During the recently concluded #LadyShayoLive sessions on Instagram, for the 5 days I discussed various topics, so for the benefit of those that missed the discussions, I will be posting some write-ups that highlight the key points.
Today I will discuss some helpful tips on working from home - whether it is because of the Corona Virus, or any other reason, the way we approach our work at home matters. So here are some helpful tips.
Tip 1 - Have the right mentality
The first thing you need to do is have the right attitude and mentality. It is work, in the real sense of the word so you need to mentality approach it as such. It is not a holiday so you actually need to get stuff done, having the right mental perspective helps your productivity.
Tip 2 - Create a regular work hour structure or routine
Work is work, so set the targets and deadlines of what you want to achieve within a specified timeline. Have a resumption and a closing time. Make out time for lunch and coffee breaks. You should also take out regular short breaks to stretch your legs, sitting in one place straight for 8 hours is bad for your health. Separate work time from playtime, but allocate time for both. After all, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.
Tip 3 - Create a dedicated space to work
This could be your bedroom, a corner in your living room, your garage or any other room or space where you can concentrate and get work done. This is especially important where you have small children or other distractions at home. You don't want to be on a video conference call and one of the little ones interrupts. It also helps you focus better if distractions are reduced to the barest minimum.
Tip 4 - Dress decently!
Okay, so we have all seen the video where someone forgot to wear his pants and also forgot to turn off his video on a conference call! Well to avoid such a disaster, always dress decently when working from home. You don't have to dress up, but just make sure there is nothing we don't want to see is showing!
Tip 5 - Set Ground Rules with your family or people living with you
It may just happen that you are the only person at home working, which means everyone around you may be relaxing or be at play. You have to get them to come to an understanding that you are working and so you need your space, privacy and quiet. Give them times they can disturb you and times they cannot unless its an emergency (and remember to define what an emergency is!).
Tip 6 - Organise your workflow, set to-dos and reminders
Just like you would do at work, execute your tasks using your calendar and to-do list. `this helps you keep track of what you need to achieve within a specified time frame. It also helps you keep focused, so if you are not in the habit of using a calendar and a to-do list, this is a great time to start.
Tip 7 - Practice using online apps and platforms before a meeting
For quite a lot of people, the whole experience of online meetings was new pre-COVID, but I am sure by now many of us have already gotten the hang of it. So if you find yourself being asked to use an app or platform for the first time, the best way is to download it and practice using it BEFORE the meeting, so you can get the hang of it. Hold a mini pre-meeting with a friend and explore all the functions and capabilities, that way you will be able to fully participate in the meeting and not fumble trying to raise your hand or put a comment in the chatbox!
Tip 8 - Take care of your back - use a supportive desk/table and chair
Just because you are not in the physical office does not mean you should slouch on your bed. this could be very unhealthy and could hurt your back. Try and use a regular desk or table and chair, keep your back straight and make sure you have space to stretch your legs. Remember to take short breaks frequently to walk around to allow your blood circulate..
Tip 9 - Maximise your productivity - use tech!
The saying goes that if you can think it - there is probably an app for it! And I have found this to be very helpful and often true. Whatever you are trying to do or achieve, there could be a better, more effective and faster way of doing it with the help of an app, so be adventurous and explore all the apps stores, google play, apple and any other ones, and see if there is an app that can help you increase your productivity.
Eg I am using "Grammarly", to help correct my grammar on everything I write, "Evernote" to store notes, on and offline, "Bitly" to shorten links and "Break Time" that blocks my screen at set intervals to make me take breaks.
Tip 10 - Appreciate and take advantage of working from home
Enjoy your work time at home, there are benefits such as extra time, maximum comfort, increased family and fun time and good food! But don't overeat, enjoy yourself, make the most of it.
Written by Lady Shayo Imologome
Business Growth Strategist, Management Consultant, and Keynote Speaker