Armed with smartphones, laptops, tablets and a myriad of apps to make our working lives more efficient, there are a lot of things that make working from home a great option for many of us. It certainly has many benefits but there are a number of factors to consider:
Most of us will now be working from home, so, if you are one of those here are some tips on how to make the best of it.
Motivational top tips:
- Distractions at home may be more appealing than getting on with your work and this can be a major challenge. Structure your home working environment so that you avoid as many distractions as possible and maintain your focus.
- The more business-like you can be, the more productive you are likely to be; so, set tasks and deadlines just as you would at the office and make sure you stick to them. Maintain your personal brand – dress for work, keep regular hours, and be professional.
- Make time away from your workspace for breaks, but limit these so you aren’t distracted with household tasks. Snacking can be a big problem for home workers, there’s a simple solution – don’t buy biscuits!
- Arrange work patterns to fit in with family commitments and set working hours when you are not to be disturbed. Don’t linger at the desk into the evening or miss your lunch break, it’s work, make time for life too!
Environmental top tips:
- Clear some space in your home that is separate, if possible, with no distractions; where you can set up a desk and concentrate on establishing your work mode. A business-like environment means you are more likely to be efficient and productive.
- If you are going to work mainly from home, it may be a good idea to acquire suitable furniture for your workspace rather than using the dining room table or sofa. You certainly need a proper office chair if you spend most of your time at the computer. You will also need storage for paperwork – the paperless office is still not quite a reality!
Organisational top tips:
- Make sure family or housemates understand your schedule so they don’t interrupt you when you are working. Make sure that others in the household understand you are working.
- Make arrangements for childcare to be shared if possible so you can balance your workload.
- Schedule your work, take regular breaks, get some fresh air, stay in contact with your network and your friends, you’ll miss the watercooler moments of the office.
When the crisis is over, we’ll have to get used to a new normal and be ready to look for new opportunities.
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