Top Tips: How to effectively work from home

Arriving at work after an hour or two of being squashed on the daily commute really isn’t the best start to the day, and many employers are recognising this. With a number of companies now offering agile working and flexible hours to their employees – and with freelancers ever on the rise – there are more and more people working from home.

Whether you’re a long-term agile worker or new to the stay-at-home game, we’ve taken a look at the biggest dos and don’ts to help you make the most of knuckling down in your own abode.

Do create a professional work space

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a spare room which they can turn into a home office. However, simply designating a work space within your home can help you to get in the zone and focus on the tasks at hand. You can even kit the area out exactly how you like – whether you prefer two screens, like to have all of your stationery perfectly organised within arm’s reach or simply feel more focused surrounded by plants!

Don’t lose track of time

It’s easy to lose track of time while working from home and you can often end up starting earlier and finishing later, so think about setting timers for the beginning and end of your day. Working from home also enables you to make the most of your time in a way that the traditional office environment doesn’t. If you happen to live close to your friends and family, why not set aside a couple of lunch breaks a week to catch up over a quick coffee or bite to eat!

Do create an atmosphere that helps you concentrate

If you prefer that slightly more office-like feel, why not put on the radio or some background music to help you concentrate. However, if you’re used to a busy household, you may prefer a bit of peace and quiet while you work. This is personal preference and all about creating an atmosphere that works for you!

Don’t let yourself be distracted

You may enjoy watching TV, reading a good book or playing video games but these need to be limited to your free time; you’re still at work and it’s a very slippery slope if your two lives start to overlap. Instead, write up a list of your favourite pastimes and think of these as a treat once you’ve finished your workload for the day.

Do get ready for the day

When you tell people that you work from home, it’s almost certain that they imagine you spend your days lounging in your pyjamas, answering emails from bed. However, one of the top pieces of advice is to set yourself a morning routine just as you would if you were heading into an office; showering and getting dressed before sitting down for your morning coffee will naturally put you in a completely different mindset.

Don’t lock yourself away

This is vital for anyone who works from home. Whether you get up at the crack of dawn for a gym session, take a short walk to get the newspaper in the morning, or go for a leisurely stroll on your lunch break, getting out of the house will help to fight away any feelings of isolation.

Do find alternative places to work

If you find that you’re struggling with a touch of cabin fever, it’s an idea to look at potential work locations that are away from home. Escape the same four walls you’re used to and head down to your favourite coffee shop for the morning, your local library for the afternoon or even do some research into shared work spaces which are becoming ever popular amongst those without a set office.

Don’t forget to communicate

It’s easy to forget how your co-workers are getting on when they aren’t in the room with you so try to check in with them when you can. This isn’t just about letting the team know that you are actually working – it also helps to build relationships and sustain that feeling of camaraderie. If you’re able to, it’s also a good idea to schedule in regular face-to-face meetings with the team or your clients to catch up and discuss any upcoming projects.

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