“Working from home may seem exciting at first but when the internet stops working, the dog wants to play, you haven’t seen a colleague for days and you start to lose motivation in the afternoons, then you could start to feel unproductive….”
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular as it brings many advantages such as no commute, higher productivity and the ability to be more flexible in your schedule allowing for more family time or hobbies.
Many employers from global pharmaceutical organisations to small businesses have organised their work styles so that their staff have the option to work from home if required. In fact, many employers now feature work from home arrangements in their business continuity plans.
This may seem exciting at first but when the internet stops working, the dog wants to play and you start to lose motivation in the afternoons, then you could start to feel unproductive.
To help you work from home effectively we have compiled our tops tips from those who work from home successfully:
- Set up a dedicated workspace. A workspace that is specifically set up for comfortable working rather than a make-do halfway house will be a far more productive space. Make sure you have an ergonomic chair and desk arrangement, be sure to follow the standards for good practice when setting these up. Could you add plants or decor that make it seem like an inviting area? Make it a space where you are happy to work.
- Signal the difference between ‘work mode’ and ‘home mode’. This could be that you dress for work, choose work clothes over ‘home clothes’. One person wore specific shoes for ‘work mode’ and slippers for when she was at home in ‘home mode’.
- Continue to collaborate. Stay connected at work communicate via phone, video or instant messaging services like Slack rather than email. This will mean that you can share ideas and gain opinions quickly meaning there will be no delay in your own work. Communicating in this way also makes you feel like part of the organisation as well.
- Use of video technology. If you have a morning meeting, why not do this via a video software like Zoom, Blue Jeans, Wildix, WhatsApp video call or Facetime? If you manage a team or are part of a team it will help you feel connected and allow you to communicate more effectively. Also, it is always great to put a name to a face, even if it is someone you used to sit next to for years, a video call can help to strengthen team relationships.
- Structure your day like you would at work. Create a schedule similar if not the same as you have in the office. Write a to-do list for the week or day ahead which you can check off as you accomplish the tasks. Keep the same lunchtime and start time if possible.
- Take clear breaks. At lunchtime, it is important to move away from the workspace as you would in the office. Eat your lunch in a different room, do something to relax for an hour or go out for a walk. Be proactive in taking your mind off work, this will make you more productive when you enter the ‘work area’ after lunch.
- Establish clear boundaries. Many people who work from home make the mistake of working late in the evening, hours after they were due to finish. This blurs the boundaries. If you struggle to finish work on time, arrange to take the dog out for a walk or book an exercise class, the point is to create a clear goal so that you get into the habit of finishing work on time.
- Take accountability for your work. Finally, work for yourself and not for others. This will help you feel proud of your work and push yourself to achieve your goals.
If you do work from home and struggle with a work life balance, take a look at our work life balance tips here