Make working from home work for you

GEKKO’s managing director, Daniel Todaro reflects on how the Gekko team is coping with its new working from home environment amidst the pandemic and ways to boost productivity for all.

Just like many businesses, the Gekko team is continuing to work from home to ensure the safety of all. It may feel like the months have crept in and it is hard to tell the difference or define mentally, also physically between where you work and where you relax. You are not alone.

Working from home might be the only way forward for the coming months and will be for some time. Therefore, to ensure you are at your most productive it is important you recognise those bad habits you may have picked up and get back into the swing of working from home, healthily.

Here we have outlined a few tips and tricks Gekko has used with its teams to manage and achieve the best work life balance, these may work for you.

  1. Create a dedicated working space

Get back to the space you created at the beginning of lockdown. If it is possible, make it a place you can close the door on when the working day is over. This will enable you to switch off and make a clear distinction between home and work.

If you do not have an option of a dedicated working space just make sure you switch off and tidy everything away so you can enjoy your evenings without being distracted by work. Putting your laptop, tablet and even your work phone away in a cupboard or drawer is the same as leaving the office at the end of the working day.

  1. Set aside your soft office

Working from home may have meant you have ended up in a ‘soft office’ where your couch has replaced your chair and your lap is now your desk. This isn’t good for your posture; find a more sturdy working space one that may emulate your office set up.

  • If you prefer to work using a monitor rather than a laptop screen there are affordable options for a home office out there. BenQ has a range of different size monitors at reasonable price points to suit any task
  • Pick a place to sit that supports your back or use the Upright Go, which can track and train your posture. Their app will also give you a visual representation of how you look when you are working.
  • If your role requires you to regularly present why not try the Humbleworks Standing Desk for your Laptop. It is adjustable to suit any height and will bring your laptop to eye level, which is perfect to present and work at

Alternatively, find several shoeboxes or large books to stack upon a table so that you can VC standing up. All important or serious VCs such as a presentation should be done standing up to help accentuate the pitch and pace of your delivery.

  1. Reinstate boundaries

You may have put boundaries in place when you first started working from home but they might have now fizzled out. If they have, take some time to chat to who you live with, discuss how you have felt most comfortable and the ways you worked which made you most productive.

Make sure you monitor how long tasks are taking. You could use a laundry cycle as a way to time how long you have focused on one piece of work. You could also install an activity tracker like, Rescue Time, which shows you exactly where your time goes and blocks your worst distractions to ensure you are getting the most out of your day.

Use your Smart Speaker to set timers to remind you to move onto another task or manage your workflow throughout the day. You could also play some soothing, or your favourite music to relax should feel a need to recalibrate your mood.

  1. Take a break

If you have been working from home for a while now you may have forgotten what a usual day in the office looked like. It is easy to get carried away when you’re working but we hope you haven’t forgotten to take a break. The day can have a tendency to march on without notice meaning that you catch lunch on the hoof between calls or you don’t take time out to get some natural light or air, both essential to ease stress.

Try planning your days in the morning and add in breaks where you may have had them when working in the office. Your Fitbit should come in handy for this, as you will be able to set reminders to take your break and track your steps. If you don’t make your 10,000 steps during the day it is the perfect excuse to get back out once the working day ends.

  1. Stay Connected

If you are used to and enjoy an office environment, working from home for so long could feel isolating. You might not be alone as your other colleagues may feel the same, try to schedule times for an all team video call or walking meetings to catch-up and increase your steps and set team challenges.

If you know you do not need to be in front of a screen for a meeting why not use it as a chance to stretch your legs. Put on your trainers, plug in your Google Pixel Buds and take a walk somewhere quiet while participating in the meeting.

“By setting up a working space that works like an office it will make you feel more productive and focused during your working day, keeping clutter at bay and your working tools together in one location.”

Working from home may have its positives but it’s not always easy. Remember to be kind to yourself while adapting to changes that are out of your control. It’s also an opportunity to work ‘your way’ listening to your music, not the teams and choosing when to be distracted. It does however mean that being plugged in all day should be balanced through the use of technology alongside personal comfort and a structured day, more importantly with regular breaks.

We are all doing the best we can, stay focused and keep it up!

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