You might think that working from home would be easy, especially if you are doing it to give yourself a better work life balance or to fit around your family. But, it is harder than it looks, it takes a great deal of determination and organisation to not slip into bad habits and ensure that you are as effective as possible.
Before you take the plunge, have a look at our 9 tips to getting the most out of working from home.
- Have a dedicated office – This is number one for a reason, it is incredibly important to have your own workspace as separating your ‘work life’ from your home life will ensure that you are most productive.
- Use your commuting time wisely – If you used to commute an hour each way to work everyday, then it means you have a whole extra two hours a day to use. While it can be tempting to stay in bed for those extra two hours, it would be better and more productive to put them to good use. For example go for a 60 minute run in the morning, to get your body and mind active, then spend another 30 mins clearing down emails or planning your day and repeat at the end of the day.
- Don’t be the baby sitter or the cleaner – It is so important to try and disconnect yourself from home-life during your working hours. Doing non-work-related tasks will reduce your productivity. So when your partners calls to say can you pop the washing on, the answer should be no.
- Breaks are important – Just like in an office taking a break from your work and your desk is extremely important, not only to reduce the amount of screen time you have, but a change of scene can also help you be more productive. It could help you solve that difficult question you have been trying to answer or come up with that cool strap line.
- Keep in the loop – Keeping in touch with your colleagues is extremely important, not only to share ideas and discuss problems but to ensure loneliness doesn’t set in.
- Stick to a routine – Structuring your day will ensure that you are motivated and productive. It will also help your colleagues and customers know when you are contactable.
- Schedule email time – It has been well documented that you are more productive when you are not continually checking your emails. So, schedule the times that you look at and answer emails, allowing you to focus on your key tasks and not get distracted.
- Get dressed – It might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, but trust me, don’t. Getting dressed shows the work life you that you mean business and will ensure that you are motivated.
- Get out of the house – This is extremely important, because working from home can be a little isolating. Going for a walk or nipping down to the local shop to buy a paper will give you some fresh air and human interaction. Not to mention much needed vitamin D, which you can only get from sunlight. You don’t want to become a vampire!
These tips are tried and tested by us, we know they work but they do take some getting used to. If you have never worked from home before then using these tips as a guideline for a month will help you get your work life balance right.
It is important to remember though that working from home is not for everyone, if you are finding it hard to be motivated or are getting too distracted then maybe it isn’t for you.