How to run a successful home office: Advice from the KS team
The ability to work from home and flexible work schedules have been gaining popularity with workers over the past few years as we have mentioned before on our blog. The reasons for this shift are multi-faceted, with some choosing to work from home to gain a better work-life balance or to accommodate childcare schedules, while others enjoy avoiding the long commutes to the office.
Technological developments have also contributed to the rising number of people working from home. Technologies such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based solutions, communication platforms and video conference programs have facilitated remote working, making it much easier to collaborate with colleagues from separate ends of the city.
This year, many of those who had not previously worked from home have been forced to do so for months at a time. This shift in the working environment and lack of social interactions can be challenging for some and can take a toll on one’s mental health. To aid the inexperienced in the art of working from home, we have compiled the SALTO KS tips and tricks for a successful home office. We will focus especially on recommendations that promote self-care and increase well-being in honour of #worldmentalhealthday which will be celebrated on October 10th.
Read on to find out what keeps the SALTO KS machine running:
Stick to a specific schedule
When you don’t have to get up early to catch that train to work and the mornings grow darker as we sail into winter, nothing seems more tempting than to lie in bed until 8:55 AM. Indeed, nothing is stopping you from simply grabbing your laptop from your bedside table and starting the day’s work from bed. However, there are numerous benefits to waking up a little bit earlier, from increased productivity to less stress in the mornings.
Waking up at 8:00 AM provides enough time for a 30-minute yoga session, a hearty breakfast, and a morning shower before you sit down in front of the laptop, making you feel more refreshed and ready for the day. Even without these activities, having a few moments to yourself without jumping straight into work can make a world of a difference.
“Going out for a morning run before work makes me feel like I’m in charge of my day rather than the day being in charge of me.” - Kristin Pater, Marketing Manager at SALTO KS.
Optimise your #WFH wardrobe
A benefit that accompanies working from home is the freedom to wear whatever you want. Many have revelled in this freedom by saying goodbye to their office wardrobe and wearing their most comfortable pyjama set instead. However, wearing pyjamas, just like working from bed, can trick your mind into feeling more sleepy and less energised. Dressing up in clothes you would wear to the office can bring a sense of normalcy to the workday and keeps the days from melding together.
Don’t forget that lunch!
Without the visual cues of seeing your coworkers stand up and move to the canteen, lunch can easily be forgotten in the busy home office. For many, the days are packed with stand-up meetings to make sure that everyone is on the same page despite working in separate places, resulting in workers skipping lunch to work on their individual projects. However, taking at least a 30-minute break from work to eat a healthy lunch or simply taking your eyes off the laptop can increase productivity for the rest of the day.
Working late to accommodate deadlines is fine...
…but make sure it does not become a habit. When you work in an office, you usually keep the same hours, arriving at and leaving the office around the same time every day. When working from home, it is very easy to accidentally work longer while finishing a project as there is no train schedule to keep track of, reminding you what time it is.
A good way to make sure a work-life balance is preserved is to stick to the same hours you would usually work in the office. If you have to work late on a project on a Wednesday, substitute the hours worked by taking a longer lunch break on a Thursday. This way, you make sure that you do not give up too much of your personal time and reduce the chance of feeling overwhelmed.
Plan water cooler chats with your coworkers
When at the office, it is customary to take small breaks throughout the day to grab coffee with your coworkers, or as in the case of SALTO KS, you would play a game of pool. To nurture your relationships with your colleagues, we recommend planning short, online meetings with your coworkers, or reserve 5-10 minutes for small talk during your meetings.
On a larger scale, there are many ways to keep up the office morale even when everyone is working from home. Planning after-work virtual drinks, a trivia night, a BINGO challenge, or a virtual work-out class are all examples of innovative gatherings that keep up the team spirits.
“Spending time together in an informal setting helps you get to know the real person you are working next to every day. It’s during the most mundane coffee break interactions that I’ve learnt the most amazing things about my colleagues which is why keeping some time aside for those micro chats is so important.” - Wilma Georgeson, Office Manager at SALTO KS.
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