Working from home is becoming more common as communication becomes simpler. Self-employed workers, particularly those concentrating on developing a business, form a large proportion of home workers but, increasingly, employees are also working from home.
From experience, we can say that it is essential to have a great deal of discipline, apply rules to the way you work and make sure other members of the family know and respect those rules. Based on our experience and comments from others, we have put together the following tips for successful home working.
Working from home tips…
1. Decide on a time you will start each day and stick to it. It’s far too easy to put off starting “for a few minutes” and you quickly find that hours have passed
2. Try to work in a specific space. A separate room is best but that might not always be possible. Don’t work on a coffee table one day, a kitchen table the next, a dining room table the next. Define your workspace and stick to it. If possible, close the door so you aren’t visible
3. Switch off televisions because these are very distracting
4. Background music is fine because it can help you concentrate, so long as it isn’t intrusive. Avoid music with frequent changes of tempo or volume. There was some research done many years ago which concluded that baroque music (Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel etc) was the ideal background music to help concentration. Try it; you might like it
5. Avoid household tasks during your work time. You couldn’t do them if you were in an office so don’t do them while you are working.
6. Take regular breaks away from your work area. Five minutes every hour can refresh your thinking ability. You’re at home so walk up and down the garden which also gives you fresh air
7. Don’t drink too much caffeine. It may give you a quick energy fillip but too much has the effect of decreasing concentration and increasing stress. Water or other, non-sugary, soft drinks are best. And don’t drink alcohol!
8. If you do have colleagues working in other offices or their own homes, don’t be tempted to spend loads of time communicating with them on the phone, email, SMS or other apps. You are not only not being productive yourself but you are stopping them from being productive. Remote communication should be friendly and to the point
9. Structure and plan your day. Know what you want to achieve in the day and do your best to do it
10. When you stop, STOP. There comes a time when you need to walk away from the work. You have family and this is family time. Don’t keep dipping in and out of work, looking at emails or talking about work. You have finished for the day and need to wind down and get a good night’s sleep, ready for tomorrow.
Hopefully these have given you some food for thought. Please let us have your tips for successful home working and we can try to put together another selection in the near future.
If you are working from home to get a new business venture going, you needn’t do it alone. We at Central Business Services have loads of experience helping others do just what you are doing. For support and practical help, give us a call – 01509 816150 – or contact us via the form below.