Working from home with any sort of job has it’s (many) upsides
But there are challenges which need to be faced, and this article describes some of those challenges and offers tips to get round them.
Working From Home – Not for Everyone!
First of all it is worth stating that working from home is not for everyone
I have worked at home for many years and I (on the whole) enjoy it
Indeed with the recent pandemic many people have been forced to work from home
Some like it, some don’t
Many people miss the face to face interaction and social chit-chat that you can only get in an office environment
I’m OK with that – I’ll happily swap that for the daily commute and the fact that I am around the house all the time
Plus I don’t know what our dog would do if I was suddenly commuting into an office every day
But let’s be realistic – you will be faced with all sorts of distractions including kids, pets, (and Netflix.)
House chores are in your face and when you hit that 3 o’clock slump, your bed will be walking distance away.
How will you stay motivated and productive? Here are my 7 tips that should will help you to keep on track and get your work done when working from home.
1. Create a designated workspace
This is a really important one.
Even if you don’t have a home office, set up a space that is designated to work.
You no longer have a commute or workplace to signal to your brain that it’s time to work, so having a specific space can help with this.
It also helps when you need to switch off at the end of the day as it is a place to walk away from
2. Plan your days
Yes, flexibility is one of the key benefits of working from home, but that doesn’t mean your work won’t benefit from a little structure.
You will still have flexibility – want to take your kids for a bike ride in the middle of the afternoon? No problem!
Put it your daily schedule (though might be worth clearing with your boss if you report in to anyone).
This way you will ensure that you don’t miss deadlines and are able to complete everything that you need to.
3. Set boundaries
The lines between work and personal life can get blurred when you are working at home.
Set yourself boundaries (such as a clear start and finish time) and stick to them.
4. Get dressed each day
For some, working in pajamas is the biggest attraction to working from home.
The problem is, pajamas signal to our brain that it is rest/relax time rather than time to work.
Getting up and ready for the day will help your mind to understand that it’s time to focus.
I make sure I am dressed every day as it makes me feel ready for the day
It also adds a touch of professionalism (albeit my suit and tie have been confined to weddings only!)
5. Establish a morning routine
The same goes for a morning routine.
Don’t roll out of bed to your laptop, begin your day with a routine that can replace your old habits and commute.
Although there were many downsides to my daily commute when I did work in the office, one of the things that it did do was give me thinking time to prepare for the day ahead
So my advice would be to do exactly that but at home
Watch breakfast TV for half an hour
Have breakfast with the kids and take them to school
Go sit outside and enjoy the early morning sun for a bit
Walk the dog
Read the paper
Just give yourself time to prepare for your day
6. Schedule breaks
It can be easy to forget breaks when you are working from home.
There will be no colleague asking if you want a coffee – instead you have to make time yourself.
7. Stay connected
Working from home can be isolating.
Make sure that you check in with colleagues
or if you have become a sole trader, reach out to friends so that you maintain social connections.