How to Maximise Efficiency When Working from Home
With the UK Government now focussing on delaying the spread of Coronavirus, many firms are allowing their employees to work from home in order to trial its success before any potential quarantine comes into effect.
Working remotely, in general, is one of the most coveted perks you can find in a job and there are many benefits to working from home. It reduces the need to commute, saving time and helping the environment and it can have a huge positive impact on your wellbeing. However, it can uncover its challenges too. How do you keep yourself from getting distracted? How do you go about effectively communicating online?
Everyone who works remotely must figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life. Office equipment, career development, training opportunities and building relationships with colleagues are all factors that should be considered when working remotely.
In our latest blog, Ben Fitzgerald, Head of Professional Services at Morson looks at how to maximise efficiency when working from home to ensure it works well for you and the company you work for.
Create your own environment
First off, it’s important to set a work schedule and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to sign off is the key to maintaining a good work/life balance. Decide if there’s anything you need to do before/after you start your day and schedule that in too.
Your environment is everything so here’s where you should consider any elements of your set up that may increase your productivity. Sitting on the sofa in your pyjama’s may sound appealing to some, but will that make you the most efficient when it comes to getting your work done?
In the current climate, the chances are if you’re working from home, members of your family could be doing the same. So, we suggest setting some ground rules with other people in your home when you work. If you have children who come home from school while you're still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.
Get the right tools in place
If you’re working from home for any length of time there’s a good chance that you’ll need to arrange a meeting, whether that be via conference call or video calling. For that, you need to ensure you have the right tech in place to keep them running effectively and ensure they are optimised for time, decision-making and outputs.
Your company’s IT department should be able to advise you on which project management, collaboration and web conferencing tools to use and it’s a good idea to have everything in place before you start working from home in order to hit the ground running.
Keep in mind extra employer scrutiny
Another facet to consider when remote working is what the employer will additionally expect of you in terms of reporting. Employees will be expected to still adhere to KPI’s and should be aware of additional scrutiny from bosses in terms of workload and targets.
Having a good system of communication with your colleagues and line manager will ensure everyone is clued up on your workload and task completion. Visibility is key for management, so regular updates at agreed times should be recommended to give employers peace of mind that everything is running smoothly.
Use it as an opportunity
Do you have a certain task that you’ve been putting off? Whilst working in the comfort of your own home you can use the opportunity to really focus and get stuff done! You won’t have the usual distractions of the office which hopefully means that you can maximise efficiency when working from home.
Optimise remote team collaboration
Slack. Google Hangouts. Skype. LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams. Whatever communication platform you use, you’re able to still work together with your teammates and maintain team spirit and trust. Now is the time to leverage technology to work closely with your team.
Prolonged isolation can lead to weakened productivity and motivation – not to mention it’s incredibly detrimental to your mental wellbeing. So, if you don’t have a job that requires you to be on the phone or video chat, then you need to put in the extra effort to stay connected.
In this uncertain time, the need to be flexible and adjust to new ways of working is more important than ever. But with the help of a little technology, we’re certainly able to maintain team collaboration and maximise efficiency when working from home.