Millions of previously office-bound professionals are now working from their own homes to prevent to spread of the COvid-19 virus. Career experts StandOut CV have picked the brains of some of the UK’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, former BBC Dragons and biggest brands, as well as veteran remote workers from established remote businesses, for their tips on staying focused, productive and sane while working away from the office.
With the majority of the UK having no prior experience of working remotely, this new reality brings new challenges — from struggling to stay productive, to feeling isolated without the office chitchat.
Here’s some of the top advice:
1. Kelly Hoppen, Founder of Kelly Hoppen’s Interiors
Stick to your routine
“I think it’s really important to get up in the morning and do what you normally do — get dressed, put makeup on etc — as if you’re going to work. You also need to make a space that’s your “workspace”. That way, when you finish work at the end of the day, you can close it all up and know that’s your workday done. The rest of your house is then your haven and place of relaxation!”
2. Theo Paphitis, Ryman Owner and retail entrepreneur
Keep in contact with your team
“My day is full of zoom meetings on a whole range of subjects! And it ends in a round up call with the Exec team, to ensure we are all switched on to the challenges for the business for the coming days. I think that we are all adapting to the ‘new normal’ in these unprecedented times, and the zoom meetings are a lifeline to many in business, but also on a mental health basis, in keeping in contact with those we need to.”
3. Carrie Rose, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Rise at Seven
Set boundaries and minimise distractions
“Turn off your TV but have a radio or music running in the background. It can help create an atmosphere but not distract you from doing work. If you are in lockdown with other people, find a separate room away from your partner or family. Add a do not disturb sign and set rules that you are still working. It's so easy for family members to come and distract you, but clearly communicating that you are at work will help.”
4. Giles Edmonds, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers
Look after your eyes
“To avoid eye strain, follow the 20:20:20 rule. Look up from your screen every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Looking into the distance helps relax the focusing muscles of your eyes, which in turn reduces eye fatigue.”
5. Ben Norman, Chairman and Founder at Koozai & Business Growth Adviser
Set a routine for the kids, too!
“Build a structure and routine into the day for yourself and your kids so they get used to it. Keep it the same. This can create a sense of expectation for your children that they will be doing different school and leisure activities at certain times throughout the day. Routine is key!”
StandOut CV director, Andrew Fennell, commented “Working at home for the first time can take some adjustment. Without an organised office space and colleagues to bounce ideas off, as well as home distractions and a lack of structured routine, it’s not uncommon for workers to feel overwhelmed and unfocused.
But with careful guidance and determination, it’s possible to become more productive than ever. By taking a disciplined approach, such as working to set hours, creating a designated workspace and setting clear boundaries between work, workers can sharpen their focus, boost their productivity and achieve a fantastic work-life balance.”