How to stay motivated while working from home (especially during COVID-19)

Top tips for those who may be new to this concept

The concept of working from home isn’t new to me. I’ve been running virtual reception services for a few years now, so I’m used to the daily grind of the home office. Let me tell you that the commute down the hallway can be a bit rough some days.

With the recent crisis of COVID-19, many businesses have been forced to look at new ways of doing things.

And one of the most significant changes we’ve seen is the number of people now working from home, and kids staying home to be home-schooled. Sure, this may all change again soon (and how many parents are wishing for that!), but some businesses may also see the benefits of having employees based at home.

The thing is you have to make sure your employees are set up correctly to work successfully from home. You need to keep them connected as a team, have access to your systems, and most importantly, keep their minds positive.

The thing is you have to make sure your employees are set up correctly to work successfully from home. You need to keep them connected as a team, have access to your systems, and most importantly, keep their minds positive.

Our clients who are working remotely for the first time have come to us for advice. So here are our top tips that we’ve been sharing with our clients.

Anything is possible when you’re working from home

Working from home is amazing. If done right, you’ll find it can increase performance, business and gives you a great work/life balance. But if it’s not set up correctly, you’ll find that many people can struggle.

Honestly, it’s super easy to get distracted while you’re working at home.

Someone needs your attention; you want to pop on a load of washing, make food and endless coffees, catch up on your Netflix series, take the dog for a walk, go outside in the fresh air. And all these things are doable if you create a schedule!

It takes dedication. You need to train yourself that you have work hours and play hours. And be a little bit strict on yourself. Trust me; you’ll get used to it eventually – it becomes just as routine as heading out to a physical office.

Our top tips for working in a home office

  • Set up a dedicated work area and make sure you’re comfortable
  • Set up a routine and stick to it (i.e. start work at 9am, morning break, lunch break and knock off time)
  • Stay off social media while you’re working unless you’re using it for work (it’s so distracting!)
  • Avoid family and pets (until your break time that is)
  • Use planners and organisers (more on this below)
  • Do errands during your lunch break (i.e. stick on washing, do dishes etc.)
  • Check-in with your colleagues during the day
  • Use video chats to stay connected (and a decent set of headphones can help)
  • Make sure your computer/laptop has up-to-date virus protection
  • Don’t open suspicious emails and remain aware of online security risks
  • Stand up and stretch regularly, or pop outside and have a walk around the garden for 5 minutes
  • Set boundaries with family/friends calling you, making sure they know your work hours
  • Ask others, or train in technology you may not be familiar with (more on this below)

Our favourite work from home software

As technology lovers, here are some of our favourite software that helps the Off-Site Reception team stay connected:

  • Zoom video conferencing: It’s super easy to create a free account and one of the best things we use to have virtual meetings and Friday night drinks
  • Asana & Trello: Think of these as project management systems. You can assign tasks to team members, so they know exactly what’s expected of them. They can make notes and tick off jobs as they are completed. It’s a god-sent to save multiple emails back and forward that can be missed.
  • GSuite: Working remotely means your team need to access the same documents often. Using GSuite, everything is saved to the Cloud so you can have multiple team members all saving work in the same place so everyone can access what they need.

And of course, with this software, you can take it beyond the home office situation. Zoom is amazing if you want to connect with your friends and family during COVID-19 Iso restrictions. Asana and Trello are great for keeping you organised and working out your own schedule (you can even set it up for your kids and their schoolwork). And GSuite is excellent for you to store your personal documents securely online so you can access it from anywhere.

How are you surviving working from home

We’ve all seen those hilarious videos of people trying to work from home and having no idea how to use technology (like being naked on telecalls!). I’d love for you to share how you’re surviving, your funny stories, or any funny videos you’ve seen. As they say, ‘we’re all in this together’, so let’s laugh.