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How to work effectively from home

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Updated March 17, 2020

Some businesses within the UK and other parts of Europe are now asking their employees to work from home to an unprecedented extent. Just how does one work effectively from home you might wonder? Here's a list of our 10 top pieces of advice to do just that!

At the moment of writing this, there hasn't been any official mandate by local health authorities in the UK to avoid public spaces in the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus (be sure to routinely check the NHS website for updates). As a precautionary measure, more and more businesses are going a step further to protect their employees by asking them to work from home during this lessen the likelihood of transmitting the virus in the workplace.

Even if working from home isn't an entirely new idea, it's still quite a new proposition for many. The home environment might not be something one associates with work and it can take some getting used to initially. However, with the right preparations and mindset, working from home can be an absolute breeze.

Preparations

To start with, you need to ensure you have all the equipment you need to work from home. Many nowadays use laptops, so of course taking that home with you is vital (sometimes you can even use your personal computer to do this, depending on your employer's attitude towards this). It's therefore also important to make sure you take home things like chargers, computer mouses etc.

Also make sure that you keep communication up and open. Assumedly you already use some form of communication network at work like Skype, Slack or something else, but in the event you don't use these tools, agreeing with your colleagues on a channel of communication to be used for work-related matters is key. Sometimes you might need to access specific internal platforms or systems that require a VPN to access. It's therefore important to make sure you know how to do this in the event you need those platforms for your daily work.

10 tips for working effectively from home.

1. Identify the tasks that you need to get done

Make a list at the end of every workday of a few tasks that should get done tomorrow. This should be a shortlist of 1 to 3 things. Get it done as soon as you start your workday. Everything else that you get done is a bonus.

2. Get into the work mindset

Get ready for work, as usual, every morning. Have breakfast and get dressed. Your pyjamas and bathrobe are the biggest threats to your productivity and creativity.

3. Identify your distractions and eliminate them

Distractions are one click away on a computer and a phone and they are consuming your productivity, for example, Instagram, games, Youtube, news sites, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter or Discord chats. Accept that you will need to erase some apps and block some sites. Do it now before they have the opportunity to impede your focus and productivity.

4. Get your own space

You need a dedicated area to work; preferably not your bedroom or living room. If you live in a small apartment a clean and empty kitchen table is a good alternative. If other family members are home you need to stay away from them.

5. Do not accept visitors from friends and family

During work hours your home should be considered a no-go-zone for friends and family. You might need to be very frank with them to accept that so that you don't have any unnecessary distractions

6. Get online and be available to your colleagues

Turn on your work communication platform, check your email every hour. Turn on the sound on your phone (but mute all distracting notifications).

7. Take a walk

It's very easy to get completely absorbed in your work when working from home. Make sure to cut out some time and walk for 30 minutes every day to add som exercise to your routine and keep your mind fresh.

8. Plan lunch ahead

Do not let lunch surprise you every day. Make sure you have food at home, preferably leftovers from the day before or something you can fix up very quickly without much time or effort.

9. Postpone household work

Laundry, dishes, vacuum cleaning, etc should be done after work hours. You might need to be very frank with your partner for them to accept that.

10. Celebrate on Friday afternoons

On Friday afternoons you are allowed to reward yourself. Eat cookies, drink Coca Cola, make popcorn, listen to loud music.

More tips and advice on how to protect yourself from illness

In order to make it easier for you to find great content on the theme of protection from illnesses, we've created a collection page for all of the related stories and content we've made on this topic. The page is updated on an on-going basis and here we'll gather guides and tips we hope will be of use and helpful to you in these flu-ridden times.

Read more guides and tips

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