Homeworking during COVID-19 has become commonplace and flexible working looks like it may become a regular feature of many companies as we emerge from lockdown. But is it working as well as it can for you, your employees and your company?
The blurring of lines between work and home life has caused difficulties for many of us that we have had to work hard to get around. At work, requests from colleagues, attending meetings or conversations with co-workers may interrupt your concentration, but at home, kids, deliveries or even pets provide added distractions.
That said, recent research by Flexjobs has shown that remote workers increase their output by 65% almost immediately, and company where flexible working has been introduced have seen revenues increase by as much 26% as homeworkers have, on the whole, felt more ‘plugged in’ to their work.
But with that comes the danger of burnout.
Adding a little to the start or the end of the working day (“I’ll just do a bit more on that report!”), or skipping lunch because you’re deep in concentration – or eager to prove that you are being productive whilst at home – might produce a short-term boost to completing your to-do list, but can spell disaster in the longer-term. Working too hard for too long affects performance, lowering the quality of work produced and can, if left unchecked, affect mental health.
Clearing your head helps to structure your work plan and focus properly. So, work hard, but takes small breaks throughout the day. Take a proper lunch break away from your workstation. Walk in the open air for five minutes every so often.
However you do it, make sure you look after yourself. You’re no use to anyone burned out!