How to work at home effectively

Working from home has its perks but it’s no walk in the park! An informal setting, coupled with all sorts of distractions, can make it hard to stay focussed. Luckily for you, we’ve shared our top tips on how to work from home effectively…

mum working at home


Working from home tips

Before we delve into our work from home best practices, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not necessarily work for everyone. The beauty of being able to work at home is that you have the freedom to plan your schedule and make the most of the times you’re most productive. But if it’s all new to you and you’re just getting into the swing of home based work, these suggestions will get you off to a good start.

Act as if you’re going into the office

Our first piece of advice on how to work at home is to act as if you’re going to the office. By this we mean wake up early, get dressed, grab yourself a coffee and sit down at your desk. All of these things will help you get in the right frame of mind to work productively.

Create a dedicated workspace

Wondering how to be productive at home? We’d suggest separating your workspace from your living space if you have the means to do so. Consider turning your spare room into an office or setting yourself up in a quiet corner, if you’re limited on space.

Not only will having a dedicated workspace help you work more productively, but it’ll also separate you from anyone else living in your house. Creating boundaries is important. The fewer interruptions you have, the easier it’ll be to stay focused.

While we’re on the topic of interruptions, it may be worth having a quick word with the people you live with. Politely communicate your expectations for working from home and that just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean you’re free to do whatever you like. You’ve still got to work and they need to respect that.

Write a daily schedule or to-do list

Another suggestion on how to stay focused at work, when doing it from home, is to write a daily schedule or to-do list. That way, you know exactly what tasks you need to complete and when. Tick them off as you go and you’ll soon see how productive you can be working from home.

If you’re struggling to be productive and not ticking off as many tasks as you hoped, perhaps you need to make a few changes? Remember, working from home is a learning curve. It’s all about finding a flexible working pattern that works for you.

Make use of working from home technology

Today we are very lucky to have access to so many different websites, apps and online tools that make working from home that little bit easier. Find out which applications your colleagues are using and get yourself signed up. Collaborating with colleagues using project management tools like Trello and video conferencing software like Google Hangouts can really help you get the most out of remote working. It’ll give you a taste of the social interaction you’re missing from the office, without impinging on your ability to work productively.

Social interaction is important to your mental health. Working from home doesn’t have to mean working alone.

Take regular breaks

We’ll finish our tips with a reminder to take regular breaks. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to work all day. You’d take breaks in the office, so make sure you’re taking them at home too. If need be, set alarms on your phone or time your work with your washing, so you know to get up, take a walk around, grab yourself a drink and something to eat, and give your eyes a break from the screen.

If you can, use your break to get some fresh air. Enjoy a few moments in your garden. Take your dog for a quick walk around the block As a home worker you have the flexibility to create your own schedule. This should include breaks and it’s completely up to you how you use them!

We hope you’ve found our working from home tips useful. If you’re a remote worker, we’d love to hear your thoughts on how to work from home effectively. Leave your comments below.

Comments [2]

  • Becky says:

    What about if you live in an apartment and don’t have a spare room available for an office? We don’t all live in big houses with tons of spare rooms. Could do with tips on how to cope with 2 kids and the constant distraction in that situation!

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Becky, Totally get your comments and we have many articles on people who have worked around childcare in a lot of different environments. Having some sort of space for your work stuff is a good idea, even if it is only a corner of a table. Working with children present is hugely stressful, particularly smaller children who demand attention. There is no silver bullet for doing this. If you can share shifts with a partner it helps or work around childcare, eg, with toddlers or babies around sleep patterns, work later in the evening or early in the morning so you can give them periods of undivided attention that helps, but it depends how understanding your employer is. Breaking up the day with activities eg painting or playing games can help and not feeling guilty about not doing either parenting or working well or putting on DVDs. It’s an impossible situation and you need to stay sane.

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