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How to manage the challenges of working from home

In the UK, more than 1.54 million people worked from home for their primary job in 2019, compared to just 884,000 in 2009, according to the ONS Labour Force Survey. And while working from home is has many benefits – no commute and more time with your family – COVID 19 has made it harder than ever before.

There are a number of challenges of working from home that many of us deal with now on a daily basis, from staying motivated to prolonged co-living with children, spouses, pets and even extended family, and at the same time meeting work deadlines. All can be very overwhelming under the current restrictions. As a result, we need to adapt quickly and look for ways to stay focused and productive when working from home. So, here are some of our tips to survive working from home.

Above all accept all the disruptions

Some of the disruptions are unavoidable, such as young children demanding attention or the cat lying across your laptop keyboard. Under normal circumstances children would be in day care and the cat may be locked downstairs, but these are not normal circumstances and in order to remove the stress from it, we’ve just got to roll with it and adapt.

Top Tip: Be flexible with your work schedule and prioritise critical tasks when you have the best opportunity to focus, for example when the kids are sleeping. As for partners and extended families, communication is key and make it clear when you are working. Visual clues usually work well – for example when you have your headphones on. Also, it is important to know that everyone is in the same boat. Many people are juggling family life and work.

Maintain a routine

Working from home doesn’t mean you need to break your routine – you just need to adapt to it. To stay motivated, it is important to get up, get ready for work and set aside a specific place to work – preferably not on the sofa and yes this means changing from your pyjamas! This will help you switch your head from home to work and be more productive.

Top Tip: Structure your day with a clear ‘to do’ list of what you want to achieve over the course of the day. Working with distractions may mean you working outside office hours but completing your ‘to dos’ will give you a sense of achievement. If you can take a clean break away from your laptop at lunchtime and go outside to give you a break from being inside all day.

Get exercise & stay healthy

When you work from home, the kitchen is hard to avoid. Nevertheless, eating healthy is entirely possible – make sure to have plenty of fruit and veg to boost your immune system. Healthy body equals healthy mind.

Top Tip: If you have pets, that’s an additional excuse to get some exercise…and fresh air – but remember to follow the government guidelines!

Work in short bursts

In the office your day is broken up by everything from meetings to water-cooler chats, lunch breaks and toilet breaks. When you’re working from home follow your routine and have short breaks to let the dog out or chat to your family. It will make you more productive in the long run.

Top Tip:Connecting with people is really important while we are socially distancing so those breaks where you speak to your family, friends or housemates are crucial. This can also be an effective way to break the day up and maintain your concentration levels.

Stay connected

Working from home with disruptions can be overwhelming, however in an age of technology, it’s very easy to stay in touch with your teammates and colleagues.

Top Tip: Use web-based solutions to connect, not just around work matters – sometimes it’s good to keep your mind off mundane and routine tasks and spend your tea break socialising with others who face the same challenges as you do.

For extra tips check out our infographic below.

How to manage the challenges of working from home

Working from home with Xperience

When you have all your distractions nailed, it’s time to maximise the systems you may have to make the most out of your day.

To help you with this, we’re running a series of free webinars across cybersecurity and Office 365 to help you get the most from their IT Platforms, security, productivity, collaboration, and reporting tools.

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