8 tips for forced homeworking

In this time of health crisis, we all have to limit our travel and therefore have to work from home. While for some people this is a common trend, for many of us it may be the first time.  

Between children at home, fatigue, concentration, lack of productivity, the obstacles can be numerous.  

Nevertheless, don't worry, we have some good practices for you to put in place that could make this quarantine a little less difficult and a little more productive. 

1 - Prepare a workspace, a place to work in 

Going back and forth between your bed, couch, kitchen and coffee table is definitely not the best solution to promote productivity. The number one rule is to be able to define a specific work area. This will allow you to be more focused on the tasks and assignments you are assigned, and to maintain a balance between your professional and private life. 

In case you don't have an office or not enough space at home to dedicate a workspace, a dining table corner will do the trick. If possible, choose a secluded space to escape the demands of your children. 


2 - Putting your home and business in order 

Equally important, when working at home, more distractions are likely to interfere with our productivity, and any excuse is good to do something else. So, make sure your environment is conducive to concentration. Make sure it's clean, that your papers are in order, so that in no case will cleaning be more attractive than working. :) 

Don't hesitate to open the windows wide to let fresh air in during your breaks, it will help you to ventilate your mind. 


3 - Don't stay in pyjamas, get ready! 

The line between home working and day off can sometimes be thin and on some days, there can be a lack of motivation. To make sure this doesn't happen, start the day by preparing yourself.

This doesn't necessarily mean getting dressed for work, but it is recommended that you don't stay in pyjamas.

That way you'll know your day has started and the temptation to go back to bed will be lessened.  Favour a relaxed outfit, run cold water over your face and arrange your hair so that during your Visio conference, your interlocutors won't think you're getting out of bed :)

4 - Continue the dialogue with your team, despite the distance 

In order to maintain a pleasant atmosphere within your team, do not hesitate to communicate regularly with your colleagues. Start by saying "Good morning", this will allow you to start the day in the best possible way.  In addition, set up a simple communication system, plan regular meetings but also simple calls to discuss and have a good time, such as a coffee break. You can easily use your phone or simple tools such as Skype or Teams.  

5 - Don't skimp on emojis  

When we communicate with each other on a daily basis, we sneer, ways of expressing ourselves that allow us to nuance our words and thus convey a message with tact. In writing it can be more complex. So, don't hesitate to insert some emojis in your conversations to convey an emotion and to encourage and motivate each other. 

6 - Use appropriate software and define your means of communication 

To foster collaboration, it is important that your entire team can simply exchange and have access to all the data and documents they need to work. 

This starts with a good internet connection, a computer with the right software & access to email and calendar. So, make sure you have a tool such as Teams, slack or Skype, which allow internal exchanges such as calls or video conferences.  

Also ensure that the documents are accessible on a common, shared server. You can use One drive, or Google drive, accessible from any computer. If your company uses a private server, the use of a virtual private network (VPN), will allow all employees to have access to internal company data.  

7 - Feel free to move and define moments of relaxation  

It's a classic but not the least ... in home working as in the office, you have to set limits. 

First of all, define and respect your working hours. As far as possible, keep the same working hours as you do in the office. Home working does not mean holidays, hard work and overtime. So, try to maintain a "normal" routine. Plan and organize your day, set deadlines and take breaks. Think about disconnecting from work from time to time and resist the urge to sit on your couch under your plaid with old episodes of Friends in the middle of the afternoon.  

8 - Don't eat in front of your computer 

Often associated with a moment of sharing within a team or personal time to go and practice a sport and disconnect, the lunch break is a convivial and unavoidable moment of the day. It is therefore important to keep this habit as much as possible and to use this time to take a real "break". Turn off your computer (so as not to be disturbed and to have an eco-friendly gesture), surf on social networks, sunbathe and enjoy this moment. This will allow you to start the afternoon serenely.  

Be careful though, home working does not mean an extended break. 

Little tip, just for you: If need be, set an alarm to remind you it's time to get back to work. 

9 - No overtime  

Beware this is a nuanced statement! We are not telling you that you should absolutely not work overtime, but at the end of the day, make sure you close your files, so you are not tempted to fall back into it. There is a fine line between working and relaxing during a home working day. In this period of "constrained" home office and confinement, for the well-being of all, it is important to respect it. 

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