With employers continuing to encourage their staff to work from home, we asked our team of consultants to share their top tips for creating an effective environment and maintaining a work life home-life balance. Take a look at their suggestions covering everything from separating your work and personal life to career development opportunities and building better relationships with colleagues.
Set yourself ‘working hours’
As much as possible, try and put in place a ‘working day’ so you have a clear time frame for starting work and a recognised end of the day. Although this doesn’t need to be a traditional 9-5 routine – one of the key benefits of working remotely is the flexibility to work around appointments or, in the current climate, childcare arrangements. Communicate with your colleagues and managers of any adjustments that you need.
Create a dedicated work area
One of the best ways to separate work from home life is to have a specific room or area that is only for work. Ideally this would be a room which you can close the door on at the end of the day but if that isn’t possible, try to set up somewhere as your work area – you don’t want to be tidying up equipment and documents to free up the kitchen table every meal time!
Set some boundaries
If you are working from home and other members of the household are around it can be easy to become distracted or slip into undertaking ‘home’ tasks instead of focusing upon work. If you need to juggle childcare with work, agree time slots with your partner where one of you can take responsibility for the children whilst the other is on ‘do not disturb’.
Take regular breaks
One of the key benefits of working from home is the flexibility to structure your day to suit your needs and it is important to ensure that you take regular breaks. This could be taking the time to go for a walk or run during the day, participating in an exercise class or taking the dog for a walk. If you can’t get outside make sure you get up from your desk regularly and try to take your lunch break away from your work area.
Dress like you are at work
Having a ‘work wardrobe’ even whilst you are working from home can help separate work time from home life. That doesn’t mean you need to be suited and booted every day however – it’s fine to adopt a more relaxed dress code but you don’t want to be caught out with a spontaneous video call whilst wearing joggers and sloppy t-shirt!
Organise and attend regular team meetings
It can be easy to let things like regular team catch-ups slip when you don’t see your colleagues face to face so make sure that there are scheduled appointments in everybody’s calendars. It can be tempting to duck out or put yourself on mute for the duration but try to contribute and make your presence known to get as much as possible out of the session.
Don’t forget to communicate
You might not realise just how much knowledge is shared between people when they are working in the same office on a day to day basis. When you are working remotely it’s hard to replicate that environment so it’s better to over communicate than not communicate with your colleagues enough. Copy people into emails and provide a regular but succinct updates to your team and line manager about projects you are working on.
Look for training opportunities
You don’t need to miss out on training and development opportunities just because you are not based in your regular place of work or you cannot travel to attend courses. Take a look at the wealth of online courses that are available and think about ways in which you can expand your skills that you may not have previously considered.
Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today and speak to a member of our team about your next career move.