6 ways to make working from home work for you

As many of us begin to work from home due to the spread of COVID-19, employees are tasked with being just as productive without normal resources, supervision and routines. While in theory working from home sounds like a luxury, it’s certainly no holiday – and finding the motivation can be a challenge when we are not used to working in a home environment.

Having said that, remote working is fast becoming more and more popular as communications, technology and work/life balance improves. With a few simple steps it’s very possible to work as effectively at home as you did in the office.

Handheld devices are now making it easier to work from anywhere and everywhere. Sending an email on the train, conference calls from the beach and reading reports in the bath have all become common occurrences for professionals across all sectors. Employers are becoming more flexible and many employees now split their time between home and the office, with some even working from home permanently.

A recent survey of business leaders at the London Global Leadership Summit found that a huge 34% of participants said that more than half of their workforce are now working entirely remotely.

Studies have shown that remote workers are happier and, believe it or not, even more productive than those who work in an office but could struggle to switch off outside of working hours. Every job role is different and the amount you’re able to achieve will vary between career types, employers, and internal policies, but there are some easy to apply key strategies when it comes to getting your tasks done efficiently.

Here are our 6 top tips to make working from home a success for you and for your business.

Keep to a routine

Structure is important when working form home and this will keep you on track and enable you to use your time efficiently. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can quickly lose focus or burn out. Aim to always start work at the same time, with scheduled break times and be strict with your time keeping.

Create a happy workspace environment

When it comes to your desk or working area, it needs to be somewhere where you can feel comfortable and productive. Don’t be tempted to work from your bed or sofa- these places are associated with leisure time and should be avoided when trying to work. Giving yourself a dedicated desk space will make you feel like you’re at the office and will put you in the right frame of mind for work. It will also help you maintain good posture, avoid distractions and will allow you to leave your work behind at the end of the working day. 

Stay connected

Even if you work well autonomously, keeping connected with your colleagues is essential when working remotely.  Share the status of your workload with your team so they know where projects are up to and check in with others too. Besides email and messaging programs like Slack, it’s a good idea to set up regular check-ins via phone or video conferencing like Skype, FaceTime or Zoom

One task at a time

Stay focused and avoid the temptation to multi task. When at home where there is less structure, it can be very easy to try and do too many things at once.  Make lists and work your way down to prioritise effectively.

Remember everybody works differently

When you are managing your own time in your own day, make sure you play to your strengths. If you are at your most productive in the mornings, get up early and start your working day at a time when you are most alert. If you work better in the afternoons, then plan your day to suit that rhythm. Capitalise on your most productive periods, saving your harder tasks for when you know you’ll be in the right headspace for them. Use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks that are also on your plate.

Know when to switch off

It is crucial for everyone to maintain a work/life balance in order to have a happy mind and remain productive during working hours. At the end of the day, make sure you are allowing yourself to walk away from your desk and into your home life. Don’t check emails in the evenings and don’t answer calls during your family time. It can be very easy when working from home to merge work and leisure time – so make sure you are drawing a line between the two and separate them as and when you can.

Working from home works differently for different people so make sure you are making it work for you. We hope these tips are useful, but no doubt you will have your own to add too!

Worried about costs during COVID-19?

In these uncertain times, businesses need to think about cutting costs and making sure you are not paying too much on your energy bills.

We can offer a no standing charge business tariff, which means if your business is not using your gas or electricity you won’t spend anything. Check here to see how much you could save: https://bit.ly/2VlcFQz

If you’d prefer to talk to someone, all of our UK colleagues are safe and working remotely. We’re here if you need us.