Advice For Efficient Working From Home
Despite the UK government announcing that some professions can get back to work in May, the advice still remains that anyone who can work from home should continue to do so. For many people, working from home has presented a challenge, as well as an opportunity to assess the likes of work-life balance.
With no definitive end in sight to the lockdown conditions in the UK, businesses may want to consider how they can support their employees to be as productive as possible while they’re working from home.
Time management is one of the keys to efficient working from home and to making sure that work doesn’t encroach too much on your personal life too.
It may, therefore, be a good idea to offer training that covers an introduction to time management. It’s dangerous to assume that everyone knows the basics and even for those that do, a training course can be a useful reminder.
An article for Fast Company recently offered some advice on how to avoid the distractions that can come from working from home.
The first place to start is by making sure that you effectively prioritise the tasks you need to do, both at work and at home. Multitasking might sound like a great idea, but in reality it will pull your focus away from the jobs you need to concentrate on.
Instead, start each day by determining what your most important tasks are and make sure that you cross those off your list before getting on with any other jobs.
Scheduling is a useful tool to help you stay focused, the news provider explained. By breaking your day down into chunks of time, you can allocate each to a specific task and this will help you to concentrate and stay motivated to complete it.
It also stressed the importance of allowing yourself time for social interactions. In the office you might have had these in the communal kitchen while making a cup of tea or coffee, so don’t forget to check in with your colleagues and have personal chats during the day.
Setting boundaries between your home and personal life is particularly important when you don’t have the physical distinction of going to a workplace each day. Make sure you have a dedicated workspace at home and talk to your family to set clear expectations during this period.
An article for the MIT Sloan Management Review recently noted that boundaries are particularly important for parents with children at home.
The publication noted that people often create boundaries between work and family life by using “clear transitions and “rite of passage” activities”. This might mean that you still put on your suit even though you’re not leaving the house, or it could involve moving to a room like a study for your working day.
For employers, it’s important to understand that parents might be facing multiple “transitions” throughout their day now that they’re at home with the kids, and that this could affect their focus at times.
Businesses, therefore, need to encourage their employees to talk about how they’re managing the situation in their household, and to be flexible around when people complete their work, for example.