Working from home – it sounds so glamorous and convenient, doesn’t it? Visions of swanning around in a satin dressing gown, chewing a pen thoughtfully, able to put on a load of washing or prepare dinner as you please. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, which is why we’ve put together these top tips to help you work consistently and productively.
Invest in a comfortable chair and desk
Or at least make sure they are set to the right height. There’s nothing more uncomfortable, and detrimental to your back health, than spending the day hunched over a laptop balanced precariously on your knee.
Designate a workspace, allowing you to separate work from home
Even if it’s a corner of your bedroom with a foldaway desk; it’s important that you can work peacefully and quietly, away from the hubbub of the household.
Plan your day!
Allocate time slots for tasks, both work and home-related, allowing time for lunch and a few leg stretches. If you have children at home and are alone with them, plan your work around naptimes, early mornings and early evenings. If you have family members to look after children, set boundaries to avoid interruptions, including setting up a quiet workspace. It’s tricky to focus on work when you are in the same room as your children, particularly if they are insisting that you join in their dance routine.
Speaking of distractions, turn off your social media notifications, or before long you’ll wonder where that last three hours went…!
Never start work in your pyjamas
As tempting as it may seem, it simply doesn’t put your head in the right space for working. Have a shower, get dressed, just as you would if heading for the office.
Invest in the best technology you can afford
Noise cancelling headphones are a blessing, as is super high-speed internet and a decent laptop. Video conference calls will be a breeze with quality tools at your disposal.
Make sure clients understand your working hours
Society is gradually becoming more flexible around working practice; understanding that working hours aren’t necessarily the traditional 9-5. However, to avoid any stresses, you need to be clear from the beginning exactly when you are contactable and when you aren’t. It’s a good idea to make it obvious by adding it to your email signature, or setting up an email auto-reply. Nobody wants a work phone call when they’re emptying a toddler’s potty, do they?