Due to the impact of COVID-19, more employers are encouraging their employees to work from home. Business closures are happening Australia-wide, with more on the horizon. This is why the National Retail Association have put a quick guide with some of the best ways to boost your productivity while working remotely.
Some people fantasise about doing work from home in your pyjamas, but in reality, it’s not the best for your productivity. You’re still working, so it’s best to dress as such. This helps to structure your “work” time and your “home” time.
One benefit of working from home is that you do not need a full suit get-up, unless that’s your style. Smart-casual is fine, whatever is comfortable and makes you feel good. Just make sure that you get up, shower and get ready for the day as you normally would.
Have a dedicated work space
This means stay away from the bed! High traffic or leisure areas like the lounge room and the bedroom are not ideal places to set up shop, so find a space where you can close the door and make your “office” temporarily. The dream home office has a huge desk, lots of natural light and a city view!
If there are others in the house with you, make sure you communicate some boundaries. For example, when the door is closed, do not disturb.
Have your technology ready
This ties in with the above point. As mentioned in our Q&A Guide for Employers, the employer should assist efforts to work remotely with adequate technology to do so. Have the laptop, mouse, printer and charger ready to go. If you do not have adequate equipment, like a laptop, arrange for loaners to be on hand. And ensure you take this equipment home with you daily in the event the ever-evolving situation changes overnight.
Web conferencing software Zoom or GoTo Webinar are mainstays in many corporate offices. Should you need to have a meeting, simply set up the event in calendar and invite the relevant attendees. The upside of using these is that you will have face-to-face time with your colleagues and avoid that feeling of isolation.
Communication is key
We cannot stress this enough. Keep lines open and organize your staff so they are checking mail, notifications and diary times for conference calls regularly. It should all be business as usual. When setting up conferences, make sure there is a clear agenda so people are not talking over each other. This will help manage your expectations of your employees and avoid assumptions and ambiguity.
Get up and move
Take breaks from work, the same way you would in the office. Take breaks and move so that you don’t get restless, even if it’s to the kitchen and back for a coffee and a snack. This will break up the monotony of your day. Don’t forget the 50/10 rule for perfect productivity – 50 minutes of straight work, followed by 10 minutes of mental rest and physical activity. This is a good method to carry through while in office and working remotely.
These are unprecedented times; the situation with coronavirus is changing everyday and at we have no idea what will happen next. When working from home, act as if it’s business as usual; just in a more casual outfit.
Get more information about coronavirus here; includes a downloadable employer information pack