7 Tips For Working From Home
We have been working from home for a couple of weeks, yet I still see people who are trying to figure out how to do it well. (Myself included!) However, as we look at global events and the forecast of how long this current state will last, I think we need to make sure we have seriously set ourselves up for success in the medium term. So here are “7 Tips for Working from Home” that I shared with my team this morning during our daily huddle.
- Get Dressed – We are living at home, working from home, and spending our weekends at home. We are literally at home all the time. The biggest problem with working from home is dealing with our mindset. Home has been where we have “down time”. Now we need a switch to turn off down time, and turn on “Work time.” One switch I have found helpful is simply getting dressed – this tells me I’m not here for a long weekend, I’m here for business.
- Office Set Up – For the first week of “iso” I was working in my bedroom. It was quiet, I had a desk set up in the corner, and it was in the light. But I had a problem that I was in the same room for the majority of my life! It felt like a prison cell! Clearly not a good idea.
I think you need three things in where you set up. 1) A place to call work – this place should be where you can set up and leave it. It will make it feel like you’re going to work each day which is essential for mindset. 2) Natural Light – We need light and life! Don’t sit in the dark all day, it won’t be good for your mental health. And 3) the atmosphere has to be conducive to your role. I do meetings, so I’m not sitting in the kitchen with a massive echo. Rather I have a quiet room that is now designated as my office. What suits your role?
- Define Objectives – At the beginning of each day set out what you plan to achieve in that day. Then take it a step further and diarise it – that is put a time frame on it. For example, I’m going to be calling staff between 10am-11am today. I put that in my calendar. At the end of the day I review. How did I go today? Did I accomplish what I said I would?
- Schedule Fresh Air – Normally we get to walk around, even if it is just from the car to the office building. Since we’re not going anywhere (at all!) it is super important to book some time in your calendar for a walk. Schedule it in and treat it like any other appointment.
- Call List – Who are you going to contact today? Decide at the beginning of the day then schedule these into your diary. The list should be made up of essential calls for your work/role. But then add in calls with no agenda. Perhaps its a Zoom call with a colleague while you eat lunch. Since we’re not in the same room it’s hard to connect about the weekend, the kids, the latest episode we just watched. But all these things help build friendships and trust which are the foundations of team work and performance. So keep a healthy team culture, and make some calls with no agenda. It will be great for yours and your colleagues mental health too.
- Include Family – If you are working from home and you have kids at home find ways to include them into your day. You are not working at the office so don’t try to recreate that aspect of it. Instead include them once or twice into your day. Maybe you get them to wave to a colleague they know at the start of your Zoom call. They may even have kids that can wave back as well. Or put 20 minutes in your calendar for a jump on the trampoline, or have a lunch date with your spouse at the dinner table. Whatever it is, just be sure to include them in your new way of work.
- Reach Out – These are different times and there is a lot of fear and anxiety at the moment. Let’s not pretend everything is ok. Times have changed, and you have permission to grieve that. But if you don’t deal with it you will get left behind. So reach out to friends, colleagues and your manager. Let’s get real and honest and help one another come to terms with the new world we are living in.
This morning my devotion (see happysavedfree on instagram) was about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem because they had rejected the peace He was offering. Today He offers the same peace to you and I – the question is how will we respond? I pray that we would all take a moment to stop, and accept the peace He has for us.
Those are my “7 Tips For Working From Home.” What have I missed? I’m sure you have a bunch of great things we could add to the list too. I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave a message and let’s make the most of the opportunities this season is giving us. Also, stay tuned for “Working from Home Tips – Leaders Edition” that I will post in the next couple of days.