Working from home can sometimes feel like a challenge. Here we offer some tips and tricks to help you stay motivated and get you through the day
At Charity Digital, we learned so much about working from home in the past year. Here we want to share some small pieces of advice that can help you remain productive, maintain a good work-life balance, and ensure that you step away from the home office when necessary.
Charity workers refrain from lurching from meeting to meeting, unless necessary. Scheduling your time throughout the day ensures that you’ll be able to prepare for video calls and other meetings, have a lunch break, and take a relaxing stroll – all essential elements to reduce stress and remain motivated.
There are plenty of digital tools to help manage diaries and make everything a little easier. For the many charity professionals who work with Microsoft Office, for example, Outlook has a scheduling calendar that allows you to share your calendar with others via email. With shared calendars, colleagues can check whether you have a meeting or not and gain some insight into your schedule.
Top tip: To maximise productivity, block out dedicated personal time for yourself each day.
Keep on top of your schedule by creating a digital to-do list. Digital tools like Asana, Trello, Monday, and Todoist can organise your tasks by priority, timetable, and many other categories. These digital tools can be used by individuals or by teams.
Top tip: Create a sense of achievement by completing tasks every day. Use a pen and paper if preffered and tick off every item as you go.
Working from home once seemed like a temporary solution, but for many charity workers its here to say. From that perspective, make sure you aren’t working on the sofa or in bed. You should find an appropriate space with a designated desk and other necessities to ensure you are in the zone.
Entering and leaving that space will give a sense of distinguishing between work and life. For hardware improvements that could help to improve your office space, Charity Digital offers Cisco products for charity workers.
Top tip: Multiple screens and a decent Wi-Fi connection can boost productivity in your home office.
Spend too much time on your mobile phone? Find yourself endlessly scrolling social media platforms? Mobile phone apps and web browser plug-ins could be the solution to such distractions.
For those who keep checking phones, the Forest app keeps you from logging in for half-an-hour at a time. The app also has a Chrome extension. To stay motivated, the app allows you to share your ‘concentration’ moments with others. And there are plenty of other apps that serve to support your digital detox.
Top tip: If you’re finding it impossible to stay away from your phone or websites, reward yourself with a few minutes away from your desk after your ’concentration’ time.
At first novel, videoconferencing fatigue has kicked in. To prevent yourself from drifting, minimise yourself on video. This can help you concentrate on others speaking and keep you engaged. Interactive questions and activities can also help your audiences feel part of the conversation.
Another important tip is to minimise meetings altogether. Think about the subject of the meeting and question whether it needs to take place over Zoom, or whether it needs to take place at all.
Top tip: When planning virtual meetings, have an agenda and stick to the timetable. This will help participants stay focused on the salient points without drifting.
It’s tough for many of us to schedule coffee breaks with colleagues. However, it is important to keep on top of those office relationships, particularly between new members of staff and managers.
At Charity Digital, we recommend regular catch ups with team mates and managers. For those craving ‘team’ work, there are plenty of apps that provide a virtual colleague to work with. Focusmate offers 50-minute sessions for charity workers to keep on top of tasks, for example.
Top tip: One-to-ones catch-ups often trump team meetings. Use those to discuss more personal matters.
Hackers already know you’re working from home. Keep not only your personal, but work data safe. To protect your internet, have a good endpoint security system. Norton offers charity workers special pricing on security systems, available on the Charity Digital Exchange.
It’s essential that charity workers pay attention to cyber security. Charity Digital has lots of tips and advice in our Cyber Security Hub.
Top tip: Update your passwords regularly, and reduce usage of public Wi-Fi networks.