“Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The idea of rolling out of bed in your pj’s and lifting the lid on your laptop may sound like a great way to start work; think of all that extra time in bed with no commute! As appealing as all this may sound, I would recommend steering away from starting your day like this. Making sure you are in the right frame of mind will have a massive impact on your productivity for the day.
I set my alarm at 7am every morning, make a coffee, take my Lab Alan for a 30 minute walk, shower and get ready to start work at 8:30am. By the time I turn my laptop on, I am feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition” W. H. Auden
Create a routine, give yourself goals and structure and stick to it. Spend the first few weeks trying to find a routine that works for you; different rooms to work in, alternative radio stations or background noise… avoid the TV at all cost!!
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither” Alan Cohen
Take a break… you’re not expected to sit down in front of your screen for 8 hours a day. Take the dog for a walk, sit in the garden with a cup tea, do a 10 minute workout. Taking a break will improve your productivity and help refocus the mind. Just remember to let your colleagues know first. At 4s Systems we use Microsoft Teams so colleagues know when we are away from our desk.
“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work” C. S. Lewis
Try and keep distractions to a minimum; set up a workstation at home, away from the distractions of family life and the TV. Don’t be tempted to load the washing machine, unload the dishwasher or catch up on that Eastenders you missed last night.
Remember routine is key to succeeding in working from home. Once you have cracked this, working from home can be extremely liberating. Being away from the distractions that office politics and life can bring, can result in great ideas and work.
“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” Margaret Thatcher
Always end your day by writing your list of tasks for the following day. The simple reason being, this allows you to switch off at the end of the day and enjoy the evening. If you don’t do this, you will probably spend the evening thinking about all the jobs you need to do the next day. With the list written, you can start work straight away in the morning without having to think about it. I also love crossing off lists, so it stops me from procrastinating!
“It’s good to talk” Bob Hoskins
Staying in touch with colleagues is important to the success of a business. It’s paramount that everyone is working towards the same goal. Working from home can easily make some employees feel isolated and disenfranchised. Instead of hiding behind an email, pick the phone up and speak to your colleagues. Here at 4s Systems, using Microsoft Teams, we have a virtual meeting every morning at 8:45am. This gives us an opportunity to discuss what we are all working on and helps us to stay focused as a team.
“A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.” Peter Turla
Set your hours and stick to them! If your hours are 9-5, make sure you step away at 5 – obviously after you’ve written your to-do list ready for the next day!!
It’s very easy to end up working overtime or skipping lunch when working from home so it’s important to shut your laptop at the end of the day and relax. Remember to tell your colleagues when you are finishing for the day or having lunch so they know to take messages for you and to not put calls through.
If you would like help implementing working from home, contact 4s Systems as we can help with strategy, technology, security, telecoms and collaboration – we would love to help!