Working from home can be challenging but also very rewarding.
At Local Web we have all worked from home in the past and sometimes for lengthily periods. Here are our 5 tips for getting the most out of working at home. – Who knows, this may be your opportunity to work from home more often when you get back to the office. 😉
1. Get Organised.
2. Clear your workspace.
3. Stay Professional.
4. Separate home from work.
5. Check your technology.
1. Get Organised.
Make sure you are organised and ready to work at home. Have everything you need in order to get your work done. Your laptop, notepads, calculator etc. You don’t want to waste time looking for things you need or wandering around the house tying to find a pen or stapler. Make sure your team mates are also organised and on the same schedule as you. You should start and finish your day the same way you would at work and take the same breaks you would if you were at work.
If you are organised you should actually be more productive than when you are at your office. In fact if you can be more productive than normal, you may have a chance at persuading your boss to let you work from home once a week when things get back to normal.
2. Clear your workspace.
Ideally you should be doing this once a week in your office anyway. Having a clear workspace helps you clear your mind and stay focussed. You should be able to have everything you need fit into a carry on suitcase and take it out and set it up as needed.
Find a space at home that you can work in undisturbed. A spare bedroom is best but if you don’t have one just allocate a space. Put a small desk and chair in the corner of your room and make that your workspace. Try find a spot where you won’t get distracted.
Set up your desk as you would at work, don’t turn on the TV or other distractions and if possible try and use the same space each day, even if you have to pack it up at the end of the day.
3. Stay professional.
You wouldn’t rock up to work in your underwear so don’t do it at home! Keep your routine. This is critical. Wake up at the same time, follow your normal morning routine and sit down at your desk, dressed in the same clothes you would wear to work and start work. Even if you are working at the kitchen table. Don’t roll out of bed 5 minutes before your start time and start eating cornflakes as you say good morning to your colleagues online.
By the same token, don’t keep wandering off to the kitchen and opening the fridge or watching Ellen on TV while you have a “quick coffee” If you follow your normal routine, working at home will be much much easier.
4. Separate home from work
Not watching TV or peeking into the fridge is one thing but not letting others disturb you is another.
You need to set boundaries with your flat mates, husbands, wives, children and even your pets. Be firm here and let them know you are working and not at home on holiday.
This will be hard at first as they will want to have casual conversations, ask you for help with something, or want you to take them for a walk. (in the case of the pet that is) Your children will want to play or engage too.
Again if you have a separate room, this will help. Remind your family that you have a lot of work to get through and you will see them in your breaks. Let them know when your breaks are to make this easier. Taking more shorter breaks is also a good idea and then get back to your workspace.
5. Check your technology
If you are working from home, you need to make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. Make sure you are with a reliable internet provider, especially as the networks will start to get overloaded now. Make sure your internet is unlimited and that your family isn’t draining the network with all the Netflix they are watching and online games they are playing.
Make sure your team is also on a solid network. We just changed providers for our team to have more reliable connections at home.
Its also a good idea to start using meeting technology like zoom meetings and getting used to using this technology so you can invite your customers to meetings seamlessly.
Make sure you redirect your landlines from the office to your mobile and are available to your customers.
Working from home can be a blessing or a curse. Setting the space up right from the get go will help you a lot, and if you can be more productive, who knows you may just be able to get to work from home more often when you get back to your regular work routine. Its a great time to try working from home and finding a way to make it work for you.
If you have any other tips for working from home, please leave us a note in the comments below.