Due to the unprecedented global situation with the coronavirus, many people are finding themselves having to work from home for the first time in their careers. Some may find it everything they’ve ever wanted, but many people will be missing the routines and discipline of regular office life, not to mention the company of their colleagues. Below, we offer a series of tips, some personal and some technical, that could make this period more pleasant and productive.
• Get up and get dressed! Losing the routine of preparing for work by having breakfast, showering and dressing at a regular time is a big step on the slippery slope. Stick to your standard work routine and hours.
• Set up your own office in as quiet and isolated a situation as possible – a separate room if you have a spare one. This means you can work without being disturbed and leave work behind you at the end of the day.
• Use the same technology you’re used to in the office; if necessary, get permission to bring home anything from the office that you can’t replicate with what you have.
• Odds are that your home office setup won’t be as ergonomically designed as your actual office, so make sure you take more time to take breaks, do some stretches and walk around. Try not to use breaks as an excuse for snacking though! Stick to your regular work and food routines.
• If you’ve got kids in the house, noise-canceling headphones can be a godsend, especially if you need to make lots of calls. If you don’t have and can’t procure noise-canceling headphones, the Krisp app described below will at least help with telephone calls.
• Slack is an app that puts all messages, files, and attachments in a single place to help deal with the extra email load homeworking will inevitably generate more efficiently. Free options are available.
• Google Docs and Sheets are an excellent way of allowing people to collaborate; a document from one user can be shared to a group and edits and comments can be added for all to see without having to send around multiple emails with attachments. Zapier provides many useful add-ons you can incorporate into this system.
• WordPress has a new group collaborative area named P2 allowing collaboration with others, either on WordPress or through other apps.
• If you don’t have noise-canceling headphones, try the Krisp app which eliminates background noise from online calls. Although this is a paid service, the first 60 minutes each week are free, or if using on iOS the first 240 minutes.