Sunday, March 15, 2020

Tips for Working Well at Home

I am old school.  I prefer in person.  I like to see people in the office.  I often learn things just from casual interactions in the office.  When someone is not there, I find I often end up speaking with someone else about what is on my mind so the person is also excluded.

Some tricks:

1 - Have a dedicated space.  There is nothing like a space that says "now I am going to work" to prompt action.

2 - Avoid distraction.  For me, that would be news sites or stock markets.  For some people, it might be TV or FaceBook or other things.  You know what your weaknesses are - avoid them.

3 - I know your manager will be stressed.  Worried the work is not getting done.  Put him or her at ease with a couple of video calls (works way better than just a phone call) and a daily report.  The format I like for a daily report "my goals today were...I accomplished...things you should goals tomorrow are....and things I need from you".

4 - Avoid temptation.  If you have unhealthy food in stock, you will likely eat it.  Only stock the healthy stuff.

5 - Plan.  I know I work better in the office OR at home if I have a plan.  One trick I do is say "what are the top 3 things I will have done today".  Invariably I get them done - just because of this planning.

6 - Much of my success can be attributed to habits.  Good work at home is about having good habits.

7 - One of the first things I would do is study it.  Google.  Search Youtube.  There is a ton written on this.

A PC Magazine article on it here.

And more (not in my words)

How make the most of working from home:

1.    Your office is your state of mind
One of the best ways to stay productive when working from home is to pretend you are going into the office.  The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there is no reason that feeling should be lost when at home.
When working from home, do all the things you do to prepare for your office role: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee, and get dressed.
2.    Choose a dedicated workspace
Rather than relaxing in your bedroom or on the couch -- spaces that are associated with leisure time -- dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work. Once you select your space treat it like your office during your work hours…if you a chose the kitchen table, make sure you have cleared off all the dishes, or other distractions that might normally be on your table, before you sit down to work.
3.    Set work hours
Now that you have your office or work area set up, it is time to get down to business.  Establish set work hours to follow each day. Be sure to communicate your work schedule to colleagues, staff, and your boss. Will you have family members at home with you? Let your family know what your work hours are and how you plan to respect each other’s schedules & needs for the day. 
4.    Have a work plan
Identify what needs to get done every day and make sure to do it. Think about how you intend to complete your list of daily tasks, and what techniques work best for you to see them through.
5.    Take short breaks
To stay productive you will need breaks. Work short, five-minute breaks into your daily schedule. Although taking breaks might seem counterproductive, research has shown that taking short breaks can actually increase productivity and creativity levels.
6.    Use a rewards system
This is an easy way to help you get things done — even tasks you have been procrastinating around.  For example, take a five-minute break to stretch, grab a healthy snack, make yourself a coffee, or chat with family at home, once you  complete a difficult task or deadline. Using a basic rewards system will help you get things done and feel fulfilled.
7.    Use Video Conferencing or phone calls
Interact with others! Even if we are socially distancing, that does not mean we are not communicating.
Make it a point to chat with colleagues, team members, or clients each day.  Video conferencing is a great way to stay connected with colleagues. 
Make use of:
·       Skype
·       Callbridge (this is the only thing I edited into this article)
·       WhatsApp
·       Facetime
·       Google Hangouts
·       Zoom meetings

Schedule your typical meetings each day as calls or video conferencing and check in with co-workers and the boss several times a day. This will keep you feeling connected with your team.
8.     Family, Friends, and Pets
Working from home can be difficult, if you have young children at home, or have multiple pets, all of whom want your attention. If you are home all day, others might forget your work needs
Welcome and enjoy their company, and make it part of your daily plan, by being specific about your work hours, break times and clearly communicate those hours with your family and friends.


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