Ten Tips for Working from Home
Being able to work from home pre-COVID might have seemed like a dream, far preferable to the Monday-Friday office grind.
Sleeping in, working in pj’s, making fresh lunches, saving hours and hundreds of dollars or pounds a month on commutes (actually, always a win!), there’s a lot to like about it. Some of us, like the Wellfinity team, are used to working remotely — making cafes, co-working spaces, gym lounges, restaurants and our homes our very own workspaces.
But with the pandemic, working from home has become a mandate for many employees who aren’t prepared for the subtle and not-so-subtle changes to their day. We understand the struggle to stay productive, find new ways to socialise and separate home and work life. So here are ten tips to help you create some fun and balance for working from home.
- Team Updates – Weekly, bi-weekly, or minimum once a month as a whole team, jump on a group video call to stay motivated. Aside from the work updates, mention more team wins, life milestones anyone has reached or notable events happening in people’s lives. You can also create an award system with fun prizes for individual and team accomplishments.
- Create Channels – Slack, among many others, is a great internal messaging tool for setting up specific channels for work. We use channels like #WellfinityDigital and #WellfinityScribe. You can also create social channels like #MustLoveDogs, #MovieBuffs, #StrangerThings, #MumWins, #LetsTalkFashion or #TryThisFood — whatever topics you like to help your team break away from work and get everyone socialising.
- Conference Calls and Scenes – Show yourself! Being able to see each other’s faces helps build and strengthen relationships. When you’re not sharing a presentation, be playful and change your background to mountains, Paris or a beach. If you’re able to be outside, share where you’re at.
- Celebrate International / National Days – Margarita Day, Pancake Day, Dog Day, there’s always something to celebrate! You can also create some sort of competition or game involving the theme. Or you can create your own company days every month, that’s an option too!
- Random Acts of Kindness – Send your co-workers a fun digital note to say thank you, with a gift card, an eBook, or something that supports any personal goals.
- Allocate Your Workspace – Aim to keep this separate from where you sleep, to avoid mixing your “switched on” work mode with your place of rest and relaxation. This helps with productivity as much as your downtime.
- You Shall Not Pass! – Keep work to your 8-4, 9-5 or 6-2 work hours and don’t go over them! As tempting as it can be to answer one more email or reply to that last-minute message on Skype or WhatsApp to lighten the load — leave it for tomorrow.
- Do a Little Dance – Or move in a way that works for you. Being seated for extended periods can add to your back or hip pain as your muscles tighten up into a locked position. Two-minute breaks every half-hour or 90 minutes to walk in place or around your apartment gets the blood flowing and improves your mood.
- Take a Screen Break – Disconnect from your laptop, iPad, personal phone, work phone, even television. Step outside, look up at the sky, take a walk in nature, do whatever you like to switch off and just appreciate being in the moment.
- End of Week Stats – Using your company PM tool, have everyone update how their week went, including what was achieved and what they need help with. Actively tag relevant parties, celebrate achievements and put a plan in place for assistance. This will help with productivity and staying accountable.
For those who aren’t used to remote work, it can feel like a bit of a shock to do things differently. For most, home is where you focus on life outside of work. But with a little experimentation and teamwork, you’ll find new ways to keep these facets of your life separate, continue to accomplish personal and professional goals, and enjoy this new way of working more than you ever thought possible.
Julianne Valles is a Health & Travel Coach based in Melbourne, Australia. She is also a Wellness Consultant and contributing writer for Wellfinity. You can reach her at [email protected]