As an increasing number of companies are encouraging employees to work from home while the coronavirus continues to spread, I thought it would be helpful to provide advice to anyone who is trying to adjust to this new way of working.

There’s a real skill to remote working from home. After the birth of my first child, I decided to start projects for small businesses and work from home around my available hours so I could spend as much time with her as possible. Nearly 5 years in I have to say the work/home balance is one that is constantly being adjusted.

So here are some tips that have set me up for success. And it’s a great chance to look at it an opportunity to upskill to provide value for your company.

Before you start the day

  • A shower and getting dressed can help you wake up – and get in the right mindset.
  • Before starting work, try to have coffee or breakfast before sitting down to tackle your email.
  • Keep a to-do list making sure day-to-day tasks get done. I start the day with all the things I need to get done then review at the end of the day and set up the list for the following day.

For your day-to-day operations

  • Set up a dedicated “office” if possible: use a proper desk with an ergonomic chair. Don’t work from a couch/bed /dining table. The posture will help you get in the right mindset and increase your productivity.
  • If you have to speak with someone, try having a quick call. Get used to replacing every human interaction you’ve had in the office with a call or email. It can take 3x as many virtual meetings to build the same trust you can from one in-person meeting.
  • Compartmentalise – block any distractions that’d take your mind off work (house chores, TV, memes and cat videos on youtube).
  • Try maintaining normal hours for a good work-life balance.
  • Use headphones on calls to not get distracted by outside noise (especially if you are not home alone).
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Don’t forget to get up and walk around!

Working remotely may seem like a dream, but it can challenge the ability to stay focused and effectively communicate with coworkers. Do you have any of your own tips? I’d love to hear them!