As the world’s workforce switched to a working from home approach, seemingly overnight, finance professionals had the opportunity to adjust to a new way of operating.
While setting up remotely can feel like the dream for some professionals – waving goodbye to the tiresome commute and forgoing work attire – for others it can prove to be a struggle to remain productive and manage pressurised workloads.
It’s always key to be able to produce results at the same high-quality level and continue to provide the excellent service your clients are accustomed to, no matter where you may be based. Therefore, here are our top tips for staying focused whilst working from home:
5 tips on staying productive:
- Create your perfect workspace
- Use your time effectively and plan ahead
- Take regular breaks
- Keep communicating
- Don't always stick to 9-5
1. Create your perfect workspace
Having a designated area that’s fit for purpose can really help you to stay focussed and replicate the act of ‘going to work’ in the morning.
A specific spot or even better, a separate room in your house which you can treat as your home office will allow you to keep your portfolio work and personal life separate and help you to ‘switch off’ at the end of the working day.
Never underestimate the impact that a supportive chair and spacious workstation can have on your physical and mental wellbeing either. So, make sure your computer or laptop screen is at eye level to avoid neck strain and move around regularly to get the blood pumping around the body.
2. Use your time effectively and plan ahead
Setting client targets, and your next priority, allows you to be realistic in what you can achieve – and sets the tone for how the day will take shape. Allow yourself a small moment to appreciate when each task is complete to feel a sense of accomplishment and remain motivated throughout the day.
As well as having a list of financial tasks to complete, part of your preparation could include some simple elements too. For example, ensure your space feels business-like, and your devices are connected with decent Wi-Fi, so that you’re ready to hit the ground running the minute you sit down to tackle your broker portfolio.
3. Take regular breaks
This is a great way of keeping you engaged throughout the day – and you can’t put a price on screen breaks in supporting health. Remember to take care of yourself and plot when you can next step away from your desk, laptop, or mobile device.
Perhaps in your determination to maintain ‘business as usual’ and help clients who are under increased financial stress, you have been working longer hours to the detriment of your ‘down time’. Being an agile broker is an extremely valuable asset, however, remember to set aside time just for you.
Many professionals enjoy going for walks to get the creative juices flowing, stepping outdoors into the garden or just popping the kettle on.
Whatever you need to ensure you come back motivated and ready to crack on with the next task can prove to be vital as you continue to offer that all-important financial advice when customers need you the most.
4. Keep communicating
Working remotely can often be isolating for many individuals – depending on how you choose to spend your ‘office’ hours. So, it’s important to keep in touch with your colleagues and clients.
With the increased focus on securing business against further financial risk, many clients will be looking to brokers for reassurance and a commitment to help bolster the organisation. To reiterate this dedication, communication is key.
This does not just mean sending out the odd email every now and then. Try using other digital tools which can replicate the personal experience of a face-face meeting and set out a clear line of communication that’s preferable for all parties concerned.
Video services such as Google Hangouts, Zoom and Microsoft Teams can allow you to reconnect with clients and colleagues and deter any feelings of isolation from creeping in.
5. Don’t always stick to 9-5 – but clock-off at a reasonable hour!
For many finance professionals working out of the office, they tend to work even longer days, in order to ‘prove’ that they’re being productive. Avoid getting into this bad habit!
Every professional differs in the times that they’re most productive and how they achieve their daily goals. For some, that could be starting and finishing early so they can pick up the kids or log-off and enjoy their evening. For others, they might want to begin later and work into the wee hours.
As the world of work continues to evolve, it’s perhaps underlined the need for a greater level of flexibility, trust and motivation, in order to feel fulfilled and inspired to do more in a highly pressurised climate. So, it’s important that organisations equip their teams with the critical tools to adapt to a new way of working – and feel safe in the knowledge that savvy professionals can successfully complete their priorities regardless of where they might be.