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Top 5 ways to work from home efficiently as a youth worker

Posted on: November 15, 2021

As a youth worker, you are used to seeing and working with children face to face. Then BAM 2020 happened. The COVID pandemic took over the world. Your working life then started to change forever. 

How were you still going to help those young people that needed you the most?

In comes the likes of Zoom and Microsoft teams. Yes! You thought. I can still speak and see those kids and make sure they are ok. 

Then you started to think hang on, I get to work from home. Just like the rest of the working population, the dream of working in your pyjamas with Netflix in the background became a reality.   

However, if you are like me, the reality of working from home hit you like a ton of bricks. The lack of social interaction with what most people call their work family, lack of productivity due to home life distractions (cat/dog/child/partner). As you were getting distracted, the longer you had to work to complete simple tasks. You could no longer focus on the kids that need your help.

Perhaps this working from home malarky wasn’t totally the dream you and everyone else expected?

Many people are now back in their offices for some days a week, schools are now open but for how long? You can now see many of the youths you work with face to face again, but we are now heading into winter and COVID cases are rising rapidly. How long will it be before stricter COVID measures are in place and the call comes for all to work from home again?

I can hear you groan about that prospect. I feel your pain. So let’s see how to make it a better experience.

What can you do to make working from home more efficient or even more enjoyable!?

1. Now, this is the biggie – AVOID DISTRACTIONS

Yes, that means put Netflix away; no, you can’t lock your child or partner in the wardrobe, but it needs to be made clear to them when you are working and need to concentrate. Your delightful pets, well, they will just distract you no matter what. To work efficiently, though, you must try to avoid distractions. I know you are probably thinking, well, it’s easier said than done, especially if you live in a busy household, but this is where point 2 comes in ….

2. Have a proper workspace 

This does not mean your bed or sofa. You need an area that is quiet and away from anything that may distract you. A place that you can sit correctly at with enough space for everything that you require. When you are in this area, it means work time.

Pinterest has some awesome ideas for working at home spaces. Play around with the area you have and make it meaningful to you. You must want to spend time there. Some workplaces may even offer some money for people to create their ultimate home working environment.

3. Have a proper routine

Even if you don’t like to admit it, everyone has a morning routine. Think carefully about what would you do if you were heading to the office? Get up, have coffee, shower? Try and keep to what your routine was or create a brand new one but stick to it. Having a routine creates stability, and you are less likely to become side-tracked.

There are many different apps available to help you create your daily routine. I am old school and have a classic written planner, which I absolutely love.

4. Prioritise your breaks 

When working from home and in the working zone, it is very easy to forget the time. Ensure in your daily routine you have set time for your breaks. Not prioritising breaks can lead to burnout and stop you from working efficiently. 

You might be on the other end of the spectrum and take breaks every 10 minutes, again not very efficient in completing work tasks. So, what can you do?

Those amazing apps/planners mentioned previously, use them to include your breaks. Reward yourself for sticking to them.

5. Communicate with your colleagues. 

Socialising with your colleagues and bouncing ideas off them is one of the best things about working in an office type of environment. Working at home alone can make you feel isolated. 

Don’t forget to still interact with your colleagues’ use text, phone, email, video calls; there are many ways to still communicate with your work family. Participate in those zoom meetings and try not to hide with the camera off. If your workplace puts on online socials, take part. 

Make the most of it!

All 5 of those points are essential to help maintain an excellent work-life balance. There may be others that are helpful to you too. Working at home has some fantastic benefits; not having to commute and spending more time with your family is incredible, but don’t make the mistake of losing your work identity too. Engage with your colleagues and be productive. 

You can still be the awesome youth worker that you are working from home.

This post was a guest post from Copy by Kayleigh – Freelance Copywriter. If you’d like blog posts written, attention grabbing copy for your website or help phrasing your next conference publicity in a way that will encourage people to sign up then be sure to get in touch with Kayleigh. At YWR we only recommend people we know are great!