Home working is no longer an occasionally luxury but a permanent reality – at least for the next few months. Because of this, employees require working from home tips to help them adapt to this evolving situation. We’ve summarised the best ones below.
Establish a routine
When it comes to working from home tips, establishing a routine and sticking to it is the most important one. Psychologically, it’s tough to motivate yourself when home-based rather than in the familiar office environment. The best way to switch your brain into work mode is by recreating a typical working day, as best you can. So…
- Leave the house in the morning: Yes, that’s right. Get up, get dressed and go through the process of ‘travelling’ to your place of work. Whether that means going for a brisk walk or run, make sure to leave the house as normal, and arrive back home in time to start your working day.
- Adopt your usual schedule: That includes taking coffee breaks and your lunch at the same time. Make sure your breaks involve time away from your screen, in a separate room too. Work (as best as you can) only during your normal hours. And try to end your day by doing a regular non-work activity - anything which helps draw a line between your professional and personal life.
- Create a plan and stick to it: A daily plan will help you work more efficiently. Only you know your productive rhythms. Whether you’re a morning person or late starter, organise your day so that the tougher tasks are completed when you’re at your optimum best. Setting little targets throughout the day will also give you a sense that you’re achieving things and progress is being made.
Set the scene
The environment you create for yourself will determine how successful you are when doing your job based at home. Standard working from home tips reinforce the importance of enjoying peace and quiet while you’re working, being comfortable, as well as the role of communication in setting the scene for your remote working life moving forward.
- Work in the same place: How easy this is will depend on your circumstances. Finding a room at home where you can sit comfortably with minimal distraction is a bare minimum requirement. If you live alone, great; if you share, negotiate a solution. And if you have children, we’ve provided some advice here about
working from home with kids. Ideally, the space should be separate from those you use for leisure.
- Manage expectations: If you’re working at home with your wife, partner, housemate(s) or pets you need to quickly establish ground rules. Consider using a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your workspace door during those ‘hyper-productive’ periods.’ Ask that noise levels remain conducive to work. Agree who will answer the telephone or the door during certain times of the day. For those working from home with kids, see our
scheduling childcare here.
- Help yourself focus: There are several
tools now available to help you tune out of social media sites, personal emails, etc. Now’s the time to download and use them. Put your personal laptop and phone in another room away from your workstation. Consider logging out of all your (news, email, social media) accounts too. And another useful suggestion is to prepare meals in advance and have snacks by your desk, so your trips to the kitchen are short and infrequent.
Enjoy your freedom
A natural response to working from home is to behave as if you’re doing a penance – and working harder than you normally would, for longer hours too. Instead of wallowing in your invented pit of self-flagellation, approach working from home as an opportunity to treasure. It’s a chance to shake off the shackles of office life and tap into some latent creativity.
- Get creative: Your home offers a different vibe than the office, and that can be disconcerting at first. But don’t be afraid of the silence – embrace it. Set alarms if you have to and channel your energies in creative bursts throughout the day. Monty Python’s John Cleese offers some great advice on
‘creating the conditions for creativity’. It takes self-motivation, though, to enter your ‘open mode.’ That’s why it’s important to remain positive and eager to impress.
- Treat yourself: Avoiding distractions at home is difficult. So rather than blocking them out completely, why not factor them into your day. Develop a reward scheme that allows you to enjoy at ‘at home’ activity once a certain task is completed. Be sensible, though. This doesn’t mean you can switch off and play video games for two hours. But, within reason, take some shorter breaks and focus on one distraction throughout the day.
- Stay connected: A great way to stay positive is to stay connected. It's easy to slip into the life of a hermit when working from home for long periods. Don’t be a stranger. Pick up the phone, use Facetime or investigate video conferencing
tools and make sure to check in often with colleagues and friends. Over-communicating is a good idea
for remote teams. And when it comes to maintaining friendships, there’s extra time during the day to do this now you’re not commuting. Make the most of it.
There is some further reading about remote working life moving forward here that may be of interest. If you would like to find out more about tips for working from home or if you have any other questions related to remote working and remote recruitment, please feel free to contact one of our specialised and experienced Recruitment Consultants who will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)191 222 0770.
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