Six Ways To Work Effectively From Home
Six Ways To Effectively Work From Home
By Mark Wager
The coronavirus pandemic is changing the business world and how we operate within it. In order to stop the further spread of the virus, more and more people are working from home. This change is new to a lot of people who are used to working in an office alongside many other people and now they find themselves in a very different workspace. As a Leadership Coach I work a lot from home doing my coaching sessions with Leaders mostly via Skype or on the phone. At first it was a difficult transition for someone who has spent his whole career in a traditional office workspace so I thought this week I should share some practical tips on how you can easily transition to working from home.
Create a dedicated workspace.
Working from home may seem appealing to a lot of people but on the downside you are physically bringing work home and when you do that it’s difficult to seperate the two which can lead to working excessive hours and unnecessary stress. This is why it’s important to create a specific workspace in your home, somewhere which is the only place you do work. Don’t have it in your bedroom or in front of the television. It needs to be some place that you can walk away from in order to leave work behind.
Get a good chair
This is way more important than you may initially believe. When I started working from home I originally used a dining room chair but it soon became apparent what is comfortable for a brief dinner is not comfortable or healthy to be sitting in for long periods of time. The same is also true with sofas. They are incredibly to watch movies from but are not good for work. Take time to look for a good comfortable office chair. You won’t regret it.
Explain the ground rules to those around you
One of the main challenges of working from home is the likely amount of interruptions you will get from those close to you. If you live with someone who is also home it is incredibly tempting for them to disturb you and even if they are not home with you they will fall into the trap of dealing with you as if you are on holiday, which you are not so they will arrange for deliveries to come to the house or call you more often than they would than if you worked in an office. Now there’s nothing wrong with this but you need to establish boundaries that are clear for people to understand and follow.
Keep in touch with colleagues
When you work in a traditional office it’s easier to have a quick chat with your co-workers and when people are in close proximity to each other they are more willing to share issues and ask questions. I remember when I had a team that worked remotely I used to ask them to call me if they had questions. The phone remained quiet but when I busted them they would tell me all about the challenges they were facing. It’s so much easier to ask people for help when they are next to you, it doesn’t feel so imposing. When you work from home make sure you take time out to phone or video-chat your colleagues even if it’s just to say hello. Keeping in touch is important.
Still have team meetings(if possible)
Meetings if conducted correctly are an incredibly useful time to share information and to motivate a team and just because people are working from home it doesn’t mean meetings have to stop. Technology today has made it much easier for people to keep in touch with each other so look at options such as a WhatsApp groups or having group meetings on FaceTime or Skype. The key is to remember that people’s attention span on video calls are less than in-person so make sure the meeting doesn’t go on too long and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate and engage.
Maintain regular hours
When I coach people who work from home they are often very poor with managing their time and this is especially true with entrepreneurs. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working longer and longer hours but you need to be careful of your heath and effectiveness. There will be times that you are going to have to work longer hours than expected but if this is continued you start to lose effectiveness. Make sure you give yourself a structure, a flexible one so you can balance work and home but a structure nevertheless which will help you maintain regular hours, knowing when to start work and when to have breaks. Don’t have lunch at your desk, have a proper lunch and plan when work ends and your home life starts.
I believe after this coronavirus pandemic has passed there will be more and more people who will have the option of working from home which I believe is a good thing but only if people can effectively adapt to that change. The world is changing and we need to be prepared to change how we work within this new world.
About the Author
Mark Wager is the Chief Leadership Coach at the Australasian Leadership Institute. Originally from the United Kingdom but now calling New Zealand his home, Mark shows leaders across the Asia Pacific region how to influence, motivate and inspire their teams. Driven by a frustration of attending many ineffective workshops during his 30 year managerial career Mark has made his passion in life to redefine how leaders are trained.
Mark takes advanced psychological theories and makes them accessible to the modern leader regardless of their background, experience or industry, by developing customised Leadership workshops and individual coaching sessions that combine practical real-life scenarios with a mixture of British wit. Mark dispels the myth that there are certain Leadership skills that can’t be learnt.
Leaders from some of the regions most prestigious organisations have been trained by Mark including the delegates of the European Union, Weta workshops, Amnesty International, Unicef, Barnados, St Johns, Red Cross, NZ Basketball, NZ Tennis, NZ Hockey, NZ Netball, NZ Rugby League, Ministry of Justice, Department of Internal Affairs, NZ Defence Force, the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Sofitel resorts, Raddison Hotel Group, Te Whanau Waipareira and many more.
You can contact Mark via the enquiry form below
Posted: Wednesday 8 April 2020