1. Get ready for work as though you really are going to an office. As tempting as it is to roll out of bed and straight onto your computer – don’t do it! Wash, dress and make yourself smart to deal with any unexpected Zoom calls. It gets you in the right headspace for the day ahead and mentally switch to productive work mode.
2. Now go to your office. By this I mean your home office space. Its important to create a designated space to work in, an area just for you. Somewhere you can focus on tasks without being distracted.
3. Prioritise and create a list of the key tasks for the day. Everything is more manageable when it is put in a list. It will focus your mind and make goals more achievable.
4. Get everything you need for the day in one place. This includes all the necessary tech you need. This could be a reliable and secure internet connection, any necessary files, hardware and software, remote access to your company network and, importantly, knowledge of how to get IT support.
5. Regularly rest your eyes and step away from your desk. It’s important knowing when to give yourself a break when there’s no one else around to remind you. Go for a walk in the garden and stretch your legs.
6. Have a planner or make a schedule. Block off set times to do certain work tasks and block off other times for lunch, movement, housework, personal calls, etc. When you’re home all day, it’s easy for the day to blur into one long work day.
7. Be clear about when your working day begins and ends. It’s easy to ‘always be on’ when your home and office are the same place. When work is over, be sure you switch off and mentally clock out.
8. Get outside! I try to get outside once a day, even if it’s just a short walk around the block. Fresh air and a little Vitamin D do wonders for your mental health and productivity.
9. Keep yourself engaged and visible. Contribute regularly to team chats or group emails so you don’t just drop off the radar. Ask about what people are working on and share what’s on your plate.
10. Foster relationships. Make time for non-work chats as you would in the workplace and use video calling to maintain face-to-face contact.
11. Don’t be afraid to ask for support when needed. Speak out when you need assistance, further training or support. Your are part of a team and you should be supporting each other, especially remotely.