In these strange times, lots of us (including the whole MVP team) are taking the precautions of working from home. This comes with many many challenges (and some big upsides too!). Whether you are a school student, working towards a degree or in full or part-time employment we have put together what we think are the most important things to have in place when working from home.
As a remote worker, you have the freedom to do your job when and where you want to, away from the distractions and productivity drains of a school/office. However, working from home brings its own challenges. If you don’t approach it thoughtfully, you may find you are frittering away hours every day when you should be getting things done.
The fact is, you need to be even more organised than a cubicle-dweller to be the most effective, efficient, and productive worker you can be. Here are a few suggestions to help you build that structure as a remote employee.
1. Get started early
When working in an office/school, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much shorter meaning you need to make sure you use that time effectively. That leads onto the next point...
2. Exercise at home
This is a very important point. Whether you regularly exercise in a gym environment or not, exercising at home can make a big difference in your physical and mental health. Exercise will set your day up and give it the kick start it needs, while making that "commuting time" mentioned above very useful indeed. If you are not a "morning person" and prefer to exercise during the day then make sure to account for this in your plan. You may have to think outside of the box to develop your exercise routines at home and MVP are doing just that. Keep your eyes peeled for our exciting new developments!
3. Organise your workspace
If you want to have a structured day, you first need the right place to work. Set aside a spot in your home as your work area, choosing a place that will help you focus and avoid distractions. Make sure it has all of the equipment you will need as you go about your daily tasks. Keep your workspace organised and free of clutter to have a more productive day. Try to think of that area as your work, and the rest of the house as your home. Splitting the two will make it easier to differentiate your day.
4. Have a daily plan.
List out all the things you would like to achieve that day and give it some structure. Your day might look something like this:
6.30 am: Mindfulness training - Coffee & pre-training snack - home workout & stretch - breakfast - shower & get dressed (avoid staying in pj's!)
08.00 am: List out your targets for the day and prepare
9 am: Work activities
11am: Coffee & 10 mins fresh air if possible (important to take short breaks)
Make sure to have an endpoint to your day too so you can relax.
5. Make it harder for yourself to mess around
There are loads more distractions at home. After all, it is the place you usually relax. So hide distractions, log out of social media accounts on your laptop and turn your home phone off.
6. Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you
Of course, you might be working from home but still have "company." Make sure any roommates, siblings, parents, spouses, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours - Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're home!
7. Use technology to stay connected
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office or from other remote colleagues. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture as well as keeping motivation levels high.
8. Prepare your meals the night before
When you're in your own home, it can be tempting to spend time preparing a really nice breakfast and lunch for yourself, chopping and cooking included. Don't waste precious minutes making your food the day of work -- cook it the night before.
Preparing food ahead of time ensures you can actually use your meal times to eat, and that you aren't performing non-work tasks that spend energy better used at your desk!
We hope these tips help you to structure your days in this time of uncertainty and allow you to keep motivated during this period of working/studying from home.
Stay safe and keep healthy!