I wrote an article back in August 2019 which discussed how to successfully work from home. However, given the current situation I wanted to go back over this article and make a few changes so it is more in line with current guidance on working from home if and when you can.
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 if you need to work from home and you're not used to doing so…
Separate your work from home
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 an area that allows you to have a comfortable chair and desk/table to work at.
The idea is to try and separate your work area from your living area. 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.
Interaction 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 virtual meeting where you can actually see the person you’re speaking to. 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.
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 and your business 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 is so important for your wellbeing and mental health. If you’re not a fan of a run in the park then simple home workout works just as well. 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 day plan
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 work and enjoy your evening… 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.
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