Working from home sounds easy and better than working in an office, and for the most part it is. Here are the top 10 tips for making working from home work for your and how to stay motivated when doing it.
Get up and get moving
It can be very easy for hours to pass and all you’ve done is sit down. When you’re at home you don’t have the long walks to a toilet, a social lunch (if you’re lucky) or meetings. Sitting down all day isn’t good for you. Take regular breaks and get out in the fresh if you can, even if it’s only a walk round your block or to the shop.
If you work from home a lot or exclusively, it’s easy to become isolated. Try to schedule a lunch with a friend once a week. You’re still working so not going to have a lot of time, but pop over for a coffee at their house or meet somewhere close by. Failing that, make sure you talk to your neighbour or strike up a conversation at the shop on one of your walks.
Create a schedule
People either thrive on working from home and can power through tremendous amounts of work when uninterrupted. Others faff and get distracted. Either way you might find your time management can go off piste with important tasks forgotten or work bleeding into your personal time. Allocate times that you are going to work and stick to it. Block out your Outlook calendar if you have to, but try an create a regime.
Set your stall out with friends and family
You will come to dread these words “ Oh I’ll stop by if you’re at home.” It will take a while for people to realise that when you work from home you are working. The only difference from being at someone else’s’ office is the location. If people insist on calling around, ask them to do it at set time like your lunch break and tell them how much time you have.
Have a dedicated work area
It’s easier for everyone to respect you work from home if you have an actual area that you do it in. Otherwise, people think you just sit on your phone all day or spend it flicking through your iPad. I have a corner one which fits nicely into the corner of our spare room and takes up very little space. It also means you have everything to hand and can close a door behind it when you’ve finished your “work time”.
Mix up your work surroundings
Much as I think having a dedicated space is good, if you have a laptop and can work at different locations, it can psychologically give you a pep. Take it to the coffee job, or work in another area of hour house for a few hours. If you are doing work offline, why not sit out in the garden on a good day and work your way through those papers in the sunshine?
Don’t get distracted by housework
It’s easy when you’re at home to “just do that chore quickly” and get swept up by an hours worth of cleaning. Don’t! Working from home can be great for lots of household tasks but pick them wisely. Allow yourself ten minutes before you start to put a load of washing on, time at lunchtime to bring it in off the line, and ten minutes to wipe down the kitchen units in the afternoon. They don’t have to be the chores you do, but you get the picture.
Whether you work for yourself or you are employed, it’s important to have a clear plan of attack and objectives for your day. Set yourself a clear to do list, marking out 2/3 important activities that must be achieved that day and can only be done by you.
Close your tabs
Whether you are a blogger, self employed or working for another company, I’m sure part your day will be spent online. Ensure you close all your non essential browser tables and notifications. They will only distract you and make exploring your social media or other websites easy.
Embrace the freedom you have working from home and use it wisely. If you are able to, based on the nature of your work, tailor your hours to suit when you work best – are you a night owl or an early bird, do you want to plaster a wall with sticky notes to work out a plan? Do it!
Do you work from home? What advice would you share?