. THE PERKS OF WORKING FROM HOME, CAN OFTEN BE THE CON’S TOO .
Working from home is often deemed on first thought an absolute blessing, laying in bed all day with your computer on your lap, TV streaming all of day times finest, and pyjamas as your attire of choice. And yes, that’s great. But actually working from home, to do it well, requires discipline, organisation & often much more management skill than you might realise. Without an office full of people around you, productivity can often increase, but let’s not forget it can often be quite lonely & therefore requires that extra effort to keep yourself going all day! For me working from home is a fantastic perk of my job, more often than not when I work from home I actually end up getting more work done because the solitude of the set up makes for no distractions and I can really focus on the task in hand. But with that, and without the companions by my side, I can often lose track of time and forget to take breaks, have some lunch, or to even stop working as the night falls in. For me working from home really boosts my productivity, but that’s not to say it’s easy to run a business, manage your work flow or be efficient when you do have your home as your office!
Working from home is great, but there really are some tricks to help make it effective, efficient and enjoyable, so today I thought I’d share my 5 top tips for working from home.
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU SUCCESSFULLY WORK FROM HOME
#1 WORKING HOURS
First up, whilst people probably think working from home means late rises, leisurely days & long lunches, the reality is quite different. In fact from my experience, when you’re tackling a long project list & a heavy work load, working from home can often lead to worse working hours than if you were based in an office, without the normalisation of people coming and leaving, you can find yourself losing track of time & forgetting to stop (let alone start).
It’s really important to define your working hours, and your personal hours. Give yourself a start and finish time, just like you would have in an office job, and be sure to take breaks throughout the day (and don’t feel guilty for it). Your productivity and efficiency will only be improved by managing your time properly.
#2 DEDICATED SPACE
Whilst the thought of working from your bed all day probably sounds like heaven, the reality is that it isn’t. One of my best decisions, which has really aided my ability to work from home, was setting up my own working area. Largely this was driven by the need for a formal set up to run mediamarmalade.com, but it also has meant that I have a dedicated space to use when I’m working from home too.
Having a dedicated working space, with a proper desk, a comfortable chair and all your stationary set up is a key driver in getting you in the right mindset to work, it also means that when you finish work or take a break, you can mentally AND physically leave your work behind (maintaining that split and balance is key, and becomes much harder when you work from home).
#3 GET DRESSED
Oh how the thought of staying in my pyjamas all day pleases me. BUT, if you want to run a productive ‘working’ ship from your home, then you need to be in the ‘working’ mindset, and lets be honest as comfy as your pj’s are, they’re not the most conducive to a hard working day! I always make a concerted effort to get dressed when I work from home, starting the day just as I would if I was going into the office.
#4 TAKE BREAKS
Much like defining your working hours & having a dedicated working space, you also must ensure you still take breaks throughout the day. Taking breaks is essential for productivity. It’s fair to say that it’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home, I frequently look up at my clock and realise it’s 5pm and I’ve not even moved for a cup or tea, let alone lunch. But actually that’s not good practice, you should make a point of having small breaks, a proper lunch time, and also to get out the house if only to grab a coffee.
Sitting at your desk all day without a single mental or physical break really isn’t the best productivity producer, taking breaks will clear your mind, give you clarity, re-energise you & generally aid your productivity and efficiency!
#5 DO IT FACE TO FACE
I mentioned that working from home can be quite isolated and lonely, and without people around you, email becomes your sole form of communication. Whilst email is great, it’s also TERRIBLE. Email is really helpful to business, but in my opinion it shouldn’t be relied on as your only point of communication, skype, calls, & face to face meetings are really important. Often you can resolve a conversation far quicker in person or on the phone than you could over email. Email also allows for all sorts of misunderstanding, from tone & meaning, to even the content itself. If you’re running a business from home, or simply working from home a few days a week every now and then, be sure to make ‘personal’ communications a priority. If not least for your own sanity ;)
. SHOP MY HOME OFFICE EDIT .
So there you have it, my 5 key tips to help you successfully work from home, keep your productivity in check, and ensure you create that work life balance and split which we all need in life.
I’d love to hear about your experiences of working from home, and any other tips you might have to add to the list?