clean for the “after work” period.
- Once your “shift” has finished clear away all work paraphernalia. Notebooks, pens etc. If you don’t use a pen normally in your downtime put it out of sight. You drink tea or coffee during work hours but soft (or hard) drinks in your downtime lose the cups/mugs.
- Dress for work. Silly? Not really. I don’t necessarily mean the 3 piece suit and tie but when you’re working don’t sit about in your jammies, dressing gown or even less. Take each day as a “dress down Friday” if you have to. Pretend your work colleagues can see you.
- Take your lunch breaks. Take your fag breaks or allowed rest breaks. Even working from home, breaks are needed. If you normally chat with Mike at the water cooler at 10:30 call him up on Teams. Text him. Or use whatever method of communication you still have to keep that connection. Talk about “Tiger King” or whatever new mini-series everyone but me is watching.
- At the end of the day switch off mentally. Eat your evening meal, watch rubbish TV (“Richard Osman’s House of Games” is brilliant), wind down, speak to your loved ones, your housemates, your husband or wife.
But above all work smart and work safe.