South African companies have, where appropriate, had staff working from home prior to Covid-19 and it was referred to as “the future of work”. However, since March 2020 we have multiple companies having to get their staff organised to work from home.
Although human beings are very adaptable, some employees are battling to adapt whilst still maintaining discipline and learning new habits in a stressful global environment.
We at Domains.co.za have been working within flexible conditions in a fully functional office environment and it was relatively easy for our people to adapt to working from home. We have spoken to our experienced remote employees and asked them to share their working from home best tips.
Tip 1: The Basics Must be in Place
Setting up a dedicated workspace, even if it is ‘transient’ is critical. Set it up the essentials; a ‘desk’ that can accommodate your work ‘tools’, lighting, comfortable chair, etc. in the best format that works for your individual style.
Your computer should be setup with remote working ‘tools’, e.g. a decent internet connection, phone (VOIP) and data. A headset should be used to minimise any surrounding noise when you are speaking to clients or colleagues, and don’t be afraid to speak to your immediate superior if you require assistance with anything.
Tip 2: Stick to a Work Routine
If your specific job function does not require you to stick to a strict 08:00 to 17:00 environment, and you are able to work flexi-hours, then be all means do so. However, once you have established your best working hours, stick to it!
Get dressed properly and start your day at the same time every workday. This maintains your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle and allows your colleagues to allow for the hours when you and they are available.
Tip 3: Keep the Balance between your Work and Private
Whether you are a family person, or single, it is imperative that you balance your personal leisure time with your working time. Adapt around your family’s (if you have one) circumstances and daily schedules and keep strict working times that allow you your private time.
Ensure that if you are in a family environment that there are rules that everyone adheres to and doesn’t encroach on business and avoid distractions e.g. personal calls, social media, TV, etc.
Tip 4: Ensure you Have Down Time
Working from home can be a very on-demand environment because you are always accessible. To ensure your health and sanity, it is imperative that you take breaks as you would have in any normal working day.
If you need to see a doctor or dentist, do so! If you are ill take a sick day. Do not be a martyr, you need to maintain your physical, emotional and mental health. Take a mini holiday, a day’s leave every so often, or when you need downtime.
Tip 5: Go Outside
Ensure you get a decent dose of sunlight’s Vitamin D and ‘get out the house’. When you were going to the office every day, you would be out and about from your home environment. So, as far as possible try and get outside, and get some social interaction.
Walk outside, get some sun and breathe some fresh air and run those errands!
Tip 6: Digitally Socialise with Colleagues
Whether it’s lunch or coffee breaks or a quick chat with a favourite colleague, try and set up video chats with them for your coffee breaks, so you are still interacting with your office people..
Set up weekly or bi-weekly video meetings with your regular colleagues, or your work team to create team chats.
In Part 2 we share six more tips to help you be more productive while working from home. Coming soon...