8 Top Tips for Working From Home
We’ve uncovered the 8 best working from home tips you’ll need to boost your productivity and help you maintain your work-life balance.
12 Minute Read
Working from Home: The New Normal
Working from home? You’re joining the new trend of people who are swapping their lengthy commute for a walk down the landing to the spare bedroom.
Although the working from home lifestyle can bring new found flexibility and freedom – such as the option to stay in your pyjamas all day – it isn’t as easy as some may think.
By working from home, you’re tasked with being just as productive in your home office as you were in your office office, and this is hard to do without the usual office routines and resources.
That’s why we at Jump have done our research and found 8 top tips for working from home. From dedicating an office space to simply getting dressed in the morning, these tips will ensure that your well-being and productivity are nothing but uplifted through your home office lifestyle.
Let’s get started.
1. Set a Schedule
Maintain regular work hours and stick to them.
Having a clear guideline of when to work and when to call it a day helps you maintain a better work-life balance. However, your working from home schedule may be something you work on overtime.
As you settle into your working from home routine, take the time to monitor your own activity and what routines work best. A big benefit of remote working is flexibility, and this flexibility can be incorporated into your scheduling.
For example, if you find your productivity is much lower in the afternoon, you may want to relegate more menial tasks towards the end of the day. If you know at around midday you become less focused, you can take this as an indication that this is the time you should be taking a break or your lunch.
You may even want to set yourself work hours that go beyond the typical 9-5. Doing this can help you take advantage of those points in the day when you’re most productive. But keep in mind the schedules of your co-workers, team and manager, and communicate with them about whether a more flexible schedule on your end would be feasible.
2. Get Dressed
An obvious tip? Not as obvious as you’d think.
Getting dressed to work from home is something that many people won’t do if they’re given the option not to.
Does getting dressed for the day really matter when you work from home? Absolutely.
Ensuring you’re washed and dressed not only improves your state of mind, it prepares you psychologically for the working day ahead. Whether you have to be in business attire depends on the nature of your job, however dressing formally may help if you’re dialing into a video call for example.
The point isn’t to put on your best suit to strut around the kitchen in. The point is that getting dressed forces you to change out of the clothes you associate with relaxing, kick starting your working mentality.
Likewise, changing out of your work clothes at the end of the day helps you to unwind and feel like the working day is over.
3. Take Breaks
Give yourself permission to take five.
When you work from home it can be very easy to get so sucked into your work that you avoid taking breaks altogether. But doing this will only negatively impact on your productivity throughout the day.
Use breaks to step away from your desk, to go for a walk, to spend a few minutes with others who may live in your house, or even to just make yourself a cuppa.
If you’re someone who gets feelings of guilt for taking a break during work hours, you can combat this by setting a timer. This ensures that,
A) You’re taking a full five minutes (or however long you want your break to be)
B) You’re not overbreaking
Take breaks, but don’t take breaks and feel bad the whole time you’re ‘in’ that break – otherwise it isn’t a break at all!
4. Have a Dedicated Office Space
As tempting as it may be to keep cosy in your bed or head straight for the couch, a dedicated workstation will majorly boost your productivity.
You could locate yourself in a spare room or bedroom, but it doesn’t have to be a separate room. It can simply be a place in your house where you can make yourself a suitable desk setup, like the kitchen table for example. As long as it’s somewhere you can avoid distractions, you’re good.
As well as being a distraction free zone, a dedicated space when working at home helps you to make associations between an office-like environment and working, keeping you more productive and focused throughout the day.
5. Make Your Office Space Comfortable
Companies may offer expenses to make your home work space as suitable and comfortable as possible, so it’s worth enquiring. Depending on what provisions your job requires, your work could send you some key adjustments, such as a chair, desk, keyboard or laptop.
On top of this, you can make your remote work space as productive and comfortable as possible through some small investments. For example, you could buy yourself a desk tidy or some office stationary. You could even buy some decorations for your desk such as a framed photo, or maybe even an amusing mouse pad.
However, the holy grail of any home office space (at least according to Instagram), is a desk plant. Scientific studies have actually proven that there are some major benefits to having greenery in your workspace. So, not only are office plants seriously ‘on trend’ and attractive, but they actually help reduce stress and clean the air you’re working in!
Basically, if office plants were humans, they’d have the looks and the brains.
6. Keep Connected With Your Teammates
Although working from home comes with many perks, one of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of a social environment.
30.9% of remote workers say that they’ve struggled with loneliness when working from home. Loneliness can impact massively on not just on your productivity, but on your wellbeing.
So it’s very important to keep yourself connected with your teammates. You can do this by communicating with them throughout the day, whether it be over the phone, via video calls, or through an instant messaging service.
Communicating (even if only virtually) with your teammates will help prevent feelings of isolation. It also aids your productivity through keeping yourself aligned with your teammates about the tasks ahead.
If you want more tips on how to avoid loneliness when working remotely, check out these 10 tips to tackle loneliness.
7. Get Some Fresh Air
With no commute, you’ve now gained an extra hour or two for the great outdoors!
Being active and outdoors can often sit on the backburner for home workers, with their stressful and high-pilling workloads taking precedence of their time. But busy or not, spending some time, at some point, to do something outside, before, during or after your working day will make you a much more high-functioning employee.
You could go for a walk during your lunch break, or do a home workout in the garden after work. You could even take your cup of coffee outside for five minutes as opposed to heading straight back to your desk.
Whatever form your outdoor time takes, putting aside the time to be outside and active is very beneficial for your physical and mental health.
8. Set a Definitive Ending Time to Your Day
You may be under the impression that working from home warrants a better work-life balance – which of course it can – but you can also find it goes the other way.
In lieu of your coworkers packing up and the quietening down of the office at the end of the day, you can easily lose track of time. To combat this threat to your out of office hours, enforce a solid time limit at the end of your day to create distance between yourself and your work.
You can do this by setting an alarm just before the end of your working day to signal that your normal office hours are coming to an end. This doesn’t mean you slam down your laptop screen and jump straight into bed the second this alarm goes off.
Instead, acknowledge that your working day is coming to a close and begin the process of wrapping up your tasks and calling it quits for the evening.
Another great tip for ending your working day is to leave your house the minute you finish work. As Jump’s very own work-from-home expert, Lawrence, suggests at #95 in the Best Working From Home Tips:
“The second you finish work, leave the house/ apartment. Even if it’s just to walk around the block once, it can do wonders. It helps your brain switch modes from work to leisure, and gives your work day some closure.”
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