There are many advantages for you to work from home. While everyone else has to get up at silly o’clock, spend hours frustrated on a delayed train or in a traffic jam getting to the office, you can take it easy. You can spend the morning in bed like a romantic poet, idly listening to the radio, reading a favourite book or scanning the internet. Work can wait, you have all day and smart technology so you can relax. Right? Wrong.
The downsides of working from home
Although technology makes working from home easy and cost effective, it can’t stop you getting distracted by Cash in the Attic or your Facebook feed. Not only can you become easily distracted without other people to keep you in line, most of us need company and working at home can become lonely and claustrophobic.
There are good reasons why people go to the office and, as explored by the Wise Step careers advice site, it’s not just to work. People go to the office because it provides structure and helps with time management, and they go to socialise, network and bond with their colleagues.
The key to working successfully from your home lies in setting a good structure to your day, with time to focus on work and time to switch off from it too.
Get off to the right start
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Make your home a great place to work
Try these tips on how to work from home more effectively.
Set yourself a list of tasks you need to complete in the day. Be realistic in terms of workload, but make the tasks meaningful – they need to keep your business moving.
Turn off your web browser. If you absolutely have to go online for information, resist going to your favourite websites – you’re only putting off something important in favour of wasting your time online.
Figure out when you’re at your most productive. If you’re a morning person, do most of your work then. If not, relax, but be aware that you’re going to have to get started at some point. Some people like to structure their time like a day in the office, so once the house is free of flatmates / partners / children, have a shower, get dressed and start work.
Buy a desk and create a designated work space. This may sound odd, but working on a laptop in sweatpants every day can be a depressing experience – and it’ll play hell with your back.
If things aren’t going well, go for a walk or get some exercise. It’s tempting to stay at your screen but a quick stroll and a coffee will clear your head, leaving more space for inspiration.
Regularly socialise with your ex-workmates and friends. One of the best things about going to an office is meeting up for lunch or a post-work drink. Lose these and you’ll lose a lot of what makes life fun. Keep up with your contacts and meet them regularly.
If you’ve got young kids, be realistic in terms of what you think you’re going to achieve as it can be harder to get work done when they’re around, especially when they’re toddlers.
Take holidays. Just because you don’t go the office every day doesn’t mean you don’t need a break. Even though you might be checking your emails when you’re away, don’t do it too much – most things can wait a day or two, and it’ll do you good to remind yourself you have a life outside of your job.
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