Working from home may seem like a real challenge, especially if it is for long periods of time. However, when done right it can be a really rewarding and different working experience from spending time in the office.
Whatever your reason for working from home and for however long you need to, in this article we will explore the best ways to stay efficient and keep your spirits up whilst getting your work done.
Get into a routine
The ideal way to work is by creating a working schedule that maximises your productivity.
Organising your day around your natural pattern will ensure you get the most done. You could get tasks done that require more creativity, such as writing reports or pitches, when you’re at your best. Then save chores, like answering emails, for when your energy levels are low.
It’s important to find a routine that suits you and work with that.
Don’t get distracted
Once you have a routine you will likely start out the day very organised. However, this can soon falter due to distractions, such as children, snack breaks every five minutes or the TV.
Separating home and work life can be difficult, but you’ll have to learn to ignore that pile of ironing, layer of dust or Netflix series until your working day is done.
Create your own working space
It is never a good idea to sit at the kitchen table.
You will quickly discover that you’ll get more work done sitting in your own space. A good tip is to find somewhere to work which has a door that you can shut.
In terms of optimum comfort, the NHS advice is that you should adjust your chair so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor.
For some people, the prospect of staying in their pyjamas all day is the most tantalising aspect of working from home. But washing and getting dressed will improve your state of mind and over the long term will psychologically prepare you to start work.
You may even want to dress up more for video calls, as you would for an office meeting, to get you into the right mindset.
Sometimes compartmentalising different parts of your life is a good thing, and you wouldn’t walk into your office in PJs so perhaps try not to at home.
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day.
Bearing the current Covid-19 lockdown rules in mind, it is more important than ever to adhere to the given rules. This trip outdoors may be a walk during your lunch break or even some time out in your garden, but whatever you decide to do should be within the guidelines set out by the government.
Some time spent outside doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just enough of a scenery change and some fresh air that you feel ready to get your head down at your desk in the afternoon.
Take regular breaks
It's good to have a routine when you're working from home, but you must remember to give yourself some breaks.
Regular screen breaks and getting up from your desk to move around is perfectly fine, just as it would be in an office.
Importantly, you shouldn’t feel guilty for not working constantly. You can have a tendency to do that at home, but it is not realistic to think that you do not need the odd mental break, or even changing task for a little while.
Work when you're at your most productive
Your motivation to do your work will ebb and flow throughout the day. When you're working from home it is important to know when you feel most motivated and to plan your schedule around this.
To capitalize on your most productive periods, save your harder tasks for when you know you'll be in the right headspace for them. Use slower points of the day to get the easier, logistical tasks done that are also on your agenda.
Nobody is superhuman or has infinite hours in the day to dedicate to their job.
It's important to let your agenda change if you need it to, but it's equally as important to commit to an agenda that outlines every assignment before you begin.
A great piece of advice is to set aside 10 minutes of your day to write a to-do list for the next day. This allows you to prioritise tasks and feel like you are on top of everything on your agenda. The next day, things will feel more official and you will know what to get started on.
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel a little isolated or cut off from the larger operation happening in the office if it is a long-term situation. Longer periods working from home, that many are experiencing at the moment, mean that it is more important than ever for you to stay connected with your colleagues.
Video conferencing once a week with your team on Zoom, having regular Skype conversations or having one-to-one catch-ups with your manager are all ways to keep up to date as well as conversing with your office companions.
Pick a definitive finishing time each day
If the line between your home and office life becomes too blurred then it can prevent you from ever relaxing properly. You don’t have to be logged on all the time at home.
Set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal work day is coming to an end. You don't have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing the work day is technically over can help you to draw the line between work and your own time.
For some, working from home is the norm and if you are looking to start a business it could be more suited to your needs and financial position. If you need a comprehensive business plan, do not hesitate to contact us via the form on the right or by calling us on 01604 420 420.