Working From Home: Tips and Tricks
With the coronavirus tightening its grip across the world, more and more companies are being forced to loosen the shackles and let their employees work from home. If you are one of those people, congratulations! Working from home is a pretty sweet gig - take it from someone who has been doing it for years. Here's a handy, not-so-serious list of tips and tricks that I've accumulated over that time.
Get up! Get up and get out of bed! It seems like an obvious one but technology has made it super easy for us to stay in bed, check our emails from our phone, and then when we're good and ready sit up - but not get up - crack open our laptop and do some 'proper' work. Here me now - IT WILL NOT BE PROPER WORK! Unless your selling mattresses or sex, you will not produce your best work in bed. Get up!
Get up at your usual time! It's another getting up tip, I know. My tip list will diversify, I promise, but starting the day the right way is the most important thing (at least that's what every breakfast cereal advert there has ever been has taught me). Don't lie in longer than usual just because you don't have your morning commute. Get up and use that time productively. Or play video games. It doesn't really matter as long as you're no longer horizontal.
Dress the part. It's best to put some clothes on. At least on your top half. If your boss decides he wants you to jump on a quick video conference call it's not a good idea to tell them to hang on 5 minutes while you find a bra to wear. On your lower half though? Fluffy bear slippers and man-thong does it for me.
Video conference the right way. Speaking of video calls, here's how to add a little professional sparkle when your dialing-in. If you're using Zoom you can actually upload a photo of your choosing and set it as a background. That way you can make it seem as if you live in a stylish, zen-like temple, and not your cramped, damp-infested one-bedroom apartment. Likewise, if you're connecting through Skype you can set your background to blur. It's not as good as Zoom's background feature but it's better than having co-workers and clients stare at the curry sauce stain on the wall that you've never bothered to deal with.
Walk...outside. It can be tempting to not leave the house all day. In fact, sometimes you blink and it's 6pm and you realise that you haven't tasted fresh air. That's not good for you. Get out now and again. A walk around the block is a great way to clear your mind and relieve some stress. After all, now that you're not sat next to Janice you can't just blow off steam by having a good'ol bitch sess.
Have set hours. It can be easy to just let the workday bleed into your day. Don't do that to yourself. You're not getting paid extra for it and you won't be more productive anyhow. (In fact, there's a lot of researching saying that our workdays should be shorter not longer). That's why it's important to get up in the morning, start correctly and finish on-time folks!
Enjoy it! Remember all the things that annoy you about your workplace (not to mention your commute)? While you're working from home they don't get to irritate you - isn't that nice! A happy you, is a successful you. And hey, do a good job with the remote work and who knows, your boss may just agree to let you do it more frequently!