Until recently, the companies that, offered smart working to their employees were a small part of the whole but the coronavirus has completely reversed these numbers. But are workers ready for this change? This too is a great challenge, which, if we can grasp it, will teach us, a lot. And who knows when all this ends other companies decide to allow their employees to work from home in a smart working way.
Smart Working: How to work from home and not stress
In this particular moment in which most of us are working in smart working, we want to share with you 8 practical tips for working from home and living well.
As you know when we don’t travel we work remotely and we could work anywhere, even from home. Just a year ago we decided to open our own co-working space that would also act as an office because, let’s face it, working from home is not easy.
Even more so if you have children at home and especially if our partner also works. Many of us do not have a large house where you can lock yourself in a room and this makes the situation even more stressful.
How can we do to live the challenge of working from home well?
Before sharing our advice with you to better enjoy working at home, we want to make a very important premise: give yourself time to adapt to this new situation. The new is always a little scary and we need a time frame to give us the opportunity to welcome this new challenge. It is our own brain that asks for it. Our routine has been turned upside down and first of all we have to redefine new habits.
Get up, have breakfast and dress like you should go to work
Yes you got it right, it is essential to dedicate time to personal care, regardless of whether someone sees us or not. We dress for us, not for others. In normal times one of the most envied things of those who could afford to stay at home was the possibility of working in overalls or even in pajamas, well believe me there is nothing to envy to this situation because in most cases it makes you ugly. So first gift of working at home: dress as if you were going to work outside. You will see that you will be much better.
Diversify working times from home
One of the things that gives Luca more to do than work at home is the fact that the spaces are dilated. You are working but you take the opportunity to do the washing machine then the light of the dishwasher that has finished its cycle sounds, do you want not to put the dishes in order? Yes, come on, it’s a moment and you lose yourself in these thoughts. Time flies away and at the end of the day, you have the feeling that you haven’t done anything and frustration takes hold of us. It happened to us last week. Then we decided to put some stakes. Being two we decided that one of the two will work four hours in the morning while the other takes care of the house and then in the afternoon we will reverse the roles.
Set yourself concrete and measurable goals
The To do List is essential for those who work at home. I prefer to do it in the evening so as to get to the “work” in the morning with already set and defined goals for the day. This allows me not to waste the first part of my time working on planning what to do.
Small tips to create the perfect to-do list:
- Do not put too much meat on the fire
- Write a single list and not a thousand pieces of paper around
- Give yourself measurable goals (e.g. respond to the 3 emails you have pending, write an article etc.)
- Start with the hardest thing or that you like least
Organize your workspace
Working on the kitchen table is not healthy, trust me. Not all activities are shared with people who live with us. Creating spaces with boundaries is necessary to be effective. Look for a place in the house that becomes your office, no matter how big it is, but it is important that all your work tools are there. For example, we have used the desk in our child’s room as a work desk. I have collected all the things we need to work in two large boxes so that when the other starts working he doesn’t find the desk full of his partner’s things. If you are the only one to use the desk, I recommend you order it when you are finished working so that you can find it ready the next time. It’s about adapting the habits you had at work in your office to the new situation.
Take breaks set a priori
To be productive it is very important to alternate moments of concentration with moments in which we rest the brain. There are several time management techniques, the one we prefer is the tomato technique. It is a very simple technique which consists in dividing the working time into 25-minute slots. You set a timer (you can also find the appropriate ones online) and when it plays you take a 5-minute break that I assure you, they are a real breath of fresh air and that help you to start again more concentrated than before.
Eliminate everything that distracts you
Social media, WhatsApp and phone calls can be a great distraction and at home, where nobody controls you, there are even more attractions than that of a space shared with others. I read in a research that even having a smartphone in the same room causes a lower than average level of attention. The temptation to check the latest notification is strong but being continuously interrupted in one’s work in the long run destabilizes. To remedy the problem, we put the phone in aerial mode and consult it only during breaks.
View the email at set time intervals
One of the biggest distractions of paperwork is email. The advice we are giving you not only applies to work from home but for work in general. Set a time when you check your email, for example, twice a day, maximum four. I Elisa, checks her in mid-morning and before lunch then again in mid-afternoon, Luca instead checks her as soon as she starts working. It is not important when you decide to check the email, it is important to decide to cut out a moment to make it not continuous.
Do not give up the coffee break with colleagues
Today we work at home alone and for those who are childless, they can experience this situation with a great sense of isolation. Recover this physical emptiness with a phone call, even better in videos where you really have coffee with your colleague in front of the webcam. Continue to have moments of sociability and moments when you compare yourself with others on work matters.
And how are you organizing your work time at home? Did you think that smart working was easier or are you appreciating the advantages?
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