We are all navigating unchartered waters as business faces up to the impact of Covid-19. With many companies currently asking staff to work from home, many will be faced with finding ways of making a success out of homeworking.
All of our circumstances and how we live, and work are now different, and whilst many of us have some experience of homeworking, businesses are having to react quickly to keep up with this significant shift.
Like many companies, all HighNet employees are working from home and will likely be doing so for the foreseeable future. We have had years of experience of homeworking, so we are fortunate in that we are well set-up to be as prepared as possible. Our line of business helps with that too, with most team members very well equipped to use the required technology. We know from speaking to our customers however, that some businesses haven’t done much of this before, so we wanted to share some of our experience and let you know what helps us stay productive.
Here are a few of our colleagues, sharing their tips on what works for them:
Create a Permanent Workspace if you Can
“The gamechanger for me in making the switch from working from home on an occasional afternoon compared to working from home full-time was down to creating a dedicated workspace in my spare room. Working from an iPad/laptop from your dining table or sofa is manageable when you only have to do this for a few hours on the odd afternoon, but it’s not a sustainable solution if you’re working from home any longer than that. After taking my office PC and monitors home and moving them into my spare room (and “borrowing” my son’s computer desk for the time being!), I now have a dedicated workspace. It really does make all the difference. Not only does it help you to get into work mode, if you have children it helps them to understand that when you’re in that work space, you’re at work – and hopefully will at least reduce the chances of replicating the infamous Robert Kelly interview with the BBC!”
Katrina Macleod, Service Delivery Director
Don’t Start your Working day in your Pyjamas
“I strongly believe in influencing your mindset by your body language and surroundings, so for me, getting ready for work as if I’m heading to the office is the first step. Wearing uniform and sitting at my desk puts me in a professional headspace that I can’t replicate while wearing the cosy loungewear that’s made for snuggling on the sofa – and yes, I know that because I definitely tried working in my ‘comfies’ on the novelty days of working from home, until it made me feel completely sluggish! Alongside the added productivity benefit, being dressed for work helps me keep a normal routine. I can finish work and put on those cosy pjs to help my mind find the balance between the work and life that’s all happening in the same four walls.”
Rhiannon Siegel, Billing Manager
Use Video for Meetings
“It’s a strange time for everyone at the moment and if you’re like me, working from home is still fairly alien. I’m used to the busy office environment, sat alongside my full team and always just a shout away from the rest of my colleagues. Having the capability to video chat is important for me as it helps create a sense of familiarity and normality in otherwise abnormal times as I can still have those face to faces with everyone I work with and feel just as close to them as though I were in the office.”
Matthew Kelly, Internal Account Manager
Use your Garden for a Daily Break
“When I’m working from home I have to make more of an effort to move away from my desk. When I’m in the office I move around a lot without even really realising it, whether it’s just to grab something off the printer or walk to ask a colleague a question. I’ve realised that moving from room to room on occasion doesn’t quite cut it, so weather permitting I try and take a few scheduled breaks outside. I’ll either wander around the garden (picking up a few weeds) or just sit out there with a cup of tea. I think it’s the fresh air, it seems to help clear my head and get me ready to start the next shift of work.”
Karl Geddis, Senior Network Engineer
Set your Working Hours (where possible)
“I really enjoy working from home, but when I’m doing it for more than a few days at a time I find it hard to wind down properly and the temptation is to just log on and do a little more. I find sticking to structured hours as much as I can helps define my working day. I work best in the morning, so straight after my breakfast and all-important coffee I have a good few hours of focused work before I break. I try and ensure I take a lunch break, as otherwise I’d keep going and run out of steam! So between 12.30pm and 1.30pm I’ll eat and maybe tick off a personal errand. The danger can be work and personal life start to blend, so I find it’s important that I schedule a stop time, it doesn’t always work but if I have the time in mind it helps me work towards it.”
Brodie Wood, Senior Order Co‑Ordinator
Hopefully you find this useful.