With more Australians working from home due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, a career expert has revealed the common mistakes people are making while working away from the office.
Sue Ellson, from Melbourne, said while working from home it’s important to maintain work relationships, share achievements and prioritise your career within the organisation, profession or industry.
But while working from home, people are working harder rather than smarter and are becoming lazy due to lack of routine.
‘Developing your work from home skills is essential because even if you aren’t doing it full time now, you may be in the future,’ Sue told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There are always pluses and minuses, but remembering how to keep the human element involved is extremely important.’
Falling into the trap of working longer hours
Working from home gives employees more freedom of flexibility due to the lack of commute needed, though many fall into the trap of working extended hours or checking emails after work.
Sue Ellson (pictured) said many fall into the trap of working extended hours while working from home
Sue recommends setting daily priorities each morning to ensure everything gets done, or creating a checklist at the end of the workday for the proceeding day.
‘Setting written agendas for meetings can reduce online meeting fatigue and keep everyone focused on what is important and needs to be discussed together,’ she said.
‘There is the potential to improve efficiency from home, especially if you have a bit more time to set up technology-based solutions that can ultimately reduce your workload.’
Adopting a lazy routine
While there are a number of perks to working from home, employees are often tempted to save time by avoiding usual work routines of starting and finishing on time, dressing appropriately each day, allocating time for breaks or making excuses for not completing tasks on time.
But a change in routine often leads to forming lazy habits, such as waking up later and staying in pyjamas all day, which can lead to flaws in the work or ‘road blocks’.
‘If working from home is presenting challenges to you, don’t be afraid to ask for additional support and be willing to offer support to others,’ Sue said.
A change in routine often leads to forming lazy habits, such as waking up later and staying in pyjamas all day, which can lead to flaws in the work or ‘road blocks’
Not managing relationships
Sue explained how in the world of online meetings, emails and written messages, a lot of communication is abbreviated and a great deal of non-verbal communication – including tone of voice, body language and general vibe – is completely lost when working from home.
‘Don’t underestimate the importance of having real-time one-on-one conversations over the phone as well as small group meetings of a more casual nature,’ she said.
In the bleakness of the Covid-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne restricting people’s movements, it’s becoming more important to maintain relationships without face-to-face contact.
Not turning on your camera during a Zoom meeting
During work Zoom meetings, some employees may prefer to turn their camera off throughout the call – but Sue said it should be turned on to not only show your work etiquette but demonstrate your commitment to the meeting.
‘Some organisations prefer to have all meeting participants on camera to ensure they are present and engaged,’ she said.
‘But this may not work for some people, especially if they have a bad internet connection, a screaming child at home that particular day or a more introverted personality profile.
‘Adding a photo to your profile ensures that people can at lease see a face rather than a black screen.’
If anything, she recommended turning on your camera when you are speaking as a polite gesture.
By Carina Stathis for Daily Mail Australia.