A few months ago we talked in our blog about teleworking, pointing out that although 60% of professions are suitable for teleworking, many companies in Spain are still somewhat reluctant to allow their employees to do this.
In fact, according to Eurostat data, in 2018 only 4.3% of Spanish workers said they were able to work from home on a regular basis, a figure that is below the European average of 5.2%, and a long way behind countries such as the Netherlands (14%), Finland (13.3%) and Luxembourg (11%). As regards occasional teleworking, according to the National Statistics Institute only 7.5% of employees do so in Spain, compared to over 30% of the labour force in the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
But what has happened in recent weeks? This percentage of teleworking in Spain has rocketed as a result of the declaration of a state of alarm because of the Covid-19 public health emergency.
If this is your first time working from home, we at Testa Residencial, the leading property company in home renting, have some recommendations to give you to make your teleworking days as productive as possible.
Set a timetable and stick to a routine
Just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean we can take all day to do something that we would normally do during the eight hours of the working day in the office.
We need to establish a timetable as a routine and try to follow it to the letter, doing the required tasks and making it into a habit.
A space for teleworking
Establishing a place, a specific work space at home is also important. An office is the ideal solution. However, this is not always possible, in which case we should try to convert a room into a provisional office. In order to work from home, we can convert the guest bedroom into a kind of office, filling it with as may “office items” as possible.
If this is not possible due to a lack of square metres, the best option is to create a work space in the living room or bedroom. That doesn’t mean working in bed or with the TV on! Create a multi-functional space that at times can serve as an office and at other times as a dining room or bedroom.
A desk and chair are essential and if possible these should be ergonomic. Try to work in natural light although don’t let it shine directly onto your computer screen.
Apps and tools to make teleworking easier
Regardless of whether you are accustomed to using online tools to make your work easier, or are less familiar with these, you are sure to appreciate the benefits these applications provide. These are already used in the office to a greater or lesser extent, but their use is sure to increase with teleworking.
There are programmes for planning and establishing deadlines for tasks that also include schedules, agendas for calls or meetings and alarms so we don’t forget anything.
And with a view to looking after our eyesight, there are also programmes which darken the computer screen to keep our attention focused. To prevent distractions, there are also tools that block telephone apps.
But the most useful programmes and apps for teleworking are those that that keep the employee connected telematically with his or her workmates.
At home we don’t have the boss looking over our shoulder and if we had ever wanted to be our own boss, now is the time.
Telework responsibly. Not having the boss or workmates watching over us means there is even more reason not to relax. No pressure but still getting the job done.
Take regular breaks
Working from home, if the space and people we live with allow, usually enables us to concentrate more as there are probably fewer distractions than in an office.
But spending hours on end in front of a computer screen is not a good idea. It makes us more tired and harms both our health and productivity.
We need to take breaks even short ones. And several during the day. Ideally, we should rest for five minutes approximately every half an hour, get up from our chair, stretch and even load the washing machine. And then back to work for another half an hour!
Make use of phone calls to get up and stretch your legs. Walk up and down the corridor as you speak.
At Testa Residencial, a property company specialising in home renting, we encourage all those who work from home regularly, occasionally or because of the Covid-19 public health emergency, to follow these recommendations as a way to make teleworking productive and efficient.
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