Struggling working from home? Try these tips
Working from home isn’t particularly easy if you’re not used to being away from the office.
But, here’s a secret: working from home isn’t easy for those who do it regularly, either.
It’s true, as so many people are currently finding out. Working from home is challenging with so many distractions, family members and pets seemingly intent on knocking you off course (in the nicest way possible, obviously).
If you’re still working from home or have decided that it’s a strategy you want to carry forward – regardless of what’s happening in the world – we’ve got some tips for making it the perfect productivity haven.
1. Get dressed and retain some structure
It might be tempting to sit in your pyjamas all morning while you work through your emails, but in doing so, you probably won’t feel quite as ready for work as you should be.
This is why getting dressed before you start working from home is such a good idea. Mirroring the same routine you go through each morning when you head to the office will put you in the most positive of working mindsets and make it far less likely that you’ll succumb to distractions.
The same goes for your daily routine; make sure it retains some structure while working from home. You may not need to abide by a standard 9-5 working pattern, but consistent start, lunch and finish times will get your body and mind in gear.
2. Don’t search for the perfect way to video conference
If there’s one thing we’ve learned recently, it’s that video conferencing is rather unpredictable – particularly when calls feature people who aren’t used to that way of communicating.
Your dog might decide to jump on your lap. One of your kids might burst into the room asking if you can help them complete their latest creation. You might inadvertently [turn yourself into a potato] without any idea of how to return to your original form.
All this stuff is fine. In fact, it’s what makes video conferencing fun and productive, and it helps keep remote workers sane.
3. Try and limit the tools you use
We’re blessed to live in a world where we have loads of cool cloud-based tools to get work done effectively while working from home.
The downside? There are almost too many tools to choose from.
For some, this results in a massive toolkit that is constantly being toyed with. Unfortunately, continually experimenting with new video conferencing tools and cloud services takes time away from actually getting stuff done.
With that in mind, pick three or four tools that you can’t live without while working from home – and stick with them until you’re forced to change either by your boss or because they’re no longer supported.
4. Switch up your working area
Sure, you’ve reserved the spare bedroom as your home office, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend every hour you work cooped up in there.
In doing so, you’ll quickly lose focus and fast become frustrated. This is why it’s important to switch up your working area once in a while.
When you feel like you need a change of scenery, go grab it somewhere else in the house. You’ll be surprised by how it revitalises you and helps you find fresh inspiration to get stuff done.
Try moving to the kitchen for an hour. Or even the sofa.
Working from home will always have its challenges, but our tips above should help alleviate the biggest from getting in the way of your working day.