2020 has been the year of working from home. It is much safer to work in isolation than the risks of travelling into the workplace, plus spending time in close proximity with colleagues is a dangerous activity!
That being said, there are many mistakes people make when working from home. Here are five bad habits that we commonly see, and how you can fix them!
Multiple Windows/Tabs Open
There is nobody around, no supervisors and less meetings to attend, and that means you are often trusted to work to your own pace, meet deadlines without being managed at home. This independence is great, but the problem for many of us is that our attention cuts short, and we try to find distractions that give us satisfaction.
It can be looking at online shopping, watching YouTube or even playing games on another window, but this leads to poor productivity and the days end up moving a lot quicker than you want, and little progress has been made on the work.
The solution isn't removing these distractions completely, because it leads to boredom and also poor performance as you end up stalling on tasks. What we recommend is to provide yourself a 20/10 split for working throughout the day. Staying disciplined, work for twenty straight minutes, and as soon as the buzzer sounds you are free to spend ten minutes browsing or doing anything non-work related.
Breaks are important, but without supervision or structure we tend to break a little too much! If you time-keep, you maintain your motivation while also being productive during those condensed minutes.
Burn Out and Overworking
It can be difficult when you can't separate the comforts of your own home, and the stresses and tribulations of the work environment. Even if you have a separate work space, a lot of our customers note that even the best equipment doesn't rid the "dread" of taking work everywhere around the house.
This leads to burnout and people losing motivation to work when at home, and can also impact the rest of your time in what should be your happy place. When we were working at home, we found it useful to schedule out the week so there is always something to look forward to, work or not.
Perhaps it's an hour to do some gardening in the evening (especially with daylight savings), a lunch time game of Jenga with your other half or simply scheduling a work task to be pumped out on a Wednesday afternoon, no distractions, creating little events throughout the week to keep the mind satisfied with the immediate future is a great tool.
For us at Ewin Gaming, our time working from home meant that we scheduled daily online team sessions of Fortnite and FIFA!
Not Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Getting out of the house, or having to commute usually pushes us into action. As humans we are naturally lazy, so if we're "forced" to stay home, that's what we'll do because there is an excuse! To be safe, to maximise time at work or the threat of being distracted, that's what we tell ourselves.
Unfortunately this means we tend to develop other lazy traits. We stop exercising, binge eating snacks and treats becomes the norm and hours of Netflix as a night activity is considered productive.
How do you overcome this? It's by putting together to-do lists and planning them out IN ADVANCE! Wake up knowing the schedule, knowing what needs to be done and that time needs to be opened up for those activities.
The morning jog has to be done in the morning, the evening house duties straight on it from dinner onwards. Do this for long enough, and it'll be natural for you to do them without thinking. In fact, for us during work from home, not doing them made us feel guilty!
Waking Up Later
There's no commute, no office to head into, no physical interaction with colleagues, clients or other stakeholders. Naturally, this means we let down our guard and make the most of the extra prep time before work. Why not sleep a little later in the evenings, and set the alarm back a couple hours each day?
A lot of time though, people miss the fact that those additional morning hours can be used to do things you usually can't when working from an office! Switch it up, and go for a morning swim, or if you're like us, game for a couple hours with your American/European friends!
We only get 24 hours in a day, and when a couple of those free up because we're not travelling/preparing, we need to maximise the opportunity!
Drinking Too Little Water
Remember the days in the office, where you'd chug down a bottle of water and use the water refill as an excuse to stretch your legs?
Now you're at home, and without the need to leave your table to take a break, you drink much less and stay dehydrated the whole day!
Water makes up up to 60% of the human body, and we need it as an essential part of how we function. Forget athletes and exercise, daily activities require the big H20 so we can stay energised, fuelled and transporting nutrients where we need to.
A big step the team has taken here when working from home, is purchasing a large 3-litre bottle, filling it up in the morning and making it a MUST that we finish it by the end of the working day. Try it, it works!
Working from home can be a blessing or a curse. We tend not to be very disciplined when it comes to independent working, we're too used to working in a team and relying on others to keep us in line! Put in place those habits above, and watch your productivity, health and happiness go through the roof!