Just like thousands of other people across the UK, we have had to adapt quickly to our new reality — working from home full time.
At EMS, some of us are already somewhat accustomed to this way of working (albeit part-time) and can tell you all about the perks of remote working: no commute, more time to spend with family or on your hobbies, the freedom to move your day around to suit your lifestyle.
However, even if you’ve worked from home before, doing it under a government-imposed lockdown with no end date in sight can be a little daunting. From juggling work and home-schooling to concerns over our and our loved ones’ health, everyone’s got a lot on their plates at the moment.
Here are our top tips for working effectively, staying motivated and keeping your mental wellbeing in check over the coming weeks.
1. Create a dedicated ‘office’ space
Many of us have probably found ourselves jabbing away at our keyboards in all kinds of strange places over the past few weeks. However, as tempting as it might be to wake up in the morning, grab the laptop and get back into bed to work through your emails — don’t! It’ll make it much harder for you to relax and sleep in that room at night.
It’s important to create a dedicated working space with a desk and comfortable chair if possible — even if it is just one end of the dining table.
2. Get dressed
For some people, the idea of staying in their PJs all day is the most appealing aspect of working from home. But just as you should resist the urge to work from your bed, it’s important to change out of the clothes you associate with rest to prepare you for work. Likewise, changing out of work clothes when you finish for the day helps your brain to understand that the working day is done.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dress in full business attire, although some people might find dressing formally helpful — and useful if they suddenly need to dial into a video call!
3. Structure your day
When working remotely, minutes, hours and days can quite easily merge into one. Throw in a nationwide lockdown, and you quickly lose all concept of time.
Without the morning commute, it can be tempting to have a lie-in. But try not to use it as an excuse to stay in bed longer. Instead, get up when you usually would (okay, maybe a little bit later) and do some exercise or enjoy a relaxed breakfast.
At the start of each day, write a short to-do list of what you need to get done and try to stick to it. If you would usually eat your lunch at noon, try to do the same at home. To stop yourself checking emails way into the evening, make sure you have a set stop time and turn off your computer each day, too — 99% of emails can wait until the next day!
4. Establish boundaries
These aren’t your typical working-from-home circumstances. Whether it’s your partner, children, parents or housemates, chances are you’ll have plenty of distractions. So, don’t be afraid to set some boundaries for the people around you.
Something as simple as saying “please don’t disturb me when the door is closed or between 2 pm and 5 pm” can help. Equally, you might not be the only person in the house working from home, so ask the people around you if they have any boundaries and be respectful of them.
5. Stay connected
Working from home can get lonely — particularly when you can’t venture out to see friends or family at the weekends. So, make sure you stay connected with your colleagues during the working day.
Rather than relying on email and instant messaging to ask a question, take the time to pick up the phone or video call instead. You could even schedule a daily ‘tea break’ with your team over a video call or do weekly ‘check-ins’ to give everyone a chance to talk through any worries — or simply to have a chat!
6. Take a break
Without the office chit chat to break up the day, work can become monotonous. Plus, you shouldn’t stay glued to your screen all day. It’s essential to stand up, stretch, move around and take regular short breaks throughout the day.
Being cooped up inside will also reduce your productivity levels, so make sure you get outside and go for a walk as part of your daily exercise allowance. The fresh air and different perspective will help undo any mental blocks.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. This whole situation is stressful and worrying enough as it is. If you ended up watching Netflix all evening rather than getting a workout in, that’s fine. If you opted for pasta for lunch rather than the salad you had planned, that’s also fine.
Try to think of ways you can build fun into your day, too — whether that means learning a new skill, re-watching your favourite box series, cooking or simply reading a good book.
There you have it: our seven top tips to help you keep going during these uncertain times!
And if you’d like to find out more about our electronics manufacturing solutions as well, then please get in touch today.