For better or worse, technology has made business portable. Got a phone, laptop or tablet and a Wifi or 3G connection? Step into your office.
Modern tech combined with a growing focus on work-life balance has seen companies make moves to offer more flexible working opportunities for their employees. This can range from work from home Friday to company-wide remote working.
I have been working from home for more than half of my working week (on average) for the past 20 years. So I feel well placed to offer a bit of advice, here are my tips.
Create a designated workspace
Whether you’re in the office or at home, having a desk set up that works for you is key.
Try to create a small area at home that’s a dedicated space for work. This will not only help you stay in the right frame of mind but will also create a clearer separation between your work and home life.
Creating boundaries will make it easier for you to switch off from work and ‘leave the office’ at the end of the day.
Devise your own routine
You know how you get your best work done. Now that you’re not in the office, you may have to adapt your routine.
For example, if you’re used to working with background noise, you may want to create a playlist you can work to or listen to white noise.
It’s also important to stick to your usual productivity times. It may be that working remotely you find getting up and working earlier works better for you, with a longer break during the day. Or, you may prefer to work later into the evening.
Depending on your organisation’s core hours, remote working can be a great way to maximise your own personal productivity without the constraints of office hours and become more flexible.
Give yourself a break
Contrary to popular belief, working from home with no distractions can make it harder to remember to breathe. Though you may not notice it, the many distractions of a busy office give the relief you need in between working towards your deadlines.
When working from home, plan breaks into your day and don’t take lunch at your desk. If you can, a midday change of scenery and stretch of the legs can do wonders for your afternoon happiness levels. Be sure to give yourself a time that you’ll log off each day too, and turn off any work-related notifications outside of those hours.
Embrace the benefits of remote working
Although it may be the first time for many, and this can be daunting at first, the perks of working at home rather than in an office are undeniable.
There are the things that make your work-life balance more manageable: you may find it easier to fit in an exercise break in the middle of the day, you won’t need to spend your evenings doing the washing, and you can cook your own lunch at home.
And then there are the wins for your productivity: with zero distractions (so long as you’re not home-schooling!) no one can pester you with questions or drag you into mini-meetings at your desk. And you don’t waste precious time, money, and emissions on a long morning and afternoon commute.
The potential benefits of online working can mean great things for the environment, your wallet, your health, and your work productivity. With the right training and consideration, businesses and employees alike can enjoy the very real benefits of a workforce who are able to work from home.
Have I missed anything out? Comment below with your tips for working from home or, if you are new to this,
email me on email@example.com with your story, good or bad.