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We are living in changeable times. In the era of coronavirus – coming not long after major flooding here in the UK – working from home has become a requirement for many people all over the world. However, this sudden shift may be difficult for people to adjust to, especially if they’re not used to working from home.
In this article, we look at some ways to balance the benefits and challenges of home working, especially if you and your team are working from home by necessity and not by choice.
Dedicate a space in your home to work in
Some people regularly work from home and already have a home office, but others may not have an obvious area in which to set up a workstation. However, being able to create a separate space where you can switch off from distractions and focus on your work is ideal.
If you simply don’t have a room available, look at freeing up a dedicated space that gives you as much privacy as possible – after all, you may not be the only one at home. You may need to repurpose a room or even get your dining table to multitask as a desk.
Try to invest in your home office environment if you can – a decent-quality chair (especially important), a plant or two, and some stimulating colours or art around you could help make your temporary office an inspiring one. Aim to avoid clutter too, as there’s nothing more dispiriting than a useless pile of paper hiding the one important document you need.
Take regular breaks and work your contracted hours
While the occasional day at home might feel quite luxurious, it requires some focus and commitment to set a positive routine for a long spell working at home. Make sure you start your day well and get ready as usual – you may not want to put on your best suit, but getting dressed will definitely help you get in the right mindset. Perhaps take a short walk to substitute for your commute (this is where having a dog can be a brilliant motivator), or simply sit and enjoy a cup of coffee before you turn on your computer. Taking a little time for yourself to get into ‘work mode’ will help you to be more effective when you get to your desk.
Working from home can give you the flexibility to work the best hours for you – those hours where you’re at your most inspired, creative and productive, even if they’re not your usual 9 to 5. However, being at home can also make it easy for the day to creep away from you, which may mean more time at your desk but less productivity. If you get stuck at your desk for too long, take a break, make a healthy snack or go for a run – whatever it takes to clear your mind and reset your productivity.
For some people, their commute home is an opportunity to unwind from the work day. If this sounds like you, make sure you find a helpful way to switch off from work before you start your evening. Do some exercise, listen to music or a podcast, or pick up a book and read a chapter or two – whatever helps you to disconnect from your work day.
Maximise the potential of your practice management software to minimise disruption
Meeting with clients and colleagues isn’t an option when your ability to travel freely is limited by events beyond your control, but with the right practice management software you should still be able to deliver the same reliable, real-time service that your clients have come to expect. With a secure system such as DPS Software’s Spitfire, you can access, distribute and update documents quickly and easily, keeping active cases progressing smoothly.
As long as you have a reliable internet connection and a secure legal software setup, you can continue to update and communicate with your clients whenever you need to, using cloud-based technology. For example, our Client Portal integrates seamlessly with our Spitfire practice management software and other services such as Office 365, so your clients won’t notice any difference in service when you and your team are working from home.
To find out more about how DPS Software can help your legal team deliver a seamless service from home as well as at the office, contact us today.