Tips for working from home

For some, working from home allows much needed flexibility. For others it can make them feel isolated and unproductive. As more and more people are working from home to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, here are our top tips for working from home and staying productive.

1.      Make sure you have everything you need

This is potentially the most vital working from home tip during these uncertain times amid the Coronavirus outbreak. While you’re still at your place of work make sure you have everything you need to be able to work efficiently and effectively from home as it’s uncertain when you will be able to return.

2.      Set up a dedicated workspace

Having a space in your home dedicated for work helps you get into the right mind set for productive working. Never work from your bedroom – keep it as a space for sleeping and relaxing. It’ll help make the work-life divide a little clearer.

3.      Have a morning routine

Just like you would normally, stick to a morning routine that sets you up for a productive work day. When working from home it can be very tempting to sleep in until 5 minutes before your working day starts but when a person wakes up from sleeping, their brain goes through a transition period called sleep inertia. This is the period between first waking up and feeling fully awake and can last up to 30 minutes. Getting up early enough to carry out your usual daily routine gives your brain time to switch on ready to take on the day.

4.      Get dressed

Getting dressed is possibly one of the easiest yet most effective tips for working from home. This gets you in the right headspace for work and enables you to take video calls on the fly.

5.      Stick to your normal working hours

It can be tempting to sleep in late and start working late and into the night. However, this is not good for your mental state and can become a bad habit. It also means you’re unavailable on email, phone or instant messaging at the normal hours, making it harder to stay in touch with team members and organise workloads.

6.      Set ground rules with people at home

If you live with others make sure you let them know where you’ll be working and at what hours. This prevents any distractions or interruptions that could break your workflow and hamper productivity.

7.      Take breaks in their entirety

Sometimes people feel more pressure when working from home to prove that they are working and thus work through their lunch break. This can lead to burnout and a lack of productivity, particularly in the afternoon. Therefore, it’s important to take your full lunch break. Turn off any work related emails and notifications and move into another room or at least away from your dedicated workspace to allow your brain to have a break. This enables you to come back to your work refreshed.

8.      Take sick days

One of the most important tips for working from home is to take sick days when you’re ill. It seems obvious but people sometimes think that if they’re working from home anyway, they may as well be working instead of resting. This is not a good idea because working through an illness can make you feel worse and less productive for longer. If you let your body rest and heal you will be more productive in the long run. If you don’t feel well enough to go into the office, don’t work from home either.

9.      Listen to music

Working from home can sometimes be a bit too quiet, especially if you’re used to a noisy office. This can make it hard to focus, so put the radio on or play some music in the background. You could even create a working from home playlist! Video game soundtracks are particularly good for this as they are designed to add atmosphere and ambience without breaking concentration.

10.  Keep in regular contact with your team

When working from home it’s important to stay up to date with your team. Utilise emails, phone calls, video conferencing and instant messaging to keep everyone in the loop. This also helps prevent you feeling isolated and lonely.

11.  Take advantage of your extra time

If you’re used to commuting to a workplace, when you start working from home you’ll soon realise how much extra time you have in a day. Take advantage of this! You can use this time to do all the things you’ve been putting off; household tasks like cleaning out the freezer or fixing a broken cupboard door. Or you could use this as an extra bit of ‘me’ time. Read some of the books you’ve bought but not got round to, start food prepping for the next day or do some simple exercises.

12.  Sign out when the day is over

Another one of the best tips for working from home is to sign out of all of your work networks, emails, and instant messaging apps when the day is over, just like you would if you were at the office about to head home. It can be difficult to switch your brain from ‘work-mode’ to ‘home-mode’ if you’ve been at home all day, but doing this makes that all important work-life balance clearer.

Follow HAD on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram

Written by Romey Watters

Digital Marketing Officer