Flexible working and home offices are on the rise, with nearly a quarter of the British workforce carrying out their jobs across multiple locations including their own home. In 2015 the Office for National Statistics estimated around 4.2 million people work from home, but by the start of 2020 it's most likely nearer to 8 million.
However all of that changed in March 2020 when the UK was put in effective lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, meaning that the vast majority of office workers would have to stay at home and work remotely. The idea of being at home all day is welcoming for some, but daunting for others.
Here at OFAI we've helped create a wide range of different workspaces with our clients including home offices, so we understand what's needed to effectively work remotely. That's why we've compiled a list of top tips for being productive while working during the lockdown!
Get Kitted Out
One of the most important steps you'll need to take is to give yourself a dedicated space where you'll work. Although the idea of laying on the sofa working off a laptop sounds extremely inviting, you'll soon find that productivity levels will drop and you'll make no progress. Replicating your office environment as much as possible will help to make your new working routine normal.
A flat surface (desk or table) along with standard workstation equipment like monitors, keyboards and storage will go a long way in helping you be comfortable. An office chair is also vital as it will maintain vital ergonomic practices.
Create a Schedule and Routine
When transitioning from the office to your home, it's good to keep things as consistent as possible. Waking up at the same time and working within the same hours will help you to focus on your end product and keep your lifestyle intact without any major changes.
Without a clear plan for the day, you may find yourself easily giving into distractions and your work/home life will begin to overlap. On the other hand, working for more than you're used to will quickly lead to burnout. Setting boundaries is the key to a successful remote working experience.
Breaks and Fresh Air
While having a daily routine is all well and good, it will start to become tedious if you just sit at your workstation all day with no variation. Allowing yourself to have breaks during the day will give your brain the chance to rest and getting up from your desk and moving around will provide an energy boost.
A great way to take some time away from your desk is to go outside and get some much needed exercise. The fresh air and natural light will do your body the world of good, but it could also help towards removing mental blocks and overcoming any task you are stuck on. As much as you may loath the commute to work, it's better than not leaving the house at all!
Remote working can be quite a lonely and isolating experience for some, especially if you live alone. Working all day without talking to anyone else can have a negative impact on your motivation and mental wellbeing. A way to avoid this is to remain in close contact with your colleagues and talk about the work your doing, even helping each other out with tasks.
Video software like Skype and Zoom have seen an increase in exposure since the lockdown was enforced. Businesses are looking for efficient ways to communicate with their staff, and video conference calls are a great way to talk to the workforce and bounce ideas around. It also overcomes the hurdle of slower ways of communicating like texting and emails.
To conclude, moving from working in an office to working at home is a huge step and how you adapt is totally dependent on the job you do and the facilities you have at your disposal. We hope that the above tips help you to make that step, and if you need any home office furniture please contact us.