Tips for working from home
Working from home
Working from home can be very different to working in the office. But, it’s something many of us are doing more of, whether that's all the time or a combination of working from home and going into the office.
Here are some tips to help you get to work effectively from home:
- Prepare a workspace
Create a space in an area or room in your home that you can call your ‘office’. Make sure there’s natural light. Kit it out with a desk and a comfy chair with decent back support. Add the items you usually have at your workplace desk (a photo, plant, pen pot or desktop toy) so that it feels familiar.
- Get yourself set up correctly
Make sure you’re set up correctly while sitting at your laptop or computer. Looking after your neck and back will help stop avoidable aches and pains. Good posture also aids blood flow which will increase your energy levels and productivity. Check out tips for setting up your workstation.
- Get into business mode
You might be tempted to stay in your pyjamas all day, but getting ready as you would for a regular workday will help get you mentally ready for work. Shower, get dressed and have a healthy breakfast.
- Create a to-do list
Allocate time for each task and schedule your day as you would if you were in the office. It’s also helpful to prioritise the ‘must do’ activities each day. And, it's always satisfying to cross things off a list!
- Time management
It can be easy to put things off or just get started when you’re at home. There’s that thing you’ve wanted to fix for ages, the dishes are piling up or the children need some attention. One of the techniques we like to be more productive is the popular Pomodoro Technique. You can also try building in 10 minute ‘pauses’ into your day to give your mind a break and for you to tick off personal goals or chores.
- Maintaining focus and productivity
If you’re a morning person, it can be beneficial to get started before others clock in so you can tackle big projects or tasks without interruptions. Take regular breaks to rest your eyes and stretch your legs. Focusing on 20-30 minutes work sessions can help be most productive with 5-10 minutes of doing something else or taking a break. There are plenty of options for home exercise that can be short, sharp sessions that will help you re-energise yourself.
- Minimise distractions
Turn off notifications on your phone and computer (including closing your inbox) to help you really concentrate. Give yourself allocated time slots throughout the day to check notifications and respond to emails.
There is a range of apps and tools you can use to manage your time, your projects and to stay connected with colleagues. Your organisation may use some already like Trello, Asana, Basecamp or Slack to track tasks and activities or Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings or work huddles.
- Don’t beat yourself up
Working from home is the same as in the workplace – some days we are just more effective than others. If it’s just not happening, do something else for a while and then try again.
- Stay in touch
You can feel lonely or out of the loop when you're working from home. It's important to stay in touch with colleagues. Make use of your personal contacts too, get into the habit of regularly checking in with others - it will you and them. You can read more about staying connected with colleagues here.