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  • Tom McCarron

Making the Most out of Working from Home


creating an Inclusive workplace by working from home


Many of us have been working from home the last two to three years and even as places of work have reopened you still might be having to work from home. Whether you are going to be working in your bedroom, a busy family house or noisy shared accommodation everyone’s situation has had its obstacles. In this, we will go through helpful tips to enable optimum working from home effectiveness and how to create a healthy home/work environment.



Positives when working from home:


The Present Moment and Mindfulness

“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play.” - Alan Watts


Although at times it can be tough, working from home can be productive, enlightening and dare we say it, enjoyable at times, let us take a closer look at some of the benefits.



It is Your Workplace now...


It is especially important to designate a space that is separate from your home life. We want you to create your own “office” or place of work.


To help we have suggested the following:

green plants
  • Choose a specific area to create your workplace – use this same space every day.

  • If working in a bedroom or lounge area make sure this arrangement changes after the end of each working day; clear your desk and take a walk outside so you gain separation from work and home.

  • Try and choose a place with as much natural light as possible.

  • Swap between standing and sitting at your desk.

  • It’s proven that green is a colour that inspires creativity and calm so use any plants or furnishings you may have for this.



Create and Manage your Screen Etiquette


It is very important to create some rules and etiquette, it is a good idea to create a screen code of conduct that you can adhere to.


Some ideas for this could be:

  • Meetings should start and finish on time – We all have things to do therefore keeping to time means everyone is kept happy.

time-keeping using a clock
  • Celebrate success online – We can’t see each other therefore we must accentuate the positive moments when we can virtually.

  • Structured plans for working throughout the day. Imperative Lunch and tea breaks, non-work chat rooms – These can be virtual where people can drop in for a non-work catch up throughout the day on certain days.

  • Don’t do all your calls on video - it’s ok to do a few just voice. Video calls are proven to exhaust you because you’re having to concentrate so hard.

  • Only use the chat function for related meeting or lesson comments – It can be distracting to message someone about a non-related comment so keep all communication relevant to each meeting

  • No unannounced break room entering (bursting in a room) – If you enter a virtual breakout room make sure everyone knows you are there, as we wouldn’t find it acceptable for someone to creep into a room and listen to a work conversation without anyone knowing they were there.

  • Find a fixed point to look at for Meetings so we all feel connected and engaged. Where do we look when talking on meetings? Choose a point of focus that you feel comfortable with, so you aren’t moving eye contact throughout meetings.


Some Final Tips


  • Sign out of social media – social media can be one of the biggest drains on productivity so remove temptations to flick through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter by logging out on your phone and on your computer. Use checking them as lunch break routine if you wish.

  • Set boundaries and expectations with people in your house – Let people know when you have calls, meetings and/or are taking a break this can help cut unwanted interruptions.

a man getting some fresh air
  • Create a playlist – It can help to have some background music to keep you motivated throughout the day you can also use music and podcast listening for your new commute.

  • Push on in the morning – Start on time and use the morning for your main productivity and do not leave too much to do in the afternoon, make your afternoons the easier part of the day, this will help with how productive you feel each day.

  • Get exercise and fresh air – You will be surprised to see how much work you can get done at home so please give yourself breaks and do not tie yourself to your desk.

  • Lunch break – Give yourself a proper lunch break each day, do not eat at the desk.


Working from home does not mean living at work. Give yourself breaks, enjoy being at home and don’t underestimate what you are doing just because you are not at work.


Further Resources

CLEARING YOUR HEAD

1. Meditation – Give it a try with this video.

2. Pictures – For a quick break browsing weird/funny photos

3. Sensory deprivation tanks – Book an hour and a half to spend alone with your thoughts and decompress, free from distractions


Further reading and Final Thoughts

Good luck and in the meantime for further reading on working from home effectively please see these resources

Manger YouTube Conference on positives and things to work on.

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