We have decided to all work remotely for potentially the rest of March and we are joined by thousands of SME businesses all doing the same in the face of a likely rapid rise in the UK Coronavirus cases.
We are very fortunate that we are a ‘digital’ business and we can work effectively for our customers anywhere, but that isn’t the case for many other businesses, which will suffer from downtime in resource or loss of customers mobility and availability.
So we wanted to share this post as a guide to helping those taking the ‘WFH leep’ to stay as productive as possible:
1) Write down your weekly Goals and Daily To Do's
When you work in the office with your colleagues then your tasks and to do's appear as the days develop, but when working at home this may not be the case, so you should make an effort to write down your weekly goals and the daily tasks. Tools like ToDoist for example, make this a much easier job.
2) Tackle the Worst Jobs First
When you have a clear task list, try to complete the task that looks the most urgent and least enjoyable. This focus will give you a great foundation to your day.
3) Communicate openly with Colleagues
We love Slack, but there are lots of other tools you can use to stay in touch with your team, work colleagues and even customers. Staying in regular contact with your colleagues and customers will stop you from going mad.
4) Turn off any distractions like the TV or news
TV is always distracting, but the news is particularly depressing at the moment, so try and listen to the radio or music or whatever audio relaxes you whilst you're working.
5) Get up early, get dressed and act like normal
Solo entrepreneurs and home business owners have disciplined themselves to treating the home office like the workplace, but if you are not used to working from home then plan your day just like you were going to the office.
6) Use a table, the sofa will kill your productivity
Sitting on a sofa at home with your laptop will not help your productivity and could give you a bad back, so leave the comfort for the evening once you have finished work. Use your home office or kitchen table to work.
7) Set boundaries with your cohabitants
If you have other people living in the house whilst you're working like partners, kids or friends… ask them nicely to let you get on with your work. Perhaps even make an extra effort to spend time with them in the evening once you have finished work hours.
8) Don't just rely on emails, talk to people
Just staring at your inbox waiting for emails to arrive will give you a reactive mindset. Try and be proactive where possible by setting a couple of time slots per day where you will read your emails and respond. This will give you the rest of the day to press on with other more demanding tasks than emails.
9) Get some exercise during the day!
The average person should walk 10,000 steps per day and many of us achieve through our commute, walking around the office or travelling to customer meetings etc. So try to get your 10K steps in by whatever means possible to break up the day such as taking a walk at lunch or going to the gym before your work day begins.
10) Wash your hands!!
Follow all the NHS guides on avoiding Coronavirus.
Good Luck! Look after yourselves and your loved ones.