We live in the first time when it is the norm to work from home.
More people are doing it than ever before, and with COVID-19 playing such a big part in our lives, it is virtually inevitable that this will remain the case in the future.
Some people love working from home, and others find it difficult.
In this guide, we’re exploring some of the top tips to work from home successfully and to be more productive in your career.
Stick to regular working hours
What hours are you planning to work?
Just like you (hopefully) would do if you were going into an office, you should have clear and defined working hours that help you to separate your own personal time, and your working hours.
It is really easy to find yourself doing the extra hour here or there, working through your lunch, or generally failing to keep a structure and a routine if you don’t manage to stick to a regular working pattern.
It doesn’t have to be a 9-5, but regularity wherever possible will almost definitely help.
How can you give yourself small rewards throughout the day to keep your motivation high and break up the day?
Little rewards like making yourself a delicious coffee using coffee beans that are a little bit more special can make all the difference.
A delicious lunch, the chance to go for a short walk on your break or spend ten minutes with the dog.
These can all be little rewards to get you through the day.
Caffeinate and take breaks
Okay, you don’t have to consume caffeine, and a lot of people just use the opportunity to take coffee breaks, even with decaf coffee beans.
Caffeine can help to stimulate you, and keep you performing and focusing at a high level.
In moderation, most people find coffee to be helpful at work. However, the break is arguably even more crucial.
Nobody can be productive all day without any breaks, so it is important that you don’t fall into the trap of overworking.
Don’t cut off from colleagues
Project management becomes a big problem with everyone working in their own space, unless you are able to stay in contact with your colleagues.
A project management system can often be the best way to do this, and to ensure that every team member knows their role.
Even when you are working from home, you may well be part of a team at work and this means you can’t just ignore what is going on with your colleagues.
Instead, make sure that you make an effort to speak to colleagues, including regular meetings with those in your team, and management.
This sort of culture should be encouraged by the superiors in any team.
Work in a dedicated space
It can be tempting to just work from the place you normally like to sit when at home, or to just have your laptop on the couch.
This is something that can blur the lines between your work space and time, and your personal space and time.
Even if you don’t have a lot of space, it makes sense to try and use a specific desk to complete your work tasks, giving you the feeling of ‘going to work’ and retaining some normality in your life.
Have clear boundaries
As well as working in a separate place, make sure you have boundaries in place.
Ask not to be contacted after working hours, and don’t give out your personal number if you don’t have to.
Work shouldn’t take over your life when you are working from home.
If you want to be productive, you should probably avoid distractions at all costs.
Don’t work in a room where there is a television blaring away, or where family members are constantly coming and going.
Try to tuck yourself away in a peaceful space for work where your attention won’t get dragged elsewhere.
Whether you do this while your coffee is brewing or you decide to go for a proper walk once a day, it is important that you take some time to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D.
This is important for your mental health, and if you are working from home you don’t get the benefits of going outside unless you actually make a plan to do so.
It is easy to accidentally spend Monday to Friday inside the house getting no exercise and damaging your mental state.
Make sure you plan to go outside and set aside some time specifically to do so.
Of course, everyone is slightly different.
For some it will be a simple adjustment, others will find it harder to get into a routine when working from home.
Our tips can help you to stay successful and productive even as you move away from the workplace and start spending your days in a home office or sat at your kitchen table.