Ultimate Guide To Working from Home
Office Chairs UK, 09/04/2020
For many, having the opportunity to work from home is seen as a perk. Remote working affords you flexibility, enables you to cut the commute, and more importantly, get comfortable while you work.
But there are many factors which need to be considered while working from home, for both employees and employers. This page outlines all that you need to know about working from home, as well as some quick tips to help keep the motivation and push the productivity.
Working from Home for Employers
When employees find themselves working from home, it is important that employers are practical, and act a little extra sensitive to everyone's needs. Due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, many of us have found ourselves adapting to the work from home lifestyle, and as such, the following factors are especially applicable.
Encourage regular discussion between employees. Keeping everyone in the loop is really important when working from home, so ensure that this is carried out through regular calls. Believe it or not, there is a lot of casual collaboration that happens in an office, which those working from home are now missing out on. You can use software such as Microsoft Teams, or even free online video services like Zoom to ensure that everyone is kept up to date. Even if not all of your team are working from home, this is a great opportunity to bring everyone together and boost team morale!
Consider the needs of individual employees. For employers, it is particularly important that the needs of individuals are not overlooked. For example, anyone with childcare responsibilities may have different situations to work with, which may affect their ability to work from home. It is therefore a good idea to have discussions with employees about these needs.
Re-think tasks that can be done from home. This may seem fairly obvious, but it is important to ensure that all tasks can be completed remotely. This may involve doing things differently, or working to a new schedule. Definitely don’t assume that everything can be done from home.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle. Remind employees working from home that it is healthy to take regular breaks, to prevent sitting at a computer too long. Employers should also encourage employees to stay mentally and physically active outside of working hours. This may include going on a walk, practicing hobbies or watching favourite television programmes.
Set expectations. It is really important to make it clear to employees what is expected of them when working from home. This could include providing details on when employees should be working, how the team will keep in touch and how a work-life balance will be managed. If you are an employer, consider running through these ideas over a video call to ensure that everybody is clear.
How do you keep employees motivated when working from home?
Every home is unquestionably full of distractions, and when working from home, there is nobody there to tell you to get on with your work. Having the presence of the TV, your phone by your side, and other devices can all act as a reminder of the things we indulge in outside of the office. For all of us, it can be hard to resist. We have some great tips to help keep your employees motivated whilst working from home, to ensure productivity and good work ethic.
The first step to ensuring employee motivation when working from home, is to radiate a positive energy. Keep enthusiasm alive when on calls or video meetings and encourage positivity from every employee. We guarantee this will make your team feel happier each day.
Create achievable goals
It is also important to set clear goals in order to motivate your team. Set out the goal with a clear explanation of how to achieve them. Then, reward your team. This can be difficult when working from home, but an afternoon off or vocal praise can go a long way.
Have wellbeing time
Workplace wellbeing can unintentionally be pushed aside when working from home, so it is important that wellbeing games and activities are not lost when working from home. You can easily host an online quiz or game through video call, by using the screen sharing option which is available on many video call applications.
Working from Home for Employees
With millions of us working from home, it is more important than ever to remain productive and keep working as normally as possible. To do so, it is important to have a good structure for your day. Here are some quick tips to really help you make the most of working from home.
Work to your usual schedule
You may think that working from home means a lay in, and in some way it does. However, you must not let your slumber get the best of you. Ensure you get up at a reasonable time, get dressed, and start the day how you would normally. It is particularly important to stick to your regular working hours in order to help maintain a healthy work-life balance. This way you can have your lunch break as normal, and finish working at a decent time.
Keep in contact
Keep yourself updated by joining conference calls and encouraging conversation with your colleagues. Working from home can often be lonely, so retain the office repartee by keeping in the loop. It is also important to be aware of ways to contact your line manager if you have any queries, whether that be by email or a call.
Allocate a workspace
When working from home, the boundaries between work life and home life can become easily blurred. You don't need a home office, but ensure that you allocate an area in which you will work the majority of the day. In this area, make sure that you have everything you need, whether that be files, laptop, etc. You could even consider sprucing up your space with a small plant or other personal objects. It is important to have a chair which will not strain your back, so choose one that you know will be supportive. Working from home in a poor quality chair can really ruin your posture, so if you're looking for a new one, we have a great range of ergonomic office chairs which can be perfect for your home office space. Take a look here.
Here are some useful resources to help you work from home effectively.
Google calendar - Brilliant for organising future dates as well as having an ability to share events.
Harvest - Useful time tracking tool to assist you in keeping track of tasks and how long you've spent on each one.
Zoom - Video conference app to make collaborative working simple.
Slack - Instant messaging with your team
Turbine - Quick and easy way to request and approve time off
Dropbox - Cloud based storage, which means you can access files from a number of devices.