Working from home is the new norm. And you probably know by now that this is one trend that's here to stay. But are you still struggling to find your groove? Or are you enjoying the flexibility (especially when it comes to business up top and comfort on the bottom) but know you could do more to make the most of it?
To help you live your best #WFHlife, we've put together our top tips for getting your home office into shape, your productivity soaring and your days in balance. Whether you're permanently at home or just dialling in a few days a week, here's how to smash those work goals and get more out of your days.
1. Love where you work
If you've been working from home for some or all of the time since the start of the pandemic, you've probably got a grip on the basics. A kitchen table is fine for a couple of weeks, but in the long run you need a dedicated workspace, just like in the office. But when it comes to your space, you can make it completely your own. Enjoy the fact that at home, you're the boss.
If you haven't already, set up a dedicated work area. To help you get in the zone, work more efficiently and stay on task, invest in things like:
• A new desk and ergonomic chair to keep you comfortable.
• A monitor stand or keyboard drawer to avoid strain.
• Good storage and filing to avoid the paper overload and keep everything you need at your fingertips.
• Nice stationery, decorations or even a plant to personalise the space and make it feel like a place where you want to spend time.
2. Plan like a boss
If you're like most people, you're probably more productive working at home than in an office. No drop-ins at your desk, more multi-tasking by sneaking in some extra work while your camera is off during those looong team meetings, more hours in your day because you can skip your commute.
But it can be a challenge some days to stay on track if the home chores are piling up or a friendly face knocks on the door for a quick chat "since you’re home." Don’t leave your day up to chance – plan it out and supercharge your productivity. Here are 3 quick and easy strategies to stay on task:
• Use the MIT method – identify your Most Important Tasks and do them first. It makes your scheduling decisions much easier and you make sure you really do what you need to.
• Use time blocking to achieve big tasks – it's even more important when you're at home when the temptation to be in a Zoom meeting looms. Your time at home is precious so try to block out a morning each week for strategy or creative thinking.
• Get an accountability buddy – share your plans for the day with a co-worker and check in at the end of the day to see how you both went. You might even like to share a virtual workspace together and clock up some pomodoro sprints.
3. Set some boundaries (for yourself)
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Working from home should be a great opportunity to balance your work and life needs, but it's easy to let work take over. Are you keeping regular office hours or are you slipping into an "always on" mindset? Now's the time to re-visit your work-life balance. You might like to try these tricks to keep your two worlds separate and bring back some balance to your life.
• Carve out some personal time, like going for a walk, at the start and end of your workday.
• Eat meals away from your work desk and take scheduled breaks throughout your day.
• Turn off your computer and switch off your phone notifications when you clock off.
• Dress for your workday and change into your comfy home gear at the end of the day.
And remember, working longer hours can cause you to be less productive and more likely to burn out. So turning off email is more than just good for your health, it can help you be better at your job.
4. Enjoy the freedom of flexibility
Working from home isn't about being the best worker robot, it's about being your best self. Enjoy the perks of having control over when and where you're working. Get out for some fresh air and take a zoom call on the run. Pack your laptop and head to your local café for a pick me up. Make your schedule work for you, even if it that means clocking in early or logging off late so you can enjoy a long lunch in the middle of the day. And ditch the guilt – you got this.
5. Remember there’s an app for that
The main reason we can all work from home now is that there's plenty of tech in place to support remote working. Now’s the time to audit the apps that do and don't work for you and explore how a little extra digital support could make your life easier. Not sure where to start? Try setting up a shared list with colleagues so you can swap ideas about the best tools to use. Or subscribe to a work from home podcast to find out what's new in the remote working space.
6. Look after your stomach
Maximising your time working from home isn’t just about what you do at work – what you do in your daily life also counts. When it comes to food, you might not have easy access to the same lunchtime cafes and restaurants. Prep and cook your meals in bulk at the start of the week so that you can grab something from the kitchen quickly when you need to and don't end up snacking on junk food all day.
7. Make sure you’re covered
Remember that nice new office you’ve just decked out for yourself? Enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you’re covered if something goes wrong with the right home and contents insurance. And take a few moments to get to know your policy. You might be surprised to know that if you fail to secure your doors and windows and something is stolen, it might affect your claim – even if you’re home.
Let us help you enjoy working from home with confidence. Contact our friendly team and get a home and contents insurance quote today. We’ll ask the right questions and really listen to what you tell us, so you can be confident that our insurance is right for you, your home and your things.
General Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Vero Insurance. This is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information before acting on it. Bank of Queensland will receive a commission for insurance arranged, details of which are set out in the relevant Financial Services Guide (FSG). Customers may take out these types of insurance with any insurer of their choice. All cover is subject to acceptance by Vero Insurance. Neither Bank of Queensland nor any of its related companies guarantee the benefits payable under the policies of insurance issued by Vero Insurance. Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and cover limits apply. All benefits are payable solely by the insurer. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Financial Services Guide and Key Facts Sheet to decide if the insurance is appropriate for you and before making any decision about whether to acquire or continue to hold these products. You can obtain a copy of those documents from any Bank of Queensland branch or from www.boq.com.au/important-information/terms-and-conditions.
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