In recent months the world has changed significantly, with many of us being required to continue our current jobs from home.
In the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, most jobs posted online are advertised as online jobs to work from home, either permanently or on a temporary basis while social distancing measures are implemented.
Many of us value working from home. Some people specifically seek out work from home careers because remote working fits around their lifestyle better than jobs which require a commute into the office. Maybe remote working seems ideal to you and you dream about how to quit your job and work from home. While some thrive whilst working from home, others may find it isolating or distracting, especially those who have young children to look after.
With a little know-how, you can create a great home office that will serve you well and enable you to be at your most productive. In this article, we will share with you our advice on working from home.
Learn how to create the right environment for working from home - You may not have your own dedicated office in your home but that’s no excuse for not having a pleasant place to work whilst at home. At the very least you need a chair that is comfortable to sit at for long periods and a desk large enough for your computer and other work materials. Make sure that the area that you work in is well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions. When choosing a location in which to work from home try to avoid any high footfall areas in your home to minimise possible interruptions.
Seek support from your employer - If your employer expects you to work from home they should provide you with support to make it possible for you, particularly if you haven’t been expected to work from home in the past. Talk to your employer to find out if they can help with anything such as cable extensions, a desk chair, or anything else you might find you need in order to work from home. Your employer is responsible for your physical health at work and also your mental health so talk to HR if you feel that you are struggling while working from home.
Tell your family what you need from them - Working from home can be tricky, particularly if you have a young family or dependants who require care. It can be useful to set ground rules when you begin working from home, such as not interrupting during meetings or phone calls. Scheduling tasks or activities to keep your children busy throughout the working day can help to minimise interruptions and give your days structure. While there will always be little interruptions here and there you can keep the kids in check by keeping them busy!
Regulate your hours - When working from home it’s all too easy to work longer than your scheduled hours or procrastinate throughout the day. Regulating your hours while working from home is a very useful skill but can be hard to master. Sticking to a rigid schedule is the best way to ensure that you retain a strong work-life balance while working from home. Many people find it useful to get up and shower before beginning work in order to feel ready for the day, rather than getting up and sitting down at your desk immediately after getting up.
Take breaks when working from home - When developing your work-from-home schedule make sure you block out time for breaks. This tip is highly useful for anyone who struggles with procrastinating while working from home, as scheduling sufficient breaks will mean that you won’t be so tempted to catch a bit of daytime TV during your working hours! Use your breaks to have a coffee and take time for yourself. Sometimes a break is exactly what’s needed to help focus your mind during the day.
Stay sociable with colleagues - Working from home can be lonely at times. When we are in the office it’s easy to find opportunities to chat and socialise with colleagues, but this can be more difficult when working from home. It’s important to maintain links with your colleagues even if you are working remotely so consider organising a regular social event, such as a quiz, where you can touch base. This can be either physical or virtual. Scheduling in time to socialise with your colleagues can help you feel more motivated and that you are part of a close-knit team even when you are working apart from each other.
Have a change of scene if required - Even if you love working from home, there will undoubtedly be times when you crave a change of scene. This is totally normal when you are spending all your time between the same four walls! If you are in need of a change of scene try going to a cafe or try working from a different space for a short while, from time to time. Make sure you organise fun plans for the weekend so that you feel refreshed by the time Monday comes around.
Thank you for reading our advice on working from home. Whether or not working from home is new to you, we hope that you will find our tips for working from home to be useful.