Top Tips for Working from Home Effectively

Working from home has been a slow-growing trend over the past decade, and with the current global situation accelerating its implementation, it seems just about every office-based worker has had to adapt quickly to a whole new way of working. Going from an often-social office space, to a potentially isolated home office is no easy task and staying focused in an environment full of potential distractions and bad habits can be difficult for anyone to manage. To help you make this transition smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of simple tips to keep you on track…

Define your workstation

It would be unrealistic to expect everyone to have a designated home-office ready and waiting; finding the ideal spot at home can be the first barrier to success. You need to consider a number of factors such as; is there going to be enough space to get things done and how easily are you going to get distracted?

Our recommendation is to find yourself a space that you associate with work, and only work. Avoid areas such as your sofa or bedroom, as this will only make it harder to clock off once you’re finished. Another important factor for the ideal workstation is natural light – not only can working in natural light help reduce headaches and eyestrain, but it can also boost your mood and productivity.

Treat it like any other day in the office

In order to get yourself into the mindset of working as normal, try to avoid taking it easy just because you’re at home. Wake up at your usual time, make yourself a morning brew and most of all… get dressed! We know it’s tempting to stay in your pyjamas, but it will only make it harder to stay focused on the task at hand. You don’t have to put on your best suit, but a quick attire-change will help urge your mind into wake-up mode.

We also suggest sticking to your traditional working hours and having set times for breaks and lunch. Putting in clear guidelines on when you should work and when to call it a day, will help keep that truly important work-life balance.

Plan your time effectively

There’s going to be a whole new host of distractions when working from home, compared to the usual things going on in the office. It will always be difficult to prioritise your work when you’re surrounded by things you could tidy, clean or otherwise enjoy in your own home, but there are so many effective methods you can utilise to plan your time and stay on-topic.

Our favourite is ‘Time Blocking’, the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time blocks for each of your tasks. Organising your work in such a way will encourage you to fully commit to each task and ultimately avoid procrastination. Don’t forget to leave 5 minutes slots for a much-needed cuppa!

Top tip – Leave your mornings specifically for the most important tasks! Your mind will be much clearer, allowing you to focus, get them done and move on to the rest of your workflow – an easy way to feel accomplished before 11am!

Ergonomics aren’t just for the office

Something that often gets overlooked when working from home, is ensuring your set up is ergonomically friendly. Irregular home workers will be limited by the furniture they have available, but here’s some key pointers to ensure you are working with your health in mind:

Finally, Stay Connected

If you usually work in a busy office, you’ll know how easy it is to strike up a conversation with your colleagues throughout the day. Working from home, however, can create a slight disconnection from the rest of the team; it’s important to stay in touch as much as possible. Try making a daily catch-up call with your direct teammates to discuss each other’s plans for the day. This could be as brief as 10 minutes to go over task lists, priorities and potential challenges.

Don’t forget, all work and no play make for a miserable day, and no one works well without a bit of light-hearted banter. We suggest setting up a separate team group-chat so you can keep up the usual office natter, without it interrupting your work time.

We admit that working from home may not be for everyone, and it can certainly take some getting used to for those who are new to it. Yet it provides a number of benefits that can ultimately boost productivity. When utilised effectively, it offers a great opportunity to improve employee well-being and team morale.

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