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Some essential tips on working from home
by Startacus Admin
Working from home can be great. However, it can be a little bit like a job that involves lots of international travel - the realities of being stuck at Airports is certainly less interesting and enticing than the romantic picture that a job with travel may first seem! So with this in mind, and to make sure that working from home is not only an option, but is an advantage, take on board the tips below to make sure that working from home, works for you.
Create your own Work Space First things first. Sitting on your bed, with your laptop on your knees is not a workspace. Basically, it’s uncomfortable, can cause back injury and also it does not create a workspace that is your own space. Being comfortable, both in terms of posture and also your surroundings, is not only good for your physical well being, but also good because it helps your mind to create a space that is unique to your working day. If you use an old desk, table, or specific area, the moment you step into this space, you are in ‘work time’ and more inclined to focus and concentrate on work. Also, if you work from a family home, or share a flat with friends, they are more likely to leave your space alone, than if you clutter the kitchen table full of paperwork and mess!
Confirm your working hours Just because you work from home, it does not mean that you should not start as you mean to go on. I am assuming that if you want to work from home, you are still looking to treat your work as a standard business. Standard businesses have ‘working hours’ and breaks in place for good reason - it is not healthy to not have some structure and understanding on when your working day starts and finishes. Also, taking regular breaks and finishing work at a set time, means that you return to work fresher and more inclined to to make good decisions. This is not to say that you cannot be flexible, or adjust your hours and breaks when needed, but it does mean that you ought to commit to respecting the structure of a working day.
Dress for work If you stay in your PJs be prepared that you are likely to laze around! Getting ready for work - that is taking a shower, and wearing work clothes is important as it helps to create the start of your working day. This can also be helped by actually leaving the house (take a walk, buy a coffee etc) and then returning home. Your working day starts here!
This is your work time A common problem with working from home is that some people (friends and family especially) may just assume that you have the flexibility to drop everything and do “friends and family” things. Popping out to the shops; a friend calling around for a chat, running some errands are all tasks that you may be expected to help with. Don’t get me wrong, being flexible and also supportive are necessary qualities to have, however make sure that you remember that this your work time and therefore balance your ‘personal time’ to either after work or in any lunch break that you decide to take.
Don’t feel alone The flipside of this, despite having a supportive group of friends and family, is that working from home can be a rather lonely work life. If you are used to working in a busy office, surrounded by ‘friends’ each day, be prepared that working on your own from home can become rather lonely. That is why taking breaks so that you can ‘pop out for lunch’ or make a few personal calls, can actually be really beneficial. Also, as you build a relationship with clients and other co-workers that may also work independently from home, try to build rapport and a support network - their ear and their advice may come in really handy some time.
Create a break between your work and personal day Just as important as having a structure to your day is having a break between your work and personal day. This is especially important if your home becomes the space you spend your entire working and personal day. If you slip from one space to another without creating a neutral space in between, be prepared that your work and personal life will become clustered and often chaotic. This is especially true if you have children and a busy home life, you need to make sure that your personal home, does not become a 24/7 office and that you cannot break away from your desk.
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