While remote working is the norm for some, many of us have found ourselves thrown into unfamiliar territory. While the idea of working from home might have appealed to you the reality can be difficult to adjust to. If you were to wake up whenever, dress in comfies, play with your phone whenever, eat whenever – it’s unlikely your productivity will level up to what you achieve in the workplace.
In times like these, everyone copes better when we help each other out; that’s why Certum has compiled some suggestions from our staff on how to work remotely, successfully.
Field Engineer: Dwyer Troisi
Dwyer highlights the importance of taking care of your mental health when working in a home environment, particularly if it’s something you aren’t used to. You can be vulnerable to becoming lonely, demotivated and stressed when you don’t have colleagues around you to interact with, the established routine of leaving the home headspace and entering the work headspace and everything else that comes with non-remote work. His solution is simple: take walks.
While he likes to structure his day as similarly to a standard workday as possible, he suggests a walk in the morning and afternoon to keep mental health in check. Breaking up your day this way, getting out of the house and into the fresh air can do wonders for your state of mind. If you’re struggling with feeling trapped or discouraged, something as simple as walks is an attainable solution. If walks aren’t possible or don’t interest you, try having a tea or coffee break outdoors instead.
Helpdesk Team Leader: Ross McKenna
If you’re somebody who gets easily distracted by technology, Ross suggests the Freedom app and website blocker for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome. When you’re in the office, you’re surrounded by colleagues all working hard, so the urge to check apps, play games etc is stifled. At home, no one is there to stop you! This app removes temptation and provides dedicated time unhindered by distractions. Check it out at this link: https://freedom.to/
Alternatively, remove your phone from your workspace – or if you need it with you, try airplane mode or disconnecting internet access until you take a proper break.
Sales Executive: Colin Jamieson
For Colin, feeling professional is key to working well from home. While it’s tempting to throw on comfy clothes and work from your couch or even in bed, this practice isn’t good for mental health and productivity. When you don’t set boundaries between relaxation zones and work zones, you can easily fall into bad habits which can be detrimental to your productivity.
Colin suggests setting up a space exclusively to work from – whatever is available to you, whether that be a home office, a desk, or even the kitchen table. He also likes to dress in his usual business clothes, despite being in the home, as this helps to put him in the right headspace for working. Getting up early, showering, and getting dressed for the day are easy ways to resist lounging about.
IT Engineer: Chris Nicholson
When you’ve adapted to working in a space filled with other people, you’ll be used to hearing chatter, printers whirring and so on. Going from this to working in the home can feel isolating. Chris likes to combat this with music. While silence works for some, others need background noise to focus themselves. If you have a go-to playlist, play it. You can also find playlists specifically designed to boost focus on iTunes, Spotify, Headspace, YouTube and so on if this is your preference.
Alternatively, try putting a boring TV show on a low volume – that way you get background noise, but you won’t be tempted to watch it.
Helpdesk Manager: Gary Taylor
Aligning ideas about mental health, stress reduction and combating isolation, Gary pointed out that the company of pets works for him. While you can’t speak to your colleagues as per usual, this is a great time to spend some quality time with those in your home – whether that be pets or family members, setting aside moments to de-stress with them can be key to staying healthy and happy whilst working remotely. If you live alone, try planning calls and video chats to break up the day.
While these tips work for us, everyone’s different – one person’s weakness is another’s strength. Finding what works best for you when working from home will be a process, but we hope our ideas might contribute to making your remote work less stressful and more productive!