One of the greatest ramifications of Covid-19 was the worldwide shift to remote working. Many organisations have maintained this style of work or have opted for a hybrid blend of office and home working, so it is crucial for people to know how to work from home effectively.
The purpose of this article is to equip you with some useful tips for productivity and motivation when you are required to work from home.
1. Get Dressed
Whilst this may seem strange, what you are wearing can have a large impact on how you feel throughout the day. If you remain in your pyjamas all day, you are likely to never really feel like you are at work, and as a result will be easily distracted and less productive. Whereas, if you get up and get dressed as if you were going into an office, you are putting yourself in that mindset of going to work and will find it easier to focus on your tasks. This is a very simple but effective way to increase concentration and motivation whilst working from home.
2. Have a Clear Structure
Structure your day as you would in an office environment. Ensure you have a clear schedule that arranges your tasks into defined time slots. This enables you to fully focus on each task and equally ensures you do take breaks and don’t run the risk of over-working. For instance, give yourself the same hour for lunch at 1:00 as you would do if you were working in the office. This gives you a sense of normality and routine which in turns helps boost that sense of it being an ordinary working day.
3. Have a Defined Work Space
Being able to distinguish between your work life and your home life is especially difficult when working remotely. However, a great way to strengthen that distinction is to have a designated space for work. Make sure this is in a different room to where you relax or sleep or else you run the risk of blurring that boundary and reducing productivity. This also means that when it is time to stop working you can go to those other rooms and be able to properly relax because you have that division between working and resting. Furthermore, your work space should also include all the necessary equipment required for peak performance. For example, a strong internet connection or a comfortable chair. These things may seem insignificant but will have a great influence on how motivated you feel to work.
4. Get Out the House
Being in one space all day can become draining and cause you to lose focus. This is a common issue when working from home. Therefore, it can greatly boost productivity to actually leave the house at some point during the day. For instance, going for a quick walk round the block during your lunch break. The change of scenery can let you re-focus on work once you return home, and even help inspire new ideas as you explore a different environment.
5. Mute Distractions
When working from home it is particularly easy to slip into the grasp of common homelife distractions. Family members having a conversation in another room or social media notifications appearing on your phone screen can all lure you away from the work you need to get done. However, proactively disengaging and avoiding these distractions is possible. By muting social media notifications and explaining to household members when they need to be respectful, you can separate yourself from these interferences.
6. Be Organised
This might seem obvious but many people working from home fall into the trap of just waking up and getting to work without any real planning or preparation. Whereas, if you construct a clear to-do list for that day prior to starting work, you are better set to focus on completing those tasks and thus be far more productive.
7. Maintain a Work/Home Distinction
This feeds through all the previous points but that is because it is the most significant. Essential to productivity whilst working remotely is the ability to separate your work life from your home life, and this goes both ways. Whilst it is easier to give in to distraction when working in your own home, it is equally easy to work longer than you should and risk burning out. However, by applying all these tips you should find yourself successfully differentiating between your work life and personal life even in the single environment of your home.
What are the benefits of working from home?
It is also worth considering the advantages that come from remote working.
Ultimately there are some undeniable disadvantages to working from home, such as lack of motivation, blurred home and work life, and distractions. However it can also save on time, and money, and by following the tips laid out earlier it is possible to retain high levels of productivity.
Follow the link below to find our Job Guides which provide further support and advice in preparing for and developing your career.
What are they?
In recent years, as the need for climate change action has risen, we have witnessed the emergence of Green Jobs. This refers to all those roles dedicated to tackling climate change, from chemical engineers working within the renewable energy industry to solar panel technicians and low-carbon farmers. The United Nations Environment Program defines Green Jobs as “work in agriculture, manufacturing, research and development, administrative, and service activities that contribute(s) substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality.” Green Jobs are essential in the fight for planetary protection.
What sectors do they cover?
Due to this overarching goal of preserving the environment, Green Jobs can be found across a range of sectors:
Green jobs in a post-Covid world
This trajectory of growth in Green Jobs has been on the rise, with the UK Government aiming for 2 million more by 2030, and this has been accelerated further by the recent Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst this event was undoubtedly catastrophic, devastating the economy and turning the job landscape into a sort of economic graveyard, we are coming out the other side in a rather unusual position. Due to the increased rates of redundancy and job insecurity, we can actually now re-build and reconfigure the makeup of the job world in a different way. By shifting the focus to promoting the welfare of the planet, jobs that previously did not fall under the ‘green’ label can be enveloped within the industry. We have the chance to “build back better” as emphasised by the G7 Ministers during their meeting on Climate and Environment. Attitudes are already transitioning to a more green outlook, and now we have the opportunity to align this with the economy. For instance, large corporations like Nike and IKEA are already taking up more sustainable practices, such as sourcing from sustainable foresters and redesigning boxes to reduce packaging. Also, the organisation Green New Deal UK has released data showing that the 813,000 jobs lost over the course of the pandemic could be counteracted by a rise in Green Jobs. Hence, despite the pandemic being a devasting force on peoples’ livelihoods, we could use this as an opportunity to reinvent the world of work in a way that not only protects the environment but ensures greater job security for more people.
A new meaning for 'Green Jobs'
In response to the pandemic and shifting attitudes, Green Jobs are starting to transcend their traditional sectors and infiltrate the rest of the economy. Existing jobs are being reconfigured to achieve sustainable and green production and processes (recall the previous example of Nike and IKEA). As stated by James Watts, co-founder of BrewDog, “Sustainability should not be a bolt-on; it needs to be a core part of everyone’s role, regardless of their job title.” More and more jobs are placing green values at the heart of their philosophies, even those not directly involved in environmental work. From a study by the graduate recruitment app Debut, it was discovered that 89% of female and 80% of male students say that they only wish to work for organisations with a strong environmental policy. Even if the job itself is not labelled “green”, people are still seeking jobs that maintain the associated principles. So perhaps we require a new definition. The title of ‘Green Jobs’ is no longer limited to those specific roles that function within the various environmental sectors. It has become a term representing the global transition to a greener economy.
A question still remains; how do I actually get into a Green Job? As with any career, there are certain things you can do to make your way into the industry and the same goes for Green Jobs. This can range from getting involved with projects and events in your local community, to enrolling on relevant courses or internships, to utilising platforms like LinkedIn to build connections with people already in the industry. However, here I will provide some specific examples of pathways into a Green Job to highlight the routes one might take to enter the industry.
*Landbased industries covers a range of roles from farming to animal care, forestry or conservation.
How to Use Facebook for Your Job Hunt
Did you know that Facebook is one of the top places for job recruiters to conduct their search for qualified candidates? If you aren’t utilising this social media giant in your job search – you could be missing out. Here’s how to best make Facebook’s career features work for you.
1. Complete Your Profile
To capture the interest of potential employers, you’ll want to have a complete work history on your profile. Make sure to add all of your past workplaces, degrees, and other relevant educational and professional qualifications in the about section, just as you would on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to add links to any portfolios or other profiles you have such as your LinkedIn account. Having all your information easily accessible to recruiters and hiring managers will make your job applications via Facebook more effective. (When you auto-apply to a job your experience and education details will be sent to an employer. )
2. Double-Check Your Public Content
In a recent study, 90% of companies admitted to using social media to check out candidates’ profiles during the screening process. What do you want job recruiters and hiring managers to see? Do a quick check at your profile as it appears to the public and delete or lock down anything you wouldn't want potential employers to see. To accomplish this, just visit your privacy settings and click "View As Public" or click the "View As" icon on your profile page. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
3. Like & Follow Pages
Just as you would on LinkedIn, locate the profiles of companies that you’d like to work for and follow their pages to stay on top of the latest updates. Many companies list their open jobs directly from their Facebook page in a separate profile tab. You can even customise your settings to view their posts first on your newsfeed or to be notified of any new posts. This way, you won’t miss out on any new job postings or hiring events that may help you connect with future employers.
4. Create A Job Search
When you access the Jobs feature on Facebook, you can set up a custom job search by location, keyword, job type, industry, and other filters. Best of all, if you hit the “subscribe” button, Facebook will then notify you of new job ads that fit your parameters. Just open Facebook and look for the briefcase icon to get started.
5. Join Relevant Groups
Another great way to stay connected is by joining relevant professional and vocational Facebook groups for your industry or location. Once you become a member, you can browse available jobs posted by others as well as advertise your services to others. In addition to actively looking for a position, you will have the opportunity to build your professional contacts, get advice from others, and learn more about your field. Just as with your favourite company pages, your Facebook settings can be adjusted to show these group posts first in your newsfeed or notify you of new posts. Networking is a great way to find your next potential employer and Facebook groups can help make that experience even more convenient.
6. Send Direct Messages
There’s still something to be said for a good, old-fashioned cold email application. Reach out and send your CV and contact information to any employers you may be interested in. Many companies and recruiters have enabled direct messaging right through Facebook. Even if pages have this feature turned off, you may be able to find relevant contact information on the company’s About section.
7. Stay on Top of Events
You can also use Facebook to locate industry events, career fairs, trade shows, or hiring events. Just use the Events tab to explore both in-person and virtual opportunities. Whenever you attend any professional event be sure to prepare, have an elevator pitch ready, make industry contacts, and build your network.
8. Customise Your Feed
Did you know your Facebook newsfeed is highly customisable? When you’re in the middle of a job search you can temporarily set up your feed to track particular groups, prioritise certain pages, and even mute certain people. With a bit of tweaking, you can adjust what you see when you log in from cute baby and puppy photos to the relevant career information you’re looking for.
9. Self-Promote & Work Your Network
Your social media accounts are the perfect place for self-promotion. Brands promote their products or services, and individuals promote their life experiences. Why not utilise your Facebook to promote your own skills, education, and professional background? Posting about your experience or expressing your interest and availability for a job is an essential way of building your network and getting closer to a job opportunity. Through your friends’ comments, you will meet new contacts, get job advice, and maybe even be presented with a role you may not have considered before.
10. Create A Job Seeker Post
Last but not least, come up with a format or template for posting your availability across your pages and groups. Use the steps below for the best success:
Facebook can be a great tool for both employers and job seekers to find the perfect match. Don’t miss out on the opportunities Facebook could bring to your career and give the tips above a try. Have you ever found a job through Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!
I have 10 years experience of working in careers guidance and am director of CGC. We publish career infographics for schools and colleges