By Louise Botha, Recruitment Specialist: HR Company Solutions

Should it be for the reason of the lock down during this unprecedented time in our lives, or for those who have the opportunity to work from home in general, there are always some challenges in the work environment. For those whose challenge is working remotely, here are some survival tips I found useful…

Make sure you have a designated desk area where you can officially “arrive” at work in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Try and avoid keeping games or personal social networking open around you, just in case you get tempted to quickly feed your fish in “Fishdom”  or to check how many Likes you have received for your last Facebook holiday post .

Educate and ensure that you advise and inform any persons who might be around you or in your home during your work hours that you need quiet and respect. Treat your desk as you would your office environment.

Set your alarm. Wake up to start your morning routine and don’t forget to dress up and brush your teeth. Working in your pyjamas is not a good idea for those unexpected video calls or meetings. Plus, you get stuck at your computer more than you’d imagine and it gets harder to get away for a shower!

Use your imagination just like you did as a child. Make it up. You ARE going into the office. Except with getting into your car and driving there, you just save the trip and travel expenses and of course the unavoidable road-rage. So, on the bright side, you can arrive at work much happier and calmer. Start your day well. Once you arrive on time at your desk you ARE at Work.

Time-management. Yes, it is a real thing. You can organise and prioritise and work out a schedule to make use of your time to its full potential and have great results. Follow your structured routine and scheduled work as per your normal day. If you have any meetings or interviews you would have attended, try set them up via Telephone, Skype or WhatsApp calls. There are some great professional platforms and tools to use, including Zoom and Skype.

Make use of your tools for connecting and expanding your professional network. LinkedIn has been the most successful, in my opinion, in the professional environment. However, research and explore other platforms as there are many untouched connections that you can network with. Some include platforms such as @rocketsearch.

Remember to take your breaks for tea or coffee,  lunch and to give yourself time out that is away from your desk area if you need to. But stick to the time. Connect with your colleagues. Brainstorm and chat and discuss challenges together. The interaction can help you feel at home. Or shall we rather say “work”, but from home. Some nice platforms to use include “houseparty” where you can connect with more than one person at a time so you can have a real tea party during working hours. This can become a valuable resource going forward!

What to avoid? This is basic – DON’T go and watch TV or go over your break times. Starting a quick series just to see what happens next is not going to end in a quick break so avoid that Netflix bug sitting on your shoulder. Don’t get tempted to leave your desk every 5 min to check what’s in the fridge. After the fifth time your fridge will not magically create more snacks or treats for you. Believe me I have personally explored this option…

Try not to do house chores during your work time as it also causes distraction and takes valuable time away from your desk which will inevitably limit your productivity.

Finally, finish your day off and “lock up” your office and head back home in your imaginary car. It is important to keep a healthy balance and follow your home routine after work. Don’t get back on your laptop and work after hours – your family and friends need you too and it’s not healthy to work endlessly. Boundaries and balance are key!

Happy remoting