By Esmée Hardwick-Slack
There are many reasons you may choose to work from home, maybe you want to cut down on your weekly commute, need more flexibility for childcare or you just want more control over your schedule. Whatever your reason, if you work at home full-time or for few days a week, there’s no doubt that working away from an office environment can be challenging. How do you stop yourself getting distracted with domestic duties or getting wrapped up in daytime telly? Here are some of our tips to help you work as effectively as possible from home.
Treat your day like you are going to the office
When you work from home it’s easy to get bogged down with home comforts, so you should replicate the same morning routine you have when getting ready for a day at the office, otherwise you might find yourself stuck in your pyjamas and back in bed.
Be sure to set your alarm, make your coffee and wear the clothes you would wear in the office. The mental association you make between work and an office can boost your productivity!
Set a schedule
Setting and sticking to a schedule not only provides structure to your day but will also help motivate you. When you work from home, you are your own manager. Without in-person meetings and office chatter, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.
Break up your day into segments, decide what you’ll do and when, and set reminders for each task – and don’t forget to schedule a break!
Not everyone has an office or computer room that they can hide away in to work,. Many of those who work from home are working from their sofa or dining room table, making it much easier to be distracted by the need to tidy up before dinner or fighting the temptation to switch the telly on. Do your best to eliminate those kinds of distractions by taking ten minutes to move the mess into another room or cover the TV with a blanket! Keep distractions out of site and out of mind.
The same goes for your computer screen. Social media is designed to be easy to open and browse quickly, however, it can also turn a 3 minute detour on Twitter to an hour long conspiracy theory binge on Youtube. Remove the temptation by deleting the social media shortcuts from your bookmarks bar, or you can work primarily from a different browser or on incognito mode.
Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself away from everyone. Don’t let working remotely be an excuse for a lack of communication and collaboration. Whether it’s a quick call to the office to check in or simply responding to emails in a timely fashion, the importance of keeping in touch with everyone in the office shouldn’t be underestimated.
These days it’s easy to stay connected, with video calls, instant messaging and management tools like, you can keep up to date and stay in the know with everything going on in your team.
Take regular breaks
Don’t let the fact that you’re working in the same building you sleep in guilt you out of taking a break. Everyone needs to take a break from work, whether it’s to refresh your cup of tea, take a short walk to the shop, or making and eating lunch. Regular breaks can be a much needed recharge to help keep you focused. You shouldn’t assume you need to be working 100% of the time while you’re at home to ensure you’re being productive.
What are your top tips for working from home? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter!