Even before the pandemic I was working from home the majority of the time, so the switch to 100% remote working brought on by the pandemic was not a huge adjustment for me. Now we are almost a year into the Covid 19 crisis, and some people are still struggling with work/life balance so I thought I would share a few of my top tips and tricks for working from home.

  • You don’t need to have a meeting about everything. Emails, Teams messages and phone calls still have their place. You don’t need to schedule a meeting for every quick phone call and emails are great ways of communicating complicated information especially if they need to be referred back to.
  • Set agendas/time limits for meetings. This stops things going off track, if meetings are too long with no clear focus people can switch off and productivity is low. Keep things short and to the point and let everyone know what is expected of them.
  • You don’t need to switch your camera on for every meeting. Don’t feel obligated to have your camera on for every meeting, its fine to stick to audio only. According to new research by researchers from America an hour of video conferencing emits 150-1000 grams of carbon dioxide, so what better excuse to turn your camera off you’re doing your bit for the environment!
  • You don’t have to be available all the time. It is good and healthy to have a break from back to back meetings (though I admit this is something I am often guilty of!). If you struggle to switch off its well worth booking out some “meeting free time” in your calendar so you can say to colleagues “sorry I have something already schedule in at the time, how about tomorrow?”
  • Following on from the above post, you don’t have to accept every invite that you are sent, just ask yourself -do I really need to be a part of this meeting? Is it relevant to me/my job and can I contribute in a positive way? If the answer is no you can always decline and ask the meeting organiser to send any meeting notes or relevant information over in a email instead.
  • You do not have to be contactable 24/7, now this is another thing I am often guilty off but working in a global market this is often an area its easy to trip up on. Try to set working hours the same as if you were actually in the office with fixed “clock in/clock out” hours. This will help you maintain a healthier work life balance. Stick your messages on mute, and send calls to voicemail!
  • Take a break! This is easily my number one top tip, if you were in the office you would be getting up frequently to stretch your legs, grab a cuppa etc Make sure you do this at home also, your eyes will benefit from having a break from the screen and your back and shoulders will benefit from having a stretch and moving. Try to avoid eating lunch at your desk too, maybe go for a walk for a bit of fresh air and come back to your desk after lunch feeling refreshed, refuelled and ready to go!

Are you guilty of any of the above mistakes? What are your top tips for working from home? I would love to hear them!