When I started working from home I was terrified that I was going to be completely out of my comfort zone. From 2010-2014 I had been working 9-5 in an office environment. It was daunting that I was going to be working in my own home (or wherever I fancied!).
I was shocked that I fell into it rather well. Now, I was able to work at a pace and in any environment which suited me best. But there were a few things I needed to make sure of which I advise for anyone working from home for the first time.
KEEP A ROUTINE
One of the things I used to miss about working 9-5 was the routine and structure. I had to be up and ready at a certain time. But working from home can relax that. I learnt pretty quick that getting up at the same time and acting as if I was going to leave my home and enter an office building.
Get your 8 hours sleep, workout, shower and get ready. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean everything else has to change.
Take advantage of the flexibility, if you can. Work in the garden for, have lunch at a normal time, take regular breaks and then do more work.
Your work environment is a key part to productivity. That means you need to be comfortable with your surroundings. If you work better on the couch, in a study, in bed or in a cafe, go there and work. Be sure to get up every now and again to stretch and to have a break from the screen.
SET THE ATMOSPHERE
If you are new to working alone, try and set up your workspace as if you were in an actual office. This familiar setting will make the situation less daunting. This way you can feel productive and as if you are within an office atmosphere.
If working with the radio one helps you focus, do it. Or if silence is best for you, keep the music off. Open a window to make sure there is decent airflow and lots of light in your new desk space.
LOTS OF FLUIDS & SNACKS
Tea, coffee or water, it’s a good idea to keep fluids nearby to hydrate or just to give you a caffeine boost. Keep your sugar levels up with healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts. This will help your focus.
Just in case you get a call from a client or your colleagues from the office keep a notebook, a diary and a pen nearby. You can then jot down all the details of conversations easily without embarrassing yourself when you’re unprepared.
DON’T GET TOO DISTRACTED
It’s handy to have a work phone as well as your personal mobile, a work account and a personal account on the laptop. Keeping personal and work life separate means no social networking or text messages can get in the way of what you’re trying to get done.
Do you work from home? What advice can you give others? Drop me a comment to share your tips!