Working from home is a luxury many professionals may only experience once in a while. It certainly has its positive elements such as eliminating your daily commute, being in the comfort of your own home and not being distracted by colleagues dropping by your desks for a mid-morning chat! However, working in a different setting can pose potential issues such as new distractions to compete with and keeping yourself motivated.
So, if you are currently having to work from home, we have devised a list to help you make the most of your new workplace and how to stay motivated.
Top tips on how to work from home
1. Create a Work Space
In order to stay motivated and productive, its really important to create a space that you can sit at every day – just like you would in your office. As tempting as slouching on the sofa or staying in bed with your laptop may sound, this isn’t feasible for a long-term arrangement or on a regular basis.
If you have a spare room in your home, fabulous! Turn this into your working space - not only does it give you somewhere to go each morning, but it’ll separate you from what is happening in the rest of the house. However, if you don’t have the luxury of a spare room, set up a desk where you have space or on a dining table for example. The crucial element is finding somewhere you can sit comfortably and concentrate.
2. Stick to a morning routine
Fight the urge from day one to set your alarm to one minute before you’re due to start work. Sticking to a good morning routine will set you up for a productive day. Get up, take a shower, get dressed (you wouldn’t go to work in your PJ’s, so no need to do it at home!) make a coffee and breakfast and then get to work.
3. Structure your day
If you are going to make working from home a regular affair, then setting a structure or ‘working hours’ is crucial to getting things done. An upside of working from home is that you can be flexible with the hours you work. If you’re more productive in the morning, get up and get started earlier. And vice versa if you like to work later in the day. Just ensure you are doing your contracted hours and are contactable during working hours if your colleagues or boss are sticking to the tried and tested 9-5.
4. Plan your food for the day
With your own personal kitchen just a door or two away, it can be so tempting to wonder in and out in search of snacks. When you get up in the morning, or the evening before, plan out what you are going to eat the next day, just like you would if you were heading into the office, and stick to your scheduled break times.
5. Stay off social media
Social media is designed to be easily accessed, which means it can be extremely distracting. Remember, it is still a working day whether you are at home or not, so to avoid being sucked into a social media blackhole when you are supposed to be working on something, turn off your notifications until you are finished work.
6. Make the most of video chat
Working from home can be an isolating feeling, especially if you are at home for a long period of time or if you’re used to being in an office environment. If something can be resolved over the phone or via a video call, choose this option instead of an email. Otherwise, the only person you may end up physically speaking to all day is the delivery man!