March 19, 2020Published by: Jenny Millichip

10 tips to get the best out of working from home

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses of all shapes and sizes to adapt to a new way of working, with the vast majority of employees now working from home for the foreseeable future.

Whether the prospect of WFH fills you with joy or a sense of dread, the sudden change in work style means there’s a lot of individual and team-based adjustments to be made. 

At Battenhall we’ve always placed a strong emphasis on staff being able to work remotely and having the option for flexible hours, so this hasn’t been the shock to the system that some may be experiencing. 

With that in mind we’ve put together our top tips on how to make working from home effective, manageable, and beneficial for you:

  1. Create a dedicated work space. Preferably with good light and enough space. Avoid the bedroom or sofa if possible. These are your relaxation spaces and shouldn’t be treated as a workstation. And they’re no good for your back!
  2. Dress for success. Wash, dress and get ready for work as though you were going to the office. It gives a sense of differentiation from a relaxed weekend vibe and will put you in the right headspace for work.
  3. Create strict working hours. It’s easy to slip either way: losing track of time working over lunch or into the evening, or slacking off because of home distractions. ‘Pretend’ you’re in the office and stick to those hours, unless it’s an emergency.
  4. Create a routine. Where previously you used to commute, take a walk around the block. At lunch, leave the house for 30 minutes to get some fresh air. Have an ‘end of day signal’ such as a dog walk, run or shower.*
  5. Switch the TV off. Unlike the radio or streaming music platform, TV can surreptitiously distract and chew up all your attention. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep music or radio at a low, non-invasive noise level.
  6. Communicate. This is vital to not feeling isolated. With more communication channels than ever, (Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, good old-fashioned phone calls...), there's no excuse to not talk. Have a virtual morning coffee with your colleagues, or an end-of-day debrief. You’re still part of a community.
  7. Exercise. In any form. Go for a walk or a run, do a morning home yoga or HIIT session. Whatever it is, get the blood and endorphins flowing. WFH makes it very easy to be sedentary. Make a special effort to make exercise a definitive part of your day.*
  8. Eat well. It's easy to slip into a grazing mentality, with close access to the fridge and pantry. Make nutritious and well-portioned breakfasts and lunches so that you are fuelled and don’t need to constantly revisit the biscuit tin!
  9. Limit media intake. With such a heavy stream of worrying news at present, it can be overwhelming and depressing. Check in a few times a day and know when to take a break from it all.
  10. Take back time. Make the most of the extra time you have working from home: an extra 30 minutes’ sleep, time with your pets or kids, or even a long meditation session. The reduced stress and cost of not travelling on public transport or busy roads, is worth embracing while we all have the opportunity.

* Government Guidelines on when to self isolate and stay out of public areas.

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