Tips for increasing your efficiency when working from home
By: Shell Energy
17 Sep 2020
Lockdown has resulted in a big increase in the number of people working from home. In the UK, we’re starting to see a gradual return to work for some businesses, but due to strict social distancing protocols needed in office environments, many employees are still working from home on either a part-time or full-time basis.
More time spent at home means we’re all using more energy than usual. Research from Uswitch.com has found that the UK could spend an extra £52m a week on household energy bills as more employees work from home due to the pandemic.
In fact, there’s been an increase of 25% in electricity usage and 17% in gas usage per day in households where occupants are spending more time in the home. Earlier this year, we took a deep dive into usage figures to see how the consumption of energy and broadband has been impacted since the lockdown was implemented.
Making the switch to working from home comes with a number of personal and work life challenges - some you may be used to by now, others you may still be adjusting to. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you work from home efficiently and effectively during lockdown and beyond.
What is working efficiently for me? Office setup and the effects of home working during lockdown
Moving from office working to working from home means adjusting to a new work environment and setup. And for many, this could mean working from a bedroom or the living room.
It’s important to avoid working from your sofa or your bed, no matter how tempting it is, and rather try to mirror your usual office setup as closely as possible. Having a suitable desk and chair to work from will ensure you’re comfortable, and you’ll be more productive. Looking after your back and posture is also important, so a suitable chair with adequate back support is a good idea.
For many of us, cordoning off a section of the house to work, especially when you have young children at home, can be tricky. But it’s helpful to set clear boundaries between where you work and where you relax. If you can’t work in a separate room, simply sitting down at your desk, even if it’s in the middle of the living room, when you start your work day will help trigger your brain to go into ‘work mode’. Keep the sofa free so you can put your feet up and relax on it as soon as you’ve logged off for the day.
It’s important to organise your time, and balance out work hours and leisure hours to maintain a good work-life balance. Set clear working hours (and stick to them), and consider setting yourself S.M.A.R.T goals to tackle your workload:
Integrating these goals into your work schedule can help you get through the work day and complete tasks more efficiently, while also allowing yourself regular breaks to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and give your eyes a rest from your screen. Remember to take your annual leave days to give yourself a break from work to properly unwind and relax, even if holiday options are more limited than usual. For more helpful tips for working remotely, read our blog here.
Be smart about your energy usage
it’s important to be mindful about how much energy you’re using to avoid a spike in energy bills. We’ve put together a guide on how you can save energy at home.
Submitting meter readings will also help you stay on top of your usage and make sure you’re billed accurately, according to your exact consumption. Without readings, your bill will be estimated and will not be as accurate as it could be. You can submit readings by logging into your online account.
Installing a smart meter at home is another smart solution to help you keep track of how much energy you’re using on a day-to-day basis. Plus, your smart meter will send accurate meter readings to us automatically, so you won’t have to, giving you one less thing to add to your to-do list. A smart meter gives you more control of how much energy you consume and how much you spend, and we’ll install it at no extra cost in just an hour or two. Learn more about smart meters and how to book your installation.
Make frozen group calls a thing of the past with fibre broadband
Making sure you have a fast, reliable internet connection at home is essential to maintaining efficiency, especially if your work involves a lot of online video calls. Fortunately, the technology is available to help you keep you in contact with your wider team, clients and stakeholders, allowing you to overcome the physical boundaries of working remotely.
Online collaboration is important during this time, not only to ensure your work gets done, but to help ease feelings of isolation. There are many options available if you’re looking to use video calling software at home, such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack and Microsoft Teams. Find out how to master video calls in our blog.
In busy households, it’s possible there will be a strain on your internet connection if more than one person is working, streaming or playing video games online at the same time. You want to make sure that your broadband is as fast and as reliable as possible to make sure you stay connected. With fibre broadband, you can enjoy uninterrupted video conferences with multiple colleagues at once. Choose from any of our Shell Energy broadband packages.