Top tips for working from home

It can be said that remote working or working from home is the future of the workplace. With high rental costs (particularly in big cities), flexible working, and the fact that most things can now happen on ‘the cloud,’ it’s no wonder why more and more companies are looking for this to be a common practice.

As someone who has personally worked in multiple organisations that have implemented the work remotely rule for many years, I can say that the idea of working from home has both it’s benefits but also real setbacks. The benefits are enormous, for example, your commute is the easiest thing in the world! There are no queues to get coffee or breakfast (unless you live with housemates, family, or have kids!). You no longer have to fight for the perfect room temperature, and your seat can be as comfortable as you want it to be (I’ve at times used my sofa or a heavily cushioned chair when I’ve needed some comfort). Sure, those perks are great, but it can become easy to start to lose your routine, and you find yourself not working as productively, leaving you to have to work later or even miss out on important tasks and deadlines.

I’m here today to help you work smarter and use the blessing and curse of working from home to your advantage. By following these tips, you will hopefully learn how to make working from home, work for you. So, whether you’re just starting this journey or you’ve been using your home as your office for a while, it’s never too late to start working right.

Start the day
As simple as it sounds, starting the day off is where the productivity begins. Start as you would typically do if you were going into the office. Get up, make your bed, pull the curtains open, and jump in the shower. You’ll be surprised how your body will begin to switch to work mode just by having those regular triggers. Do everything, as usual, have your breakfast, pack your bag, whatever was your routine, get dressed! Those are vital things to remember, pick clothes that remind you of working but also comfortable. As funny as it may be, to have business meetings wearing your pajama bottoms, mentally, your brain won’t separate the work from life. Remember, the only difference about today is that your working from home.

Keep up with your regular working hours
The key point to maintaining productivity is to try to keep a routine going and continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach. Which means whatever working hours you had before, keep up with them. Remember, you’re already reaping the benefits of working from home by cutting down your commute times, giving you more time for things you enjoy, like sleeping in a bit longer. Be strict with those timings, don’t come in late, don’t finish late (unless there is something you really must complete) be honest and fair about the time you’re actually spending at ‘work.’

Make a home office
I’m not saying go out and build an office; I know those of you living in big cities will probably have limited space to work with. But it’s so essential that you’re setting location boundaries for yourself. They say that working in bed is an absolute no-no and that you have to allocate a place in your home to do productive work. So whether it is a corner of your kitchen table, an area of your living room, or a small space in your bedroom (NOT BED!), make sure that during work hours, only work happens there. Discipline yourself not to enter that space unless you are working, and during your worktime, you are also not leaving that space. Keep it maintained, and don’t be tempted to stray elsewhere. Your home should be a place where you can relax and unwind, the last thing you want is to feel like every space reminds you of work.

Take breaks
Taking short and regular breaks have a lot more benefits than taking one long one. It helps break down the day, tasks and gives you a chance to take a breather. Take these breaks away from your workspace. In those 5 to 10-minute breaks, do not think about work; do not look at your task list; do something nice for you. Even if it’s to take a step outside and breathe some fresh air. Grab a snack or make a drink. Taking those regular breaks will give your mind a chance to declutter and keep going.

Check-in with colleagues
Being away from the office can be quite a lonely existence. Despite sometimes complaining about how noisy it can be, you’re probably missing the buzz. Working from home doesn’t mean those colleagues no longer exist, and you never know, they could be feeling the same way too. Drop-in on them, give them a text or email or use whatever team networking software you use at work. It’s not just great for keeping your social needs up but also a good way for you to touch base with your team and see how things are going with projects. Remember, you’re working from home, but it’s still business as usual.

There are your top tips for productive home working. If you give these a try, let us know how they worked (or didn’t work for you), and if you have any other ideas that our community can try, comment below! We’d love to hear from you.

ABL Recruitment Team