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Chris Heal MNAEA, Associate Partner

Ongoing developments with the COVID-19 virus has meant a lot of employees are having to self-isolate and adapt to new work routines from home. With advances in technology that keep you connected with the office, flexible working is by necessity becoming increasingly popular and, working from home has never been easier. We take a look at our top tips to help you perfect your working from home routine.

Create a dedicated workspace

Having a dedicated space to work in is important for your routine and productivity. Working from your bed or the sofa, or “The soft office” as it is now known, might seem tempting, but you are likely to be less productive in the space you associate with relaxing. A home office is perfect, if you have one, but any consistent area with a table and chair will help you associate a home space with work. Have the right equipment and technology all set up and well organised to help you remain properly focused. It’s good to find somewhere with lots of natural light, as this sends signals to your brain to help you feel positive and awake. Finally, if you can, close the door to eliminate distractions or have a rule with family to ensure you are left to concentrate when necessary.

Dress for work

To help you adopt the right mindset, you’ll want to dress for the part. Wearing your jimjams or comfies  all day might seem like a great idea but taking the time to get dressed properly is not only better for your productivity, but your mental health too.

Have structure in your day

Creating and implementing a routine simplifies your day and makes it easier to keep yourself organised. Perhaps start your day with checking your emails and creating a daily to do list while having your morning coffee break. Consistency and regularity will make it easier to get into and maintain the flow of work.

Learn to communicate effectively

There are a whole raft of  methods and mediums to communicate and send information to people, such as phone calls, instant messaging, email, Teams meetings, video calls and lots more.
Learn to use each medium practically for what you need to achieve. Video calls are excellent for meetings, while instant messaging is more useful for a quick question or update. Figure out which mediums are most practical for what you are wanting to achieve and for the people you are communicating with.
Remember, working from home can, for some, feel isolating at times, so a quick video chat or phone call can make all the difference.

Take breaks

Breaks are vitally important to create a distinction between work and your personal time. Just like working in an office, allow yourself regular little breaks just to walk around as sitting for long periods is not good and have a proper lunchbreak so you can walk away from your work area and have some time for yourself. Having a break will clear your mind, allowing you to get back to work with a fresh perspective and more energy.

Limit your work hours and stick to them

Working from home can mean your work can creep into your personal life, which can be detrimental to your productivity and psychological health. You are more likely to stay motivated when you set yourself work hours and stick to them. Create a mini routine for the end of the day, such as having a call with your manager or employees, to set a cut-off time.

(Content compiled by Whitton & Laing Estate agents and Chartered Surveyors with offices in Exeter and Exmouth, covering the whole of East devon and beyond)