The end of the office?! Top tips for working from home
We know – a bit of a dramatic title for this blog, but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’d know that coronavirus is a hot topic of conversation.
Working from home has been on the rise for a while now (and not just because of coronavirus), with 1.5 million people now working remotely every day.
Many candidates ask for the option of flexible working, with 67% of people saying they would be more loyal to a company that offered flexible working so it’s little wonder companies are starting offer this to their employees and – if you aren’t offering it yet – it might be something to consider!
If you are lucky enough to work from home, especially on a regular basis, it can be really easy to let your work life bleed into your personal life. Having those boundaries is important for your wellbeing.
So, here are our top tips for making sure you are actually working when you’re telecommuting.
- A morning routine
It is important to have a routine that you stick to everyday. This is something you probably would do when working an office job - so why change that? Wake up at the same time every day, get dressed, make a coffee and make sure you’re at your desk at a set time.
Having said that, everyone is different, what works for you might be to start your day at the same time as your colleagues who don’t work from home there’s no right or wrong here.
Working from home can make you gravitate towards sloth-like behavior, so maybe consider using your extra time in the morning to exercise, a brisk walk with the dog or an intense weightlifting session, whatever it is, just get moving! Seize that extra time, you’ll thank yourself later.
It’s also important to get out of whatever clothes you slept in. Sitting around your own house in a suit might seem a bit strange, and no, you don’t have to take it that far, but maybe put on a clean top and some jeans to help boost your productivity.
Basically, what we’re saying here is just pretend you’re going to the office. The mental association you make between work and an office can automatically make you more productive and this doesn’t need to be lost when your telecommuting.
- Set work hours
The beauty of working from home is that (most the time) you can be flexible in your working hours. If you’re someone who struggles to even string a sentence together before your morning coffee, maybe postpone your Skype meetings until after lunch, but if you’re an early riser you can start your day as soon as you get up.
If you are worried about not getting everything done because of distractions around the house, then write a to-do list every day and make sure everything on it is completed. It doesn’t matter too much if you get interrupted, as long as you get everything done by the end of the day.
There is no physical distinguisher between work and home, so it’s pretty easy to get sucked into your work until late hours of the evening, so when your working day is over, make sure it is actually over!
- Schedule breaks
You have probably worked a normal 9-5 job at some point in your life. The scheduled hour for lunch and maybe a couple of 10-minute coffee breaks. This isn’t something you should give up just because you are working from home.
Make sure you take breaks throughout, not just to browse on Instagram but actually step away from your desk. Do a coffee run. Walk the dog. Get some fresh air. You get the picture.
- Stop snacking
Easier said than done, we are avid snackers in the 3Search office.
Home workers can easily become grazers, so that’s something to keep in mind. Consuming a constant stream of leftover Halloween sweets or box of Celebrations after Christmas is pretty easy and, by all means, snack! We definitely endorse snacking. But it’s not really ideal to be grazing the cupboard for eight consecutive hours. So, try give yourself snack breaks and be sure to have healthier options readily available.
The same goes with coffee, get yourself some non-caffeinated drinks so you don’t start bouncing off the walls. You’ll thank yourself when you’re able to sleep at a reasonable time rather than staring at the ceiling at 2am.
- Keep a dedicated office space
Just because you’re not in the office, doesn’t mean you can’t have an office. Instead of hibernating in your bedroom or on the couch, dedicate a place to go specifically to work, a certain table, chair or even a coffee shop.
When your work day ends, step away from it and don’t return until your next work day starts.
- End your day with a routine
For those who are used to working in an office, the evening commute is often a way to end the work day and begin home life. It’s important to continue making some sort of transition, even if it is just moving from your desk to your sofa. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.
Another great habit to get into and maybe an idea to end your day off is to prepare your lunch and breakfast for the following day. When you’re working from home, it can be super tempting to spend hours on end preparing a really nice breakfast or lunch for yourself. Don’t use precious minutes making your food during the workday because you probably wouldn’t do that while you were at work.
At the end of the day you just need to find what works best for you, it’s all about trial and error. Just make sure you maintain a work-life balance – this will ultimately help boost your productivity.
3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in recruiting marketing experts for the digital age.
Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help.
Learn more at www.3search.co.uk