7 Top Tips For People Who Work From Home
Find out how to stay productive when working from home. Follow these 7 easy steps and always be ready for your next working day task.
Apr 01, 2020
Working from home tips
As many people find themselves working from home due to the evolving Coronavirus situation, we thought we'd put together a list of top tips, tricks and work-from-home hacks that we're certain will help you get the most out of your working day (whether you’re a skilled “work-from-homer” or are a complete newbie to remote working).
1. Don’t panic
Contrary to popular belief, the first rule of working from home isn’t not to talk about it, but instead coming to terms with the fact that sometimes some things are going to go wrong (especially if this is your first rodeo).
It may not be obvious at first but working from home requires you to be many more things than just your job title. For example, you are your own manager and you must manage your time and workload effectively. You are also your IT helpdesk team that you will never take for granted again after having to troubleshoot your own technical issues however complex or simple.
So, in spite of things sometimes going wrong, remember to always keep a calm head and use these challenges as a learning curve of self-development and an opportunity to expand your skillset!
2. Dress pulled together (it’ll make sense in a minute)
While it’s perfectly reasonable to choose a more comfortable attire than usual, be careful not to fall into risky habits such as working in your pyjamas, especially if you’re due an important client call!
Changing into casual but smart clothing can help your mental wellbeing more than you could imagine. Mitali Saxena, CEO of fashion subscription service Fashom, explains: "It may have been something you took for granted before, but getting dressed for work is something that helps us so much on a daily basis."
She adds: "Besides being a way to express your individual sense of style, getting dressed for work sets the tone for your day."
In order to minimalise any disruption between office and home working day routines, you should aim to dress in a similar manner to how you would if you weren’t working from home. In the words of Cathleen Swody, Psychologist, “Dressing pulled together helps us feel pulled together” and significant research attests to this.
Professor Corolyn Mair, Author of The Psychology of Fashion adds: “Keeping a routine helps us maintain a sense of control and degree of normality in times when we are feeling a lack of control, which leads to stress and even anxiety.”
So, whether you dress to impress or for success, our advice is to try and keep your office clothes separate from your home attire (even if you are working out of your kitchen).
3. Make your bed, but don’t lie in it
As we’re on the topic of dividing work life from home life, the next thing we should address is the bedroom, namely your bed. DO NOT WORK FROM YOUR BED.
In the same way dressing the part can boost your day and set the tone of productivity, your surroundings and where you are based have equal or greater influence. What’s more, working from your bed can cause severe issues with your posture and can lead to chronic symptoms.
We advise dedicating an area of your home to your day-to-day working activity. Whether this is a bedroom desk, a home office, your dining table or your coffee table, as long as you have a supported backrest and sufficient table space, your set-up is good to go.
Remember good posture should be a priority and is less likely to be achieved from the comfort of your memory foam mattress. So, when you wake up, even if it is on the wrong side, be sure to leave your bed every morning.
4. Taking a break is not a crime
You may feel like taking a break while working from home is wrong, but this is not the case. In fact, you should make it your mission to make sure you still take your regular breaks, and if you’re a heavy VED user (that is, you stare at a computer screen all day) you should practise the 20:20:20 rule frequently.
The 20:20:20 rule states that after every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, you should break eye contact and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. The aim is to reduce any strain to the eye caused by looking at digital screens for too long. Why not write yourself a little note on a post-it to remind yourself?
It’s also important to refresh the brain by getting some fresh air. Switch up your surroundings by taking a five-minute break to walk around the garden or better yet, if it’s not too wet or cold, why not eat your lunch in your garden?
5. Keep a daily agenda
But be realistic. Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly be able to complete double the amount of work. Stick to your usual completion rate to ensure you aren’t compromising quality.
Write up a daily to-do list and cross off each task as you go along. Not only will this help keep you focussed and organised, but there’s just something very fulfilling about crossing things off a to-do list. If you want to be extra fancy, you can use a whiteboard (they always look more fun).
6. Chat up your co-workers
If you work as part of a team, it’s important to keep in regular communication with your team members. Doing so will help move tasks from ideas to completion with minimal disruption.
If you haven’t already, we advise you create a team chat which is easily accessible. This way if you or any of your team members need anything, you can quickly get in touch with the relevant people.
7. Challenge yourself
Not in a way that sees sweat and tears rolling down your face, but make sure you keep yourself challenged and engaged during your time working from home. Think outside of the box that is the four walls of your office, make it fun, share your ideas with your teammates using the team chat we just talked about.
Working from home can be a great excuse to explore the working possibilities in your industry that have never been explored before. It’s an excuse to discover revolutions and evolve the way you and your company may work. It’s a chance to see how you can keep things moving and keep things creative outside of the office.
Sometimes you just need a pair of fresh eyes, sometimes you need a change in environment.