‘The New Normal’: how to make the most of working from home

February 4, 2021

Working from home: another part of ‘the new normal’.

Everything in our day-to-day lives has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BBC even reported that internet usage doubled in 2020 – in part due to the increase in homeschooling and home-working.

For thousands of people in the UK, home-working is a new experience – unaware of how easy it is to get it wrong. Your environment, routine, materials and general surroundings have a huge impact on the way you work.

It’s imperative to your performance whilst working from home that you’re prepared, set-up in the right environment and connected to the internet – no matter where you’re located. To help you keep prepared, here are our top tips about everything working-from-home:

Set up a home office

Keep your home life and office life separate by dedicating a room, corner, nook, desk or general space to your normal work hours. This gets you into the work headspace and keeps you there.

Don’t fall into the trap of working from the sofa – this leaves you wide open to getting easily distracted by TV or gaming.

Keep your structure

Get dressed ready for work in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and set aside your dinner hour to keep the illusion of the office routine. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your teammates too – besides formal work meetings, make sure to regularly check-in for a quick chat when you can. Working from home can get lonely!

Take regular breaks

Staring at a screen for too long can clog up your activity and can seriously strain your eyes – a short, 5-minute break every hour from your computer screen is recommended by Unison.

One of our favourite ways to stay productive is to take a break from screen-time by doing those little household tasks that keep getting put on the back burner. Is there a cupboard in the kitchen that drives you insane? Could you get ahead with the cooking for dinner? Do you have time for those few dishes in the sink?

Doing these little, annoying tasks while working saves you some of the hard work after finishing time – and gives you more time to r e l a x.

But it doesn’t have to be housework – take a short walk, read a book, call a friend, say hi to your housemates or grab a coffee and a snack from the kitchen. While working from home, make sure to stay active and stay healthy – and this will ensure you stay productive!

Keep out the noise

Distractions of everyday life such as a noisy housemate, nearby traffic or a non-stop washing machine can hinder your productivity. When that one little, annoying noise gets stuck in your head it can be hard to concentrate – so be prepared with your favourite soothing music and noise cancelling headphones.

If music is too distracting, we recommend using a white noise machine or listening to calming nature sounds – excellent for blocking out noise debris. Here’s a great YouTube video of relaxing sounds to help you get into the flow:

Make sure you have capable and reliable internet

With internet usage rapidly increasing, it’s imperative to your performance whilst working at home that you’re prepared and connected to the internet – no matter where you’re located.

Nothing is more annoying than joining an important Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting, only to be met by buffering screens and crackly audio. We’ve all be there – so it’s important you your digital infrastructure is up-to-date and ready for the switch to home working.

Whether you’re in a highly-condensed or rural area, lots of factors affect your internet speeds. Run a speed test on your wifi (you can do so easily online, such as here from Ofcom) to see just how much your connection can handle. You’ll need to match your bandwidth to your usage – and remember to keep in mind if there are several people using your broadband during your working hours.

If you’re worried about your internet connection or the logistics of working from home – even in remote, rural areas – SWIC have the connectivity, communications and cloud solutions to help you.

We go the extra mile to keep you connected.

Contact us here or view our services to find out more.

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