Tips For Successfully Working From Home
Working from home has been the big story of 2020. The recent pandemic has meant that an increasing number of people are working from home and according to the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, 50% of us worked from home when lockdown was at its peak compared to only 5% of us before the pandemic.
The implications of this shift can be seen in many ways. First, people realised that their homes weren’t geared up for remote working and lacked a dedicated office space, especially if also trying to home school children. This resulted in a number of homeowners and renters looking for more spacious homes to accommodate working from home. In fact, the pent up demand combined with this new demand for an additional room has resulted in a mini property boom here in Scotland.
With more people working at home, footfall in local towns and cities has fallen and there has been less demand for public transport.
Going forward, many people are choosing to continue to work from home either full or part-time, realising that the work-life balance and happiness levels have improved but also wanting the feeling of being part of a team by physically being in the office. Employers are also seeing the benefits, with less office space required helping to limit their overheads and operating costs.
When working from home it’s important to create the right environment to ensure that you are comfortable and productive. Here are some tips for successfully working from home:
Set a routine
When working in an office you arrive at a certain time, have breaks and lunch as per your contract and leave when your hours are up. When you’re working at home, you have the freedom to get dressed when you like, eat and drink when it suits you and finish when you shut down your computer. To be more productive it’s important to have a set start and end time. Have breakfast, get dressed in nice clothes before you start work, set times for a tea break and lunch and stick to them if you can. A routine is a must if you want to be as productive and as motivated as you are in the office.
Create a dedicated workspace
Just because you aren’t in an office doesn’t mean you can’t have an office! If possible, it’s important not to from the couch or perched on the kitchen worktop. Instead, create a dedicated desk or workspace that can remain exactly as it is when you stop working, with your computer and work left undisturbed until you start work again. This will enable you to cut yourself off from the normal household and concentrate far better on the task at hand. If you have a garage or loft space you may want to consider creating a home office – which will add resale value to your property. Alternatively you could consider upsizing to accommodate your new requirements.
Get a change of scenery
Being in one place for work and leisure can be difficult and you may feel cut off from the real world. It’s important to get out when you can – and if possible, try to take some time out to work in a coffee shop or library. This will help you to simulate the energy of an office and stay productive. It’s important for your mental health to have some interaction with other people especially if you live alone.
Don’t get distracted
Social media can be a huge distraction and can be detrimental to your productivity. If you don’t work in social media as a profession, turn off alerts and even use a private browser so that you’re signed out of your social media accounts. Set dedicated times to catch up with your social media accounts.
Make a clear plan
Spending time working out what you’re going to do during the day can take away from actually working. Therefore, set an agenda that outlines any assignments to be completed the day before if possible, so that when you wake up and start work you have a clear idea of what you need to do.
Have some background music
Working in silence can help you to concentrate but it can also feel very lonely and isolating especially if you’re used to a busy, bustling office with lots of people. Having the radio on or music without lyrics can help you to focus and stop you feeling so cut off. You could even have the TV on in the background.