Ideal for getting closer to that elusive work/life balance.
Are you ready for the obvious to be stated? This year has not exactly been your typical working year, has it? The global pandemic has changed almost every facet of our lives, but it’s perhaps the shift from central office to hastily arranged laptop-on-an-ironing board situation which has been most keenly felt.
We’re all learning on the job here, and figuring out how to adapt to new working arrangements as seamlessly as possible. With 2021 looking like we’ll still be tap-tap-tapping away in our home offices, today we’re looking at how to optimise your output next year. With that in mind, here’s how to work from home more efficiently in 2021 in 5 simple steps.
MASTER THE ART OF SAYING NO
Work smarter, not harder, as the old saying goes. But you know what they don’t say? Yes, constantly.
Indeed, when the nation started to work from home earlier in the year, we might have been forgiven for thinking that ‘office’ life might be a little different; less pressure to complete deadlines outside of work hours, a reduction in pointless meetings, more independence and freedom…
How wrong they/we were. It seems like working remotely hasn’t served to free us from the unnecessary constraints of the physical office; the old issues still exist. Namely, your manager’s expectations that you should be working late, answering emails in your sleep, and taking conference calls about conference calls during your downtime.
In 2021, work on mastering the art of saying no. Give permission to yourself to put your foot down, with refusal delivered in a firm but friendly manner, and you’ll soon notice people in the office are treating you with more respect, not less. If not, then a little reasoning goes a long way. Remember, it’s better to do a few things well rather than burning the candle at both ends trying to get too much done.
STRENGTHEN THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN WORK & HOME
Domestic deadliner meeters (our new catchy title for those who work from home) might find their professional and personal lives blur into one, regularly.
It can feel pretty overwhelming to be working at your kitchen table, only to expect yourself to then spend the evening relaxing in the very same place as soon as you slam shut your laptop. What? You don’t slam?
If you can afford to, create a space in your home that is specifically devoted to work. Even if you can’t dedicate an entire room to being an office space, at least ensure you have a table or desk space which is for work and work alone.
Should your budget stretch further, look into renting a coworking or dedicated office space (check out this office space in Bristol for an idea of what you can get for your money), where you have the freedom to run your business in a bright and fresh setting, chat to other like-minded people (if you want to!) and go back to your home as an actual home.
Doing so enables you to steer clear of all those distractions which lurk at home, ready to lure you from your work at a moment’s notice.
THE POWER OF A COMMUTE
That transition straight from duvet to desk when you’re working from home seems to start the working day off on the wrong, slippered foot.
Rewrite that wrong and take those feet out for a stroll before you settle into your home office space for the day. Many freelancers and those experienced in the art of working from home productively swear by a ‘commute’ each morning, even if that’s just a walk around the block to catalyse a change of scene and mindset before a single screen is stared at. If your work affords you this level of flexibility, do give it a try!
MANAGE STRESS BETTER
You cannot control everyone else around you (looking at you, ‘boss’) or your environment, but you can control how you react. Stress can be incredibly detrimental to our health, causing problems with blood pressure, affecting the heart, causing headaches, and more. What’s more, constantly feeling under pressure can affect your concentration and focus at the best of times. And these are most certainly not the best of times.
For a happy, healthy 2021 and a productive year for your career, it’s vital you keep on top of stress levels and remain calm and focused. Check out these strategies for keeping calm in stressful times and work on applying them to your everyday moving forward.
KEEP NURTURING YOUR BOND WITH COLLEAGUES
Teamwork makes the dream work, as the not-so-old saying goes. Should you be keen to work from home more efficiently and effectively in 2021 (we know you are, that’s why you’re here) then it’s crucial that you don’t isolate yourself from colleagues. We all know that harmony in the office, even if it’s a virtual one, leads to a better functioning team, so endeavour to nurture those relationships with your coworkers to ensure you can rely on each other in the future.
Here’s how to do just that; our 5 ways to stay connected with colleagues when working from home.