1. Have a dedicated workspace
Being in the right frame of mind is critical to getting the most out of your working day. In usual circumstances, as you enter the office, you automatically set yourself to ‘work mode’. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when working from home. However, by having a dedicated workspace within your home, the transition from ‘home mode’ to ‘work mode’ is made much easier. This doesn’t mean you must have an all singing all dancing purpose-built office, or even a permanent workstation - you just need a designated space that you are comfortable in, and can work effectively from.
2. Work when you are at your most productive
It is a well-documented fact that one of the biggest positives gained from working from home is an increase in an individual’s productivity. This is enabled by the lack of work-place distractions, resulting in an increased focus. When planning your schedule, you should identify when you are at your most productive and plan your workday around this.
3. Structure your day
Understanding and knowing when you are at your most productive means you can effectively schedule your workday around these times. Prioritising and planning essential or critical tasks for the times when you are at your most efficient will help you get the most out your day.
4. Take a break
In a normal working environment, your typical working day has breaks inherently built into it. Whether it be lunch or a walk to the printer, the mental respite you receive from these actions is hugely important. By building in structured breaks to your day when working from home you can help reduce the mental stress build up and make your day that little bit easier.
5. Social interaction
The biggest potential pitfall to working from home for most people is the lack of social interaction.It is vital that you build social engagement into your working day - this could be as simple as reserving the first ten minutes at the start of a team meeting for a catch up with your colleagues to having remote lunches with them throughout the week.
6. Remove distractions
In order to get the most out of working from home you need to remove any potential distractions that may be around you.This could be the television being on, the lure of social media, or even the pile of laundry that is waiting to be done.
7. Effectively use technology
If you have access to a reasonable internet connection, then working from home should be infinitely easier now than it has in years gone by. Using Zoom or Microsoft Teams to host meetings has become the norm for businesses that, previously, would never have considered it.The same can be said for innumerable apps and solutions such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack, Circle Loop etc that we now have at our disposal to make collaborative working so easy and accessible.
Flexibility of hours is a huge bonus of working from home. You could be up and working from 6 – 8, then taking the kids to school and doing chores for a few hours before sitting back down between 1-3, and then picking the kids back up again and doing another couple of hours in the evening. However, you must communicate this to your colleagues, so they are aware of your working hours and what to expect from you.
9. Pre-Prepare meals
We know this isn’t easy for everybody but having your meals prepared in advance really can help by removing some of the stress and distractions out of the day ahead. Having your meals pre-prepared removes the temptation to go to the shops or start preparing dinner when you may have deadlines to meet.
As tempting as it may be to spend the day in your pyjamas, it’s not the best idea – though this does not mean you have to be formally dressed throughout the day! The key to working from home is to have a good routine and getting up and dressed in the morning helps you kick-start your day.