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Working from home, productively.

27 March 2020

A few tips on how best to work from home, in our experience.

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With the country currently in a phase of lockdown enforced upon us by Coronavirus, a lot of us have been granted the opportunity to work from home. To help you through this transition from office to home working we have put together a few useful tips

Choose a dedicated workstation

One of the major issues for many people when working from home is the lack of structure we normally have when we go to work. In the office we have a dedicated work station so why should it be any different at home?

Make sure when you are choosing the location of your workstation you try your best to avoid the sofa or lounge. The communal areas like the kitchen shouldn’t be used either to avoid any unnecessary distractions (more on distractions later). If you aren’t fortunate enough to have this luxury, it isn’t a problem. Make sure you set up in the morning just before you have to start and pack away at the end of each day. This will help you to distinguish between work and home life

Pretend you are going to the office

When working from home it can seem like a nice idea to just roll out of bed at 9 am and start work. To avoid this we suggest that you should wake up when you would normally for work. Get showered, dressed properly, that means no PJ’s or tracksuit bottoms. This will help you get your brain into ‘work mode’ and encourage you to start your day on time.

Use commuting time wisely

The commute for a lot of people is the period of time which allows them to think about what is going to happen during their working day. When working from home this time period can often be forgotten or replaced by a lie-in. Instead of lounging in bed, we would recommend using this time wisely. If you are more productive in the morning perhaps start slightly earlier, or you could use this time to get some exercise. Go for a walk around the block, do some yoga. The possibilities are endless.

Structure your day

One of the keys to being more productive while working from home is to ensure your day is structured and you have allotted time slots for certain tasks, breaks and distractions (yes you did read that correctly, distractions).

When trying to structure your day, always allow more time than you think you will need for big tasks. This can then allow for your mind to wander, as it does naturally, throughout the day. When trying to decide upon a time for your major tasks, try and think about when you are most productive. For me, it is a window between 9:30 and roughly 11:30 in the morning.

Small acts of success

During the periods you know you aren’t quite at your peak we would recommend the more administrative or mundane tasks. Whether it is responding to emails or something similar it is important to complete what we like to call ‘small acts of success’ so you can say you have at least completed something within your working day.

Distractions and breaks

At home distractions can become very regular, the doorbell, children interrupting and even social media to name but a few will cause you to take 5-10 minutes here and there. It is important to allow small distractions throughout the day. In the office, we are regularly interrupted by colleagues and making cups of tea. When working from home you should allow yourself a break roughly every 25 minutes. Make sure you leave your work station to do this. Even if it is just hanging the washing out or checking Instagram (other social media providers are available) and do it away from your workstation.