At huunuu, we work remotely every day and have done now for over four years. From experience, we know one of the things that can be difficult is remaining focused whilst at home!
Working from home can sometimes be a little lonely and it is easy to get distracted. We always have a daily ‘check-in’ in the morning over Skype. We take 5-10 minutes to share the three most important things for the day to give us focus and, to create accountability. After everyone shares their top three, we ask each other if there is any help needed? Knowing if other members of the team need help or input, really helps with inclusion and managing your day. We follow the Patrick Lencioni’s Organisational Health and here’s a link to the meeting framework.
Create a space that is just for work! We have found it is best if you don’t work in the same location that you use to relax in, but if you must then make sure you clear everything away. This is so important for your health, so you don’t ‘bring work home’ and can enjoy downtime but also have focus whilst working. First thing you can then ‘head to work’ either setting up your workspace or just down the corridor.
If you are anything like me, then the things that need doing around the house play on your mind whilst at home. Obviously, work is not the best time to be doing your chores! So, what I do is complete one or two before the workday begins, the dishwasher or a quick blast of the vacuum for example. This means I can tick something off my personal to-do list and focus on my workday. It’s ok to plan a couple of chores in around your lunch in the same way you would when you are at the office but remember to give yourself time to eat and relax a little.
Let’s be honest we all need a break now and then, away from the screen and to refocus the mind (and most countries have regulations stating employers must ensure employees take regular screen breaks). Whilst at home we’ve noticed, that with fewer distractions from colleagues we often forget, and this can lead to reduced productivity and a decline in our creativity. From our experience, taking 10 minutes in the afternoon to get some fresh air on a short thought walk or time in the garden will give a new sense of purpose and your work will be all the better for it. Taking 10 doesn’t mean fitting in the chores! If you try and do this, you will probably feel rattled and overwhelmed, you wouldn’t be able to do the washing, empty the dishwasher and prepare the tea in the office!
One of the hardest things to get used to is the small distractions that happen during virtual meetings. My advice to you is to embrace them! Sounds odd I know, but If a family member pops into the room to ask you a question, don’t act awkward and pretend they aren’t there or try and whisper back. The chances are your colleagues have already heard them or they have at least seen your reaction. The more you feel awkward, the more awkward the situation gets and the harder it is to brush past it and carry on with the meeting. Just say yes to the cuppa, refocus and carry on! As a side note, if the meeting is of high importance, let the household members know not to disturb you and if all else fails there is always the option to mute the microphone!
On that note, we will discuss technology in our next working from home blog.
Stay well folks x