Continue your professional development with our RIBA accredited interactive CPD With so many of us now working from home, take the opportunity to do something interactive and get involved in our online CPDs! We have put this blog together to offer some tips to help you get the best out of working from home. Develop your skills We know continued development is important, and that’s why we have adapted our popular CPDs so you can join in from the comfort of your own home. We are now offering our RIBA Accredited CPDs as interactive online seminars. This means that although you might be working from home you can continue to grow your knowledge and develop your skills. The seminars will be delivered by one of our experienced team members, who will guide you through everything you need to know and answer any questions you may have via Microsoft Teams. Just pick the time and date and invite your whole team to join us for a lunch and learn. You can even eat as they speak if you promise to mute your microphone! Create a suitable office setup A great place to start is by choosing a space in your home that is designated specifically for work. Whether it’s in a home office, a spare bedroom, or even out in the garage. It’s also important to set up your equipment properly, so as not to put strain on your eyes, neck, or back. If you don’t install your workstation correctly you won’t be able to work to your full potential and it can have serious health implications. The main thing is to make sure that whatever space you pick, is comfortable, and you can commit to working there every day. Another factor to remember when setting up your home workspace, is that it needs to be quiet so you can focus. We realise that in the current situation most houses are going to have more than one person working from home. For this exact reason it is important that everyone has their own private space that allows them to work effectively, without distraction. Don’t worry about any of those background noises around the house interrupting the session, you can always mute your microphone when you’re not talking. Build a routine Just like you would if you were going into the office it is important to build a daily routine whilst working from home. Like all routines it will take you a little while to adapt, but the sooner you set a schedule the better. Make sure you set yourself a time to clock in at your desk and allow enough time to get ready. Whether it’s getting up early and squeezing in a workout or just leaving enough time for you to scrape the burnt bits of your toast. Being ready to work at a set time each day will help you hit the ground running and smash through a load of work before lunch. Moreover, factoring in short breaks as well as a lunch hour into your routine is key to staying concentrated on work for longer. We often think that because we’re working from home, we will get more done as we don’t have any distractions. However, this can lead us to overworking whilst at home, which can slash productivity. By introducing short five-minute breaks into your day and stepping away from work, it allows your brain to recharge and you can attack tasks with a fresh perspective. Whilst it is important to create a routine and stick to it, incorporating something different into each day is a great way to build variation and keep your days engaging. Our interactive CPD seminars are only 45 minutes and are designed to fit into your schedule. The opportunity to grow your skills and pick the brains of our experienced team makes a nice change to your day. Avoid work creep Working from home can invade on your personal life, as you’re always near to your work. It doesn’t have to be like this though, make sure to set specific work hours and stick to them. The great thing about working from home is you can be flexible, so if you find your more productive in the morning then set your hours from 7am to 4pm. By adjusting your day, you will be able to utilise your focus hours and boost your overall productivity, whilst maintaining a healthy work balance. We understand that everyone’s working day is different, that’s why we have made our interactive CPD’s completely flexible. You don’t have to halt your work to join our sessions, you pick a time and date that suits you. Furthermore, try to keep your work and rest areas of the house separate. Whilst we know this isn’t always possible, try to separate yourself from communal spaces like the kitchen or lounge. It will prevent any distractions like someone making their mid-morning coffee or the kids watching TV. Distancing your work from these spaces also ensures they remain as places in the house to relax at the end of the day. It’s key to factor this in when working from home because we all need that space to unwind. Stay connected Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, working from home can be lonely for us all. A great way to kick this feeling is to maintain good channels of communication both with your colleagues as well as with friends and family. Internal communication programmes like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype are great to speak with your team and keep up to date with what everyone is working on. Organising video conference calls takes this one step further, allowing you to easily communicate with colleagues and bring the office catchup into your home. Step outside Without your morning commute to the office or trip to shops to grab your lunch, it’s easy to forget about fresh air. Either open some windows to let in some light and a breeze or take the time to go outside, even if it is just for a few minutes. Stepping outside a few times throughout the day will help to boost both your creativity and productivity. Why not join one of our seminars from your garden or balcony and enjoy the fresh air! We know that working at home can be a hard nut to crack but we hope that with these tips you’ll be well on your way.