Working from home some of the time, or hybrid working, will become “the norm” for many companies after the pandemic.

For many companies, it has been a torrid time, with increasing property costs, severe loss of business and the often (but inexcusable) overlooked human cost.

Hybrid working is a nothing new, just a new spin. Whereby, staff can split their time working from home and venturing into the office.

Hybrid working is a sensible option. It allows a company to reduce costs, thus ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their staff (we would hope). It also provides staff with more family time and if done in the spirit of its intent , it can actually improve performance, family life and well being.

Be warned: It takes dedication and a good work ethic to succeed when working remotely and the employer should assist those working remotely with extra support since some people require social interaction and steps should be taken to avoid work place isolation. I have seen articles where employees are struggling to work from home, whilst others prefer home working. It´s a case where it really comes down to the individual.

Time will tell how we all move on from here. Personally, I like working in my home office, having virtual meetings and when socially safe to do so, it is great to meet our clients face to face, partake in a socially acceptable 9 or 18 holes and appreciate what we have.

Working from home? 4 tips for staying productive

Tip 1: Create “work” triggers for your brain

When you work in an office, the daily routine of getting ready and commuting helps your brain get ready for the day. When you’re working remotely, you can create “start the day” triggers that get your head ready for work in a similar way, like exercising, reading the news, or making coffee.

A good workspace is also be key. If you can sit down and be productive anywhere, that’s great. But, from my own experience, you need to create a physical work zone — whether it’s a separate room, a fully stocked desk, or just a clean part of your kitchen table — This will help to tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively and without distraction. (one of the biggest challenges of working remotely.)

Tip 2: Stay motivated with a list

Plan your day – A simple to-do list can do wonders for keeping you both organized, motivated, and productive as you work from home. Set yourself goals eg: tasks that lead to that big goal. Checking off those smaller goals lets you know you’re making progress, which gives you positive reinforcement throughout your day. And work feels much more doable when it’s not all one giant task.

Write or type out your “to do” list instead of just having it in your head. Its very easy to forget or get side tracked and you won’t have to devote headspace to constantly remembering what you have to do, and the pleasure of crossing tasks off your list can help you stay motivated.

Tip 3: Make a schedule for everything

Remote work requires a schedule much like a typical office job, except you’re the only one holding yourself accountable. That doesn’t mean your entire day has to be work only (it’s actually important to take regular breaks to refresh yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally- I stop for a cup of tea almost every hour – that works for me), just that any nonwork activities also need to be scheduled.

When creating your schedule, take into account the other commitments in your life and find a routine that lets you take care of those as well. If you have a child, build their care into your schedule, like blocking out school pickup and dropoff. If you play sports or volunteer, schedule time to get work done before or after these activities.

Once you’ve set your schedule, make it visible to your coworkers with a shared calendar. This way, they’ll know when you’re free to meet and when you’ve blocked out work and personal times. It’s also a good idea to make sure friends and family understand your schedule and respect it. Set boundaries and expectations by letting them know that working remotely doesn’t mean you’re free all the time.

Tip 4: Create a process for collaboration

Working from home might seem like a solo experience, but it usually still involves interacting with others, whether it’s meeting with your team, getting assignments, making decisions, or giving and receiving feedback. So it’s important to set up methods for collaboration while you work remotely.- For this we use Zoom and WhatsApp . However there are others which are equally as good and secure and simply use what you like and what your work colleagues or clients also like.

Bonus Tip: When you finish work for the day in an office – you would normally have a commute home, your brain uses this time to “run down” and switch into a “home mode”. So when working from home, at the end of the day do something which triggers an end of the day. take a walk, have a shower. Do anything other than a work task and leave work in the work place.

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