At the beginning of March this year, the UK government advised anyone able to work from home to do so, and for many of us, it was a completely new experience. The temptation to stay in your pyjamas all day is rife, as is the desire to only actually style your hair for that one daily Teams call. With government advice remaining the same throughout winter, we wanted to share our best tips for working from home effectively!
Create a designated workspace
From experience, we know that having a desk set up that works for you is key. Our residences have sizeable desk space for you to make your own. Not only will this help you stay in the right frame of mind, but come evening, it’ll separate your work and home life.
Creating and accepting that boundary will make it easier for you to switch off and avoid the risk of burnout.
Take a break (or two)
You may not notice it but the many distractions of an office environment, provide relief in between working or upcoming deadlines. Make sure you’re factoring in a coffee and lunch break and avoid eating at your desk.
If you can, getting out for a quick walk around South Kensington will do wonders for your afternoon.
Dress for success
Now, we’re not saying that you need to don your best suit every day (you could if you wanted to). But keeping the loungewear to a minimum of two days a week will mentally keep you in a ‘work zone’.
You may find a glimmer of your old routine useful, plus a little effort will do a lot for your state of mind.
Devise a routine
Speaking of old routines, you may need to adapt your working from home routine to mimic what you’re used to. For example, if you’re used to working with background noise, have the radio on softly or listen to white noise.
You know how you work best, so it may be that you get up and work earlier, or you prefer to work later into the evening. So long as your employer is aware, this is a great way to maximise productivity without the restraints of core office hours.
Now more than ever, it’s important to keep the lines of communications open, regardless of whether you’re the employer or employee.
You’ll need to organise online check-ins where you can catch up on projects and goals. Using online project management tools like Trello and Slack will help keep progress and upcoming work in check. Pair that with Teams meetings and you’re on the right track.
A good rule is to use these tools how you would act in real life. Saying good morning and letting your colleagues know when you clock off will allow everyone to be on the same page regarding availability.
Make time for virtual socialising
One of the disadvantages of working from home for prolonged periods is that you forget how to socialise. Strong work relationships are key for an effective team so be sure to nurture that outside of work chat.
You can initiate a catchup at the beginning or end of meeting calls, just like you’d do in the office.
Plus, if in-person team coffees and lunches aren’t on the agenda, organise a coffee catch up on a video call.
It can be difficult to pay attention when Netflix, life admin or social media are tempting you astray. It’s even harder if you’re someone who routinely reaches for their phone during the day.
It might sound obvious, but pre-empting distractions and placing devices out of your reach will inevitably improve your concentration on a task.
If you’re reluctant to be parted from your phone, for example, because you need it to make calls as you work from home, set up your smartphone’s ‘do not disturb’ mode so you only get essential work-related notifications during working hours.
Invest in accessories
If you’re working from a laptop, it’s important to make sure your posture is in check to avoid neck and shoulder pain from hunching over. You can buy laptop stands that will elevate your laptop to eye level. Other accessories you may find useful are noise-cancelling headphones and an extra bunch of post-it notes.
Voice expectations with anyone who will be home with you
You might be working from home but still have company. Make sure that your partner, family etc respect your space during work hours. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.
Stay at The Harrington
If you are looking for private, self-contained accommodation to help you maintain social distance or avoid unnecessary travel into central London, look no further than our serviced residences and apartments. Safe, private and secure, you’ll enjoy all the comforts of home and more.
A comfortable stay & working environment:
- Free fibre optic Wi-Fi
- A fully equipped kitchen
- Residences include widescreen TVs and Apple AirPlay technology
- Sizeable desk space
- 24/7 reception at 1 Harrington Gardens
- CCTV and security
- Dry cleaning
The government has announced further national measures to address rising cases of Coronavirus in England. Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10 pm and 5 am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10 pm.
Stay up to date with Coronavirus updates:
- For health information and advice please follow the NHS
- Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK
- Keep up with the latest on BBC News