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Tips For Working From Home Effectively

19 December 2019
Zara Woodcock
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The ability to work from home is a wonderful privilege unless you don’t know how to stay disciplined and organised. In modern days, working from home is a great opportunity that respective companies afford us. But, the debate continues, which environment allows us to be more productive: the home office or the actual office? The answer is different for everybody as different environments work for different people. For example, some professionals prefer loud cafes and the hustle and bustle that surrounds them, whereas some prefer the silence of a dimly lit home office.

The benefits of working from the office are the ease of communication as well as having social contact with others that’s not your friends or family.  However, in a packed office, there is a great threat of coworkers constantly dropping by your desk and stopping you from getting work done.

At home, without discipline, distraction is the biggest enemy. For example, with your fridge, bed, and personal belongings a step away makes it easy to not do enough work. The most important part of working from home is having the correct setting and a motivated attitude. We have compiled a list of the top things to take into consideration when at home.

1. Make A List Of Everything You Need To Do

List everything you need to do in order of priority. Be realistic with your daily goals. There is no point listing 20 things to do when you can probably only finish five. Keep the list short but make sure it fills your day and make sure you actually complete every single thing. As long as you have a list, it will stop you from straying from your daily goals. Without a list, it will be easier to think, “I don’t need to do this today” or “I’ll do it later”.


2. Shower And Get Dressed In The Morning

The most efficient thing to do is wake up at the same time you would normally do when you have to commute to work. Continue on with your normal morning routine. For example, if you normally wake up at 7 in the morning, shower, get dressed, and have time for breakfast, do the same exact thing even if you’re just sitting at home. A daily routine keeps things professional and keeps you from getting lazy.


3. Get Out Of The House

Whether it’s for lunch, for a short walk or to move working conditions to a local cafe, leaving the house is important for you physically and mentally. Staying couped up on the same couch at home to only move to the bedroom for sleep after work isn’t good for anyone. We all need some fresh air and some form of movement to feel motivated for the day.


4. Take Advantage Of The Low Costs

Not leaving the house means you won’t have to worry about spending money on lunch, transport and other necessities. Make a nice home-made meal for your lunch and revel in the fact you don’t have to suffer by eating meal deals and cheap corner store snacks.  It may not seem like much but when you think about it, by working from home for even one day you can save an extra £10 or so in transport. This is a large amount when every day is added together. These at-home savings could be used for more important things like food, rent, bills and so much more.


5. Check In With Your Boss/Co-Workers During The Day

It might sound unnecessary, e-mailing your colleagues/boss/clients during the day with important information or questions will show the amount of work you put in when you are based at home. To make communication easier, Google+ Hangouts is the perfect tool to instant message, video call, call, and e-mail people in your company. Hangouts are available as both a mobile phone app (for when you have to step away from your computer) and online.


6. Choose A Dedicated Workspace

Avoid working in your bedroom. The more you use your bedroom for activities other than sleeping, the more your brain may associate sleep with work. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an office. Dedicate some time and money into creating a private home office. If you don’t have space or money, it is still helpful to have a dedicated desk (in the dining room or living room) you use for work-only purposes. Not only will a home office boost productivity, but it will be an accomplishment in itself to have your very own space.


7. Make It Harder For Yourself To Get Distracted

With social media just a tap away, it may be a good idea to remove shortcuts from your computer as well as logging yourself out of each app and platform. Using ‘Incognito’ mode on Google Chrome may help you stay signed out of all your accounts and each web search will then not autocomplete the word you’re typing. Treat your mobile phone and applications as you would in the office, with minimal usage.


8. Find Some Background Noise

If you are working home alone, silence will become deafening. Play an easy-to-watch programme in the background or listen to specific genres of music to make you feel like you are not alone. However, don’t use the background noise as an excuse to get distracted. Listening to movies, tv shows, music, podcasts and audiobooks will not only make you feel like you are in good company, but it will also make the task at hand less tedious.


9. Enjoy Your Flexibility

No one can stay focused on one thing for 9 hours a day. If you find your focus wavering, take a break by going for a walk or watching a few YouTube videos. There is no point forcing yourself to do the work if you can’t even get yourself to focus on what you’re working on. It is sometimes healthy to walk away from professional work and focus on your personal needs. After your dedicated breaks, come back stronger and more driven.


10. Communicate Your Expectations With Those Around You

Not everyone lives alone. If you live with children, spouses, relatives, or flatmates, it may be time to let them know what you expect when working from home. Of course, you cannot force them to be silent and non-existent. However, make sure those people know to respect your space and time during work hours. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you want to be distracted by screaming, loud music, or other things.

Freelancing and working remotely is a great chance to work in a modern setting that strays away from the outdated ‘9-5’ ordeal. As it is still quite new for many companies, it is important to follow your own made-up rules to ensure the ability to work from home in the future. Have a read of our guide on flexible working for mothers for tips and your rights as a new mother/parent.