We have recently discussed the benefits of flexibility in the workplace including working from home. For some people, the opportunity to work from home is a blessing to get away from the daily office distractions and noise. For others, this can be a task in itself to force yourself to sit down and do something without getting distracted by the TV, washing up or even your bed.
Without your colleagues / management there to ensure you don’t spend your day scrolling through Instagram searching cute puppy videos, it can be a challenge to work from home. But which environment actually allows us to be more productive: the home office or the office office? Working from home can be achievable if you set yourself some goals and boundaries. By having a clear focus will allow you to be productive and to ensure you get the task done.
- Set aside a specific work space
Make sure this space is not directly in front of the TV or in your bed whilst your prop your laptop on your knees. By sitting at a table will provide you with support and an area to write on if needed. Try to avoid a room with a TV. If you are used to the radio being on at work, put it on at home too. Pick a room that is light and airy to put you in the right frame of mind for work.
- Create a work schedule
Time management is a big part of staying focused when working from home. Have a clear plan of the tasks that need to be achieved in the day. By creating a check list will allow you to plan how much time each project will take and to prioritise it. You can reward yourself once you have completed a task with a snack or a cuppa.
- Get showered and dressed
By treating this day like any other work day will help you get set for the day ahead. We aren’t suggesting putting on a suit whilst you’re home alone, but by getting out of your pyjamas will help you to not think about crawling back into bed.
- Take breaks as you would at work
This is a work day. You are getting paid to work from home so treat it as such. Start at your normal time and take regular breaks in between as you would do. The added bonus is that you can eat the stinky fish pie for lunch that you couldn’t heat up in the work kitchen due to the countless comments about the smell.
- Avoid distractions
Easily said than done. Put your phone on silent and avoid having Facebook open in another tab. If there is other people at home at the same time as you, then be sure to tell them that you are working and you will speak to them at lunchtime. That way, you’ll be able to keep your focus and avoid distractions from other people in the house.
- Hold yourself accountable
Your manager may ask what you have achieved during your time at home. By having a clear plan of action before you leave the office, will make sure that you know what needs to be done. By taking responsibility for your tasks and letting you manager know what they can expect, you’ll find it easier to stay focused and avoid the lure of distractions. It may be worth staying in touch with management whilst working from home to update them or to even ask questions.
These few simple tips will have you knocking projects and tasks out the ball park and also create trust with your management to prove that you can achieve your work responsibilities whilst being away from the office.