Some people love to work from home, shutting themselves away without distractions, others dread it, feeling isolated and cut off.
As Covid-19 takes hold and more people in hotels may need to work remotely – be it the Reservations team, operations, accounts, General Managers/owners, HR, Revenue Managers etc it’s important to put this into perspective and give ourselves the best chance to continue to communicate and work effectively. Here are some basic thoughts and guidelines to help boost productivity when homeworking:
Workspace - Distinguish between Home and Work
If you are lucky enough to have a separate office or workspace (away from family and other potential distractions and noise), then dedicate this space solely for work.
Set your workspace up to feel uncluttered and tidy. Sit at a desk or table if possible, to help your posture.
When you are not in the workspace, you can then have time for family and other things- but when you are in your workspace you are out of bounds. Get your family on board to understand this too.
It’s about discipline: avoid distractions when you are working. Some people work well with background noise, so have your music on if you prefer – but TV most definitely needs to be turned off
Structure and Time
Plan your day as much as possible – you may need to be reactive to urgent work needs but planning your time will help you be more effective.
Get yourself showered and dressed for work, just as you would if you were leaving the house, to put you in the right frame of mind for the working day ahead.
Start at a designated time. Make sure you’ve had breakfast, have a cuppa by your side, and are logged on and ready to start your working day at your normal time.
Log off for lunch and take a proper break. Get some fresh air (even if it’s just opening a window or going out in the garden) and recharge the batteries to help the creative juices.
Stop work at your normal finish time, log off that laptop and put your mobile away.
Technology and Communication
Have your IT kit ready and in place – laptop, headset, monitor, phone, whatever you need, have it prepared, fully functioning and ready!
Test your internet connection is adequate to ensure you’re ready to go. This is all you’ll need to access your cloud PMS, Channel Manager and website CMS - from any device, at any time. And if you’re part of a group, you can also access multiple sites too from one log in.
It is so easy now to communicate remotely but make sure you interact well with colleagues and employers as a lot can be lost in text translation on e-mail, so use the technology available to be as clear as possible.
Be clear about meeting deadlines and expectations. Mark tasks as completed to get a sense of achievement.
Keep in touch with your colleagues regularly using technologies available and for Teams Meetings, use your camera – they’d love to see your smiling face!
Show you can be trusted and are accountable for your work. Monitor your effectiveness.
Communicate, communicate, communicate …with the help of some useful home-working apps. Check out our recommendations here.
If you find homeworking isolating, then make sure you make time for socialising out of work (again, within the permitted guidelines).
Touch base with colleagues for regular catch-ups during work time. This is great mentally - reminds you you’re not alone and you can support one another.
Make sure you relax after work. Take a walk or run in the fresh air, spend time with your family, read a book, lose yourself on social media or get hooked on the latest boxset.
Balance. It’s all about balance. Work, home, family, social life is a constant balance. Get the balance right for you.
Use that Commuting Time Wisely
So now your commute has reduced from 30 minutes’ drive in heavy traffic to a 10 second walk from the kitchen to the spare room!
Lucky you - You have more time in your day. This time is now yours, make the most of it and use it wisely. Have breakfast with your loved ones, prepare dinner for later, walk the dog, tidy the garden, put the washing on, go for a quick run/walk/bike ride or spend the time exercising in the house. The list is endless…….
And Finally………Flexible working only works if you make it work for you, your team and your employer, so experiment to find what works best for both of you. Show you can be trusted, keep in contact with everyone – and learn to enjoy the advantages of working from home.
For more information on our Covid-19 hotelier's hub, please click here: