Working from home. The three words that I am sure most of us have heard daily or have been doing for the best part of the year. After a difficult and tough year for the majority, this new way of working has required a decent amount of adaptation from everyone. However, it is not over yet as working from home is set to stick around for the foreseeable. Following a study with business owners in the UK, it has been estimated that around 74% of employers will be maintaining the increase in working from home, following the pandemic.
For some of us, this is the best thing ever. Being able to sit on the sofa with unlimited access to tea and coffee, blasting our favourite music (sorry neighbours), while working in comfy pyjamas, is the dream. For others though, continued working from home could create logistical nightmares; bad Wi-Fi, we are looking at you! Concerns about workforce productivity have been flying around since the first hints of lockdown. But whether you are an employer – or an employee – looking for ways to increase and maintain productivity levels while working from home, we have got you covered! Detailed below is a list of simple steps to follow, to ensure that your workforce is continually productive, while adapting to this new way of lie. Read on for more!
Communication is Key
It is a cliché statement but is one that is thoroughly true. This year has been hard on everyone in a number of different ways, particularly on our emotional and mental wellbeing. It is important more than ever, to ensure that you are keeping up communication channels with members of your workforce, particularly when working from home. Some people might live alone, and are therefore, finding the whole working from home thing a bit isolating. Keeping up channels of communication not only enables you to ensure that daily quotas are being met, but also ensures that you can support members of your team with anything that they might be going through.
Timekeeping and Optimum Environments
While it can seem favourable to work extra hours each day to ensure that work is done, there has to be some limit in place to ensure that employees do not get burnt out. Setting aside fixed hours – the same way you would in an actual office – and putting a schedule in place will ensure that productivity can stay as high as possible. Furthermore, ensuring that yourself and your workforce have a suitable work environment while at home, will prevent employees from getting too distracted by all the mod-cons that our homes have nowadays. Setting aside a specific area of their home as an office, will prevent employees from feeling like they don’t have a work-life balance; having one set area to do your work in, keeps this separation, and prevents any issues from arising further down the line.
IT Services and Support
I’m sure that most of us have become accustomed to the world of Zoom, Skype, Teams, you name it! These software’s and many more have become staple parts of our everyday working life, and it can be a right pain when they suddenly malfunction and don’t work. There is only so much that “turning it off and on again” can do, particularly if you are unfortunately hit with some kind of cyber virus. To ensure that you minimise the risk of your workforce being hit with IT problems, and to ensure that productivity stays high, you will want to have secure and effective IT support systems in place.
If you are in the process of protecting your business following a breach, or simply want to upgrade any existing IT support systems, consider hiring the services of an IT support company in London. The hub of the UK provides a plethora of different IT support companies which provide a high-quality level of service, no matter where in the country your business is based. Totality Services are an example of London IT support, and can protect your business while assisting in increasing productivity. Well-worth the investment for yourself, your employees and your business. For further information about the services that this business provides, and the ways that they can benefit your business, find more on this site.
Take Regular Breaks Away from the Desk
Remember being in the office and taking your break? For most people, this constitutes stepping away from the desk and getting some fresh air by taking a step outside, or by going for a walk around the block. Taking regular breaks in this healthy way – and getting a bit of exercise – should definitely be adopted while working from home. Rather than sitting at your desk scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, use those ten minutes to get up and get the blood moving through your body. Keeping energised throughout the day with regular breaks, will help to prevent any sort of drop in energy – and subsequently, productivity – halfway through the afternoon. Particularly if you are working in the arts industry, regular breaks enable our brains to become more focused, and can help to increase our levels of creativity.
If you are an employee – or again, an employer – who does not have the facilities to go for a quick walk, make sure to still get a regular break away from your desk. Even taking a moment to sit on your sofa, or to cuddle the beloved family pet, will massively reduce tension and stress levels, and leave you feeling able to get back to your work with gusto.
Dress for Work
This is something that a lot of people have adopted while working from home during the pandemic. Now, we aren’t saying to dress in a sharp suit every single day, but for some people, wearing something smart or that they would usually wear to work, has allowed them to continue being productive while working from home. Naturally, as the work environments are drastically different, ensuring that you feel comfortable in what you are wearing is essential, whether you simply wear a smart shirt or blouse on top and some sweatpants on the bottom with your trusty fluffy slippers. The choice is entirely yours! Whatever works best for you, is the best way to stay productive!
Keep Your Space Tidy
If you usually work in an office environment, you are probably used to keeping your desk area clean and tidy. However, this cannot be said for keeping the rest of the office space tidy! Generally speaking, this is a cleaner or janitors’ role, or for some businesses, a team activity at the end of the working week. If you are working from home and finding that your work environment is getting grubby and cluttered, you are probably not the only one. However, this is sure to decrease productivity levels. Ensure you clear away any spare papers and snack wrappers from your desk at the end of your working day, and don’t forget to give it a wipe down with an anti-bacterial wipe or spray; this is important now more than ever. Keeping on top of the cleaning at the end of each day prevents dirt and grime from building up and leaves you with a clean working environment to come to each morning.