Keeping your employees connected isn't easy, especially if they're working from home. Read 5 effective ways to engage and connect with your remote employees in our latest guest blog.
Managing Your Time When Working Remotely
Although the country is slowly starting to return to some normality with retail shops, pubs and restaurants opening back up, there are still many people working from home and maybe for the foreseeable. With the lack of communication, never-ending distractions and longer meetings, it can be difficult to manage your time properly while working from home.
According to a recent study, people who are working from home are experiencing longer days and attending more meetings since the global pandemic started. To be specific, the working day is now 48.5 minutes longer and meetings have increased by 13%. The longer day and increase in meetings could be down to a number of factors; the guilt of not getting enough work done may spur you on to work longer, meetings can be long-winded due to lack of regular communication and crossed wires between co-workers.
Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, we seem to have forgotten about those who are still working remotely and how tough it can be on motivation levels and mental health. So, fear not, we’re still here for you and here to bring you some tips on how to manage your time effectively when working from home.
Have a set start and finish time
If you’ve been here before you may of read our blog; Make Working From Home A Success, we recommended mirroring your working day as you normally would going into the office. Wake up around the same time, have a substantial breakfast, get dressed and get to your desk for the same time you would normally get into the office. Although the familiar environment and just having to walk a minute to your desk can make it tempting to have an extra hour in bed, it’s important to stick to a familiar routine to maximise productivity and increase motivation.
It’s also useful to make a note every day of your start and finish times in your diary, this will help you keep track everyday of how many hours your working and also help you manage your time better. It’s important to also be strict on your finishing time, working from home can be intense and it’s not frowned upon to finish your working day when you’re meant to.
Limit your meetings
Of course, meetings need to be done but it’s important not to overload your daily schedule with long meetings. On average, a meeting usually lasts between 25-55 minutes, so if you schedule in 3 or more meetings per day that last around an hour, it’s going to be tough to get work done.
It’s also good to note that our engagement levels are most likely to drop when participating in a long meeting. Therefore, it can be difficult to pick up motivation straight after a long meeting.
Although in some circumstance’s meetings can’t be avoided, it can be useful to limit yourself to two-hour-long meetings per day to manage your time better. This way, you can set aside specific times in your day where you can get on with pressing tasks.
Just like in the office, you probably have a never-ending list of tasks you need to complete but with working from home, it can might seem easy to multi-task and try to cram everything into one go. According to Facile Things your brain takes at least 15 minutes to refocus after you’ve switched tasks, so in fact, multitasking might not be the real time saver we once thought it was.
In order to make your working day a success, it’s best to plan out at the beginning of the week everything you have to do and prioritise these tasks in order of importance. Start the most important and pressing stuff at the beginning of the week and leave the least important tasks to do at the end of the week. This will help you tick stuff off your to-do list better and also help you stay more focused working on one task at a time.
It's ok to say no
The word we all dread to say to people, ‘no’. But sometimes we have to say it, it’s not selfish or rude it just shows that other things have had to take priority in your schedule.
We’ve all been there where we’re inundated with tasks from other departments, managers and our own work and then one more thing comes in to put the cherry on top of the cake. But in most case scenario, we’ll try and cram it into our schedule anyways.
Always remember, it’s ok to say no. If someone asks you to do something and you simply don’t have the time to fit it into your schedule for that week, take them aside and explain how busy your schedule is for the week. Offer an alternative to when your calendar will be free to complete the tasks, it’s more than likely your colleague will understand that your time is limited and be able to come to a compromise.
And there you have it, 4 tips on how to manage your time more effectively when working from home. Due to the intensity of remote working and the other factors such as childcare and daily duties, it can mean your schedule is a lot tighter than it would normally be working from the office.
2020 has been the year of the workplace revolution and things are still evolving and changing. As we gradually start to return back to civilisation, it may seem for many remote workers that they’ve been forgotten about but fear not, we’ll always be on hand to deliver your remote working tips.