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Working from home: How to do it successfully

about 1 month ago by Daniel Stargatt
Working from home - How to do it successfully

Over the past year we have seen more and more employers offering roles that give candidates the opportunity to work partly or fully from home with trips to site as and when needed.

Although the idea of working from home is not a new one, it is definitely becoming more apparent that employers are open to the idea that it doesn’t matter where you work as long as you get your job done. On top of this employees, are becoming more and more focussed on a healthier work/life balance, which working from home and cutting out the commute absolutely helps with.

It’s interesting when you speak to people about the idea of working from home, it’s a little bit like marmite… people either love the idea or they hate it! There is definitely an art to striking the right balance when it comes to working from home, with some great positives and a number of negatives.  How well it works varies on an individual basis.

In this article we thought we would look at some tips and techniques that will help you become more effective and efficient when working from home…

Separate workspace

For some, the idea of not having to commute to work is a dream, however the huge benefit that comes with commuting is that it puts some distance between you and the place where you work. OK yes the modern world of work means we are always connected in one way or another, but the psychological benefit of leaving your place of work isn’t to be ignored.

This means that if you are working from home it will be important to create a workspace you can walk away from at the end of the day. Yes it absolutely depends on the size of house or flat you live in. If you’re lucky enough to have a study, a spare room or even a a garden office then great, you have an instant area you can call your office. If you don’t have the same luxury then consider an area that you keep tidy, away from distractions and allows you to have a comfortable chair and desk/table to work at.

The idea is to try and separate your work from home. Getting this right will help you on your way to ensuring you don’t become consumed by work and you can switch off in the evening and weekends.

Interact with people

Some people can struggle with the lack of interaction with colleagues and other people associated with the business. This obviously depends on your personality, but spending too long on your own can impact your mental health. This means it’s important to have some form of interaction, be it a phone call or even a meeting where you can leave your house.

Of course there may be the odd day that will be quiet and you are just head down in your work, but do not underestimate the importance of speaking to people.

Structure your breaks

The beauty of working from home is that you can be a little more flexible about your hours, however it’s important not to take advantage of this. It obviously depends on what works for you but consider putting in place set break times so you can actually enjoy a short break for a cup of tea and then get back to what you were working on feeling refreshed.

Exercise

Exercise is so important for your wellbeing and mental health. If you’re not a fan of a run in the park or going to the gym try and at least go for a walk at lunch. It’s very easy to get into a routine where you work all day and then spend the evening sat down watching TV. Another suggestion is to try and stand up and work on your laptop, just try to do something other than sitting down all day.

Have a plan for the day

Just like structuring your breaks, it’s important to have a structure for your day. Something as simple as a ‘to do’ list will help you to keep focussed and productive. There’s nothing better than knowing that you have had a productive day and can finish your working day and not have to commute… honestly it’s a great feeling!

Don’t allow your work and home life to intertwine

It can be very easy to allow this to happen. The key to ensuring it doesn’t is to take onboard our first point about creating a separate workspace and also being disciplined with your approach to work. Be focussed and structured, get your work done and close your laptop at the end of the day so you can switch off.

For some people the flexibility of working from home means that they can log on after dinner if they didn’t get everything done during the day. But making this the norm will ultimately mean your work/life balance will be severely impacted. Your work could even leak into the weekends… not good!

Becky Doherty, Recruitment Consultant here at Project Resource commented: “To be competitive in the market I feel employers need to start seriously thinking about this working arrangement becoming the norm. It’s great to see more employers offering this but there is still a long way to go. Over the past year I have seen a massive increase of candidates not just wanting this but needing the opportunity to work from home and increased flexibility.”

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