Working from home hacks
Working from home can be incredibly liberating. But, if you’re not used to it it can be hard to find your rhythm and get a good work-life balance. The Kakadu team are work from home veterans. So we’ve pulled together our top 21 working from home hacks (well, tips really), to help you get the most out of your working days.
This is a tip that is always top of the list and for good reason. Getting dressed gets you mentally prepared for the day. Plus, sitting in your pyjamas all day means that your working day and bedtime routine get blurred. This is not conducive to a good nights sleep.
Create a Designated Workspace
Make sure you have a good chair, that your screen is at eye level and maybe invest in some wrist supports for your keyboard and mouse. Keep the space for work only, this ensures that when you’re at your desk your mind is in work mode.
Natural Light is King
If you can, place your desk space near to a window with lots of natural sunlight. This helps to increase your energy, reduces eye strain and helps to keep your bodies natural rhythm so that you get a full nights sleep.
There are many benefits of having plants on or near to your desk. They purify the air, reduce stress and sickness but most importantly, they boost creativity and productivity.
Keep Your Furry Friend Nearby
If you have a pet make a space for them near to your desk. Pets are huge mood boosters and it’s proven that they reduce stress and increase productivity in the workplace. Don’t have a pet? Go to a rescue centre and ADOPT one!
Invest in a VOIP System
A VOIP system gives your business huge flexibility when it comes to your phone lines. Your calls come in through the internet, rather than a traditional phone line. And the beauty of this system is that you can answer calls on any device, from anywhere. Plus, you’re able to transfer them to another member of the team even if they aren’t in the same building as you. Which creates a much smoother and more professional experience for your customers.
Don’t rely just on Wi-Fi
It’s an amazing piece of technology, but its performance can be impacted by many external influences – like everybody on your street also working from home. Get an ethernet cable so that you can hardwire into your router. This reduces the risk of signal interference and it dropping out on in the middle of a video call.
Have A Routine, But Be Flexible
Having set working hours ensures that working from home doesn’t become your entire life. You should aim to work normal hours for your company/industry. However, if you find that you’re most productive from 6am then shift your working day forward. Likewise, if you find that you’re most productive late afternoon/early evening push your day back a bit. And if you find that it depends on how you wake up that day be flexible and make the most of where your energy peaks. Working from home is great as it enables you to harness your most productive hours of the day whenever they fall.
- Make sure you give yourself plenty of screen breaks during the day. Get away from your desk when you have lunch, go outside for a walk (maybe with that newly adopted dog?), do an online exercise class, meditate. By giving yourself breaks you’ll be much more productive when you’re at your desk as your brain thrives on variety.
Hot Desk at Home
Talking of variety, don’t tie yourself to one location. Working from your allocated desk space is great but feel free to work from your sofa, garden table, kitchen worktop, the floor, a coffee shop, pub, library. Basically, wherever feels right. Changing up your working space helps you to think of things in a different way and increases your creativity and productivity. Just avoid working from your bed, keep that as a work-free space to protect your sleep routine.
Listen to Music
Listening to music through headphones enables you to zone out your surroundings, meaning you won’t get distracted by the goings-on at home. Avoid the wormholes that are TV, YouTube and social media. Even if you’re completely hooked on that new Netflix show and you have to find out what happens in the next episode. Trust us, putting it on in the background will only mean that you half focus on the show and half focus on work. Save the episode for when you log off and can really enjoy it.
One of the big things people say they miss when they start to work from home is being around people. So why not have co-working days online with your team, employees or other people you know that work from home. Arrange a day where you all log into a group Zoom session and work as normal. You can then share ideas, chat, and create an office environment from the comfort of your home working desk.
Stay Connected to Your Team
This is important to ensure that you all feel supported and engaged. Arrange a daily or weekly Zoom call where you check in with each other on what you have planned for the week, what you may need help with and to share any success stories – Like how you just adopted a dog!
Video call over phone call. Phone call over email. Email is kinda the last resort.
Get A CRM System
Also known as a Customer Relationship Management System. It will enable you to keep an organised record of your conversations with clients, any leads you’re working on, track your pipeline, manage your diary and more. This is especially important if you manage a team, or work in a team, as it keeps all the important information in one central location. Making it easy to run reports, analyse the business and for team members to quickly get the information they need for their part of a project. Or to step in for another team member if they’re unavailable.
Spruce Yourself Up
It’s easy to not bother with shaving, doing your hair, putting on makeup or generally making an effort with your appearance when working from home. So it’s a good idea to have some quick spruce up items to hand for short notice video calls. A bit of lipstick, a hairbrush, a beard trimmer, maybe all three, no judgement!
When on video conferences use headphones and your microphone, unless you’re speaking of course. This will limit random noises from interrupting other speakers on the call and will also stop people in your home from engaging in your call.
Other People At Home
If you’re not the only one at home in the day then it’s a good idea to make a plan to ensure that you spend the day in harmony. It may be that you set up separate working areas for each of you. Or that you have a designated Zoom Room or video call space. Or, that you agree to a working schedule so that you can equally share parental or household responsibilities (and walking that newly adopted dog).
Make A To-Do List
Before you finish for the day it’s a good idea to make a to-do list for the following day and see if there are any tasks that you forgot to complete. When you work from home it’s far too easy to jump back online if you realise you forgot to do something. So, by taking some time to make a plan you allow your brain to switch off from work and focus on enjoying your evening knowing that everything is in hand.
Have A Weekend
Do What Works For You
Everyone is different. We all think differently, work differently and respond to things differently. If you have something that keeps you motivated that isn’t a traditional way of doing things, do it. The beauty of working from home is that you get to create the best working day for you. Enjoy it, we’re more productive when we’re happy.
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