Top 10 Tips for Working from Home Mar 16, 2020Views: 186
Several large businesses within the UK are closing their office doors and are urging their staff to work from home. Twitter has asked its entire workforce of 5,000 employees to work from home.
Whilst you’re at home, you’re bound to have more distractions in that environment than you would if you were sat at your desk at work. You could have kids to care for, pets to look after or heaps of washing to do.
In this blog, I’ll be giving you ten top tips on how to maintain your productivity levels from your home.
This may seem obvious to a lot of you, but some people will want to work from home and keep on their pyjamas. One of the best things you can do whilst working from home is to get dressed. You wouldn’t show up at work in your onesie and your slippers, so why would you stay in them at home? Sure, we all want to be comfortable. But by being too comfortable, you risk the fact that you might not get any work done.
Get dressed as you would for a normal day in the office, and this even includes your shoes. If you’re walking around in your socks or slippers, you’ll probably want to sit with your feet up on the sofa and lounge about.
Set up your workstation away from your bedroom or living area
The best place you can set up your workstation is at your dining table or at a desk which isn’t in your bedroom or living area. If the only place you can work from is your sofa, then make sure you’re not sitting cross-legged with your back slouched. You’ll get comfortable far too quickly and you’ll lose all motivation to continue working.
If you find yourself working from the comfort of your own bed, you’ll most likely want to have a quick nap.
TV is one of the biggest distractions at home, so try and stay away from it whilst you’re working. Don’t have it on in the background whilst you are working, because you’ll want to know what’s happening and you’ll lose all concentration. You can catch up on your favourite Netflix show when you ‘clock-out’ at 5pm!
Put your phone on silent
We all know how distracting phones can be. Whilst being at home, you’re going to want to check your social media, the news – especially with the coronavirus outbreak or even to scroll through your photo library.
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb or switch it to silent mode. Have it so that your phone will only alert you when someone is calling you.
Start your workday when you’re ready
A lot of people may not start work till 9am, once they’ve got all their distractions out of the way.
Stick to your regular morning routine, like you would if you’re going into the office for a day of work. If these responsibilities can be done later in the day, it might be best to start your workday as early as possible, so that you can finish earlier.
Structure your day like you’re at the office
We are all creatures of habit, and we all like to have some sort of routine. Whether this is a work routine or a personal routine. However, we are also quick to lose focus when we have distractions of some sort surrounding us.
One of the best things you can do whilst working from home is to structure your day like you’re at the office. Use an online calendar like Google Calendar to plan out what you’re going to do hour by hour and give yourself deadlines for tasks. Set realistic deadlines with a timeframe you’re more than comfortable with, knowing you’ll complete that task by a certain time.
Prioritise your workload with the more important tasks at the top, and the less important ones at the bottom. Give yourself plenty of time to complete these tasks by.
By wearing headphones, you’re essentially blocking out any background noise in your home which will allow you to concentrate on your work. Try listening to relaxing music with no lyrics. It might motivate you to get work done.
Take regular breaks
I can’t stress enough how important this is. After working for an hour or two, get up, go to the kitchen and make yourself a fresh cup of coffee. It doesn’t have to be a hot drink, go and grab yourself a snack!
You need to make sure you’re stretching your legs because sitting in the same spot for 8 hours a day isn’t going to be good for your health. Pop outside and take a quick stroll for 5-10 minutes, make sure you’re getting plenty of fresh air. You’ll feel refreshed when you get back to your desk and you’ll feel motivated to finish your work.
Pick a time for when you can close your laptop lid for the day
Again, this is extremely important. When working from home for a long period of time, you must know when work ends, and your personal life begins. It’s all about finding that work-life balance.
Set an alarm on your phone to alert you at your chosen time, for when your workday comes to an end. After that, make sure you shut your laptop down and switch off any and all notifications you have for work (unless they’re important).
Keep in contact with your work team
Make sure you’re keeping in regular contact with your colleagues. Download software’s such as Skype and Microsoft Teams to host group chats and group calls if you need to discuss big projects etc.
By keeping in contact with your colleagues, you can keep one another up to date on the work you have completed and what you have left to do. This can motivate you to get your work done, especially if you’re working with a colleague on a big project.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t be sociable. If you live with others, make sure to take a break from your work and go and have a quick chat with them throughout the day.
You could even call one of your colleagues throughout the day to chat about work and set out a plan of what you can both work on together.
It’s also extremely important to explain to people you live with that you are working from home. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can sit and have a chat for an hour or two and not get any work done. They will need to understand that you will need to be left alone for most of the day unless you’re having a quick break from your work. Be clear with them that you can’t be disturbed during the hours that you’re working.
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