6 Top tips on home working

Many of you will be moving onto new graduate or placement roles, for some of you this will be your first job, or maybe it will be your first job working in a new “virtual” way. We have all had to adapt and develop our working and study style due to Covid, it has caused employers to become more agile and keep businesses going despite having a virtual workforce.

Some of us have been working remotely and wrestling with Teams and Zoom for a while now, but for some of you this may be a new daunting challenge, learning new ways of working and training 100% remotely for the foreseeable future.

Before Covid you would face the daunting first day by walking into a new busy office, getting a new desk, plunging yourself into the challenge, getting to know your new colleagues at lunch and after few days pass it seems a lot more comfortable.

But now the difference between being a student and your first day working in your new role could be as small as wearing a shirt at your desk in your room, rather than PJ’s. It’s important to remember that if you are going to be a remote employee, this is a positive, new and exciting challenge. One that will make you a much better self-starter, improving your development as an independent and agile worker.

But there are some dangers to avoid, especially when you are trying to make an excellent first impression without the luxury of meeting your employers in person!

  1. Don’t work too long without stopping! Not only does working non-stop mentally drain you, but it can take a physical toll. Don’t burn out! It will only affect your role in the long term.
  1. Get outdoors – It’s easy when you’re working at home to forget you have a lunch break, why not try taking a walk around the garden or a quick half-hour stroll outside the house? Fresh air and sunlight will have such a positive effect, especially to quell those new starter nerves!
  1. Manage your time – Without a boss physically in the room it can be easy to work in a disjointed way, potentially working outside of your hours or taking too long to get going. Make sure you create a schedule, one that aligns with your energy levels. If you are a morning person, get those major projects started in the mornings, taking advantage of your low energy times to do emails and admin tasks. Focus on controlling what you can, one of the benefits of homeworking is a lot of flexibility.
  1. Rewards – Working from home can be demotivating, especially when you haven’t got workers around you spurring you on. It can be easy to sit and procrastinate never starting tasks, give yourself tasks and rewards e.g. Finish that project proposal and take a break make a coffee and have some biscuits. It can be easy to do nothing and then become swamped with too much.
  1. Embrace the flexibility and freedom – Working from home/ remotely can be daunting and feel lonely – make sure to look at the positives. You can have your favourite podcast on while you work, you can work anywhere (role permitting) why not one day set up your computer in the garden or a coffee shop.
  1. Treat work time as work time – Sometimes it can be easy to think, “oh my desk is next to my bed I don’t even have to bother getting up until 8:55”. Treat your working week as if you had to go to the office, get up early, get properly dressed (It’s far too easy to work in PJ’s!) Make a coffee and breakfast – you will feel more alert and professional – it won’t be as much of a shock to the system when you go into the office!

Difficulties and new challenges in a new role out of University for the first time can seem very daunting, especially when working is such a new way. But if you are looking for careers support don’t forget that as a graduate of Henley Business School you have ongoing support from our Careers team for 4 years after you graduate! We’re here to help with your career challenges.