The kids are running around, the dog is barking and there are dishes in the sink begging you to wash them. Working from home brings with it a huge number of distractions and challenges, it’s a huge adjustment. However, working from home can also have huge advantages and be extremely rewarding – as long as you manage your time properly. Here are our top tips to help you ensure that working from home, works for you.
1. Stick to a Routine
Routine is key to making sure you're maintaining a reasonable work-life balance, as well as keeping you focused. If possible, try to follow your regular working hours. Get dressed, brew your morning coffee and be at your desk at the same time every day. This also means you should continue taking regular breaks and stick to finishing on time! Whilst the temptation to ‘just finish this bit’ may be stronger since you’re already home, overworking will lead to a burn out which benefits no one.
2. Create a Workspace
Working in front of the TV is possibly the worst habit an at-home worker can fall in to. Not only does it create the perfect storm in terms of potential distraction, but it also blurs the lines between work and play. Trying to relax in the same room you’ve been sat working in all day can make it difficult to switch off. A dedicated workspace, be it a home office or a temporary set up in the spare room, keeps home life and work life separate, as well as reducing potential distractions and improving productivity.
3. Set Boundaries
You may not be the only person at home during the working day. If this is the case, it's important to set boundaries and ground rules with the people around you. Working from home brings with it a great level of flexibility, however, your family and household members need to understand that when you’re working, you’re working. Just because you’re at home and can take care of pets or answer the door to deliveries doesn’t mean your family should assume you always will.
One of the key advantages of working in an office environment is that there is always somebody there to default to with any questions. Working from home shouldn’t change this! Clear and consistent communication with colleagues reduces stress levels, improves work quality and increases productiveness. It’s easy to feel isolated when working independently, so remember that the support network you would have available to you in the office is still there – you may just need to pick up the phone or send over an email.
5. Get Out and About
When you’re living and working in the same space it doesn’t take long for cabin fever to set in. Try to make time to head outside and get as much fresh air as possible. A daily walk around the local park can do wonders for your mental health and the change of scenery will only benefit you in both work and home life.
The most important thing to remember when working from home is to make it personal to you! Everyone is different, what works for a colleague may not be right for you. So be kind to yourself and be patient, it may take some time to settle into a situation that works right for you but if you stick with it you’ll soon fall into a productive and profitable working pattern!