During these uncertain times, working from home has become the norm not just something a handful of people do for a couple of days a week. Successful home working requires discipline so that you can maintain that separation of home and work, which is essential for a good work-life balance and also good physical and mental health. Some tips which may help you do this are outlined below.
Maintain normal hours – Set a schedule as far as possible. Having clear times for starting and ending the workday can help stop work creeping into home life and vice versa.
Start the day with a routine – A morning routine helps define the start of work. It might be making a cup of coffee. It might be sitting down after returning from a walk just as you would do if walking to an office. It might be as simple as getting dressed (delivery people will see a lot of workers in their pyjamas over the coming weeks).
Set rules with the people in your home – If you have children who come home from school (or are not at school) while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. If you and your partner are both working from home, agree the rules from the start.
Schedule breaks and take them – Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself time during the day to walk away from the screen and phone. A full lunch hour and two short breaks will make you more productive.
Get outside – Go outside once a day and get some fresh air and natural light. Your body needs to move and it’s good for the immune system.
Ask for what you need – If you’re employed by a company or organisation that supports your work-from-home setup, request the equipment you need. It’s important that you have the equipment you need to get your job done comfortably.
Keep a dedicated workspace – In an ideal world, remote workers would have a dedicated office. Not everyone has a separate office in their home, especially if there is more than one person working from home. Instead, dedicate an area for work use only.
Be heard in meetings – You’ll take part in video conferences and conference calls. Be sure to speak up during the meeting so everyone knows you’re on the call. A simple, “Thanks, everyone. Bye!” at the close of a meeting will go a long way toward making your presence known.
Be positive – Succinct and clear messages are great but can come across as slightly aggressive over e-mail. When you work remotely full-time, you must be positive, to the point where it may feel like you’re being overly positive. An emoji or exclamation mark can help lighten the tone.
Take advantage of the perks – The washing machine can be put on during the day, deliveries can be received and most importantly all that time previously spent commuting can be saved.
End the day with a routine – Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the end of the day. It might be a sign off on business messaging apps, a walk. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.
In addition to effective working from home, thought must also be given to secure working as well. Simple steps to stay secure when working remotely include: Don’t use public Wi-Fi unless necessary. Use a password manager to create and store complex and secure passwords. Use a VPN to allow a secure connection to the office. Be aware of what data is important and be vigilant when storing or sending them remotely. Communicate and be open – if you think you’ve spotted a potential security risk or phishing e-mail, tell your employer so they can try to mitigate it early.
The Government backed Cyber Essentials scheme is one-way firms can help to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate a commitment to cybersecurity. Redbrick Solutions is working towards Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation and they use the very latest technology to make the conveyancing process as efficient and secure as possible.
Our document sharing portal has the highest level of security available using two-part authentication. This enables you to share sensitive data, such as bank details, with your client whilst removing the risk of email interception and fraud. All of our AML/ID checks are fully compliant with the FCA, HMRC and SRA. You can also choose to accept proof of ID electronically via our secure portal and make use of electronic signatures.
Text and Email messages can be pre-programmed into your workflow so that they are sent automatically at key milestones, keeping your clients up to date, improving client satisfaction by demonstrating how pro-active and efficient you are and keeping your matters on track.
Also useful whilst you have a lot of staff working remotely is the ability to assign certain tasks to users and to have full visibility of who has done what, and when.
For more information please contact us.