Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Art of Working from Home

I travel around quite a bit for work but I am also lucky enough to be able to working from home a couple of times a week. Down to London and up to Leeds, come the end of the week it is amazing to know that I don't have to get up so early to catch another train. I usually get a 7am train and get up at 6am so any morning that I don't have to do that is an amazing bonus.

As much as sitting in your pjs all day sounds great, it is not just a lazy day at work where you happen to be at home instead of the office. Friday WFHs for example have been recently described as "greatest mass con of modern times". Seriously, I don't think so. I still have to work for a living and my location is irrelevant. If anything it is better as sometimes you can genuinely be more productive.
That said it has taken me a well to perfect the art of working from home. 

Create your space

RODD Table Lamp NYMO Lamp Shade FEJKAPotted Plant VETTRE Nightstand
You need to create a work space for yourself that is comfortable and has as little distractions as possible. You might not have a padded work chair at home so seating to support your back and be really comfortable is very important. Try to stay away from the kitchen as much as possible. For me, it just temps me to make another cup of tea or eat something that I didn't needed. If you can try and stay upstairs in a spare room or if you have the luxury - your own office. If you do a lot of home working, creating your own permanent working space is a winner. Make it as comfortable, pretty, creative and useful as possible. I recently made our home office a bit more girlie as I was working from home more, previously too plain and boring (a boy was working there). I actually now really want to walk there and set myself up for the day. A few pretty essentials from Ikea helped me no end. 

Don't stay in bed until the last minute

It might sound like the loveliest idea but don't stay in bed until 8:59am. Treat yourself to maybe an hour extra than you would normally get but then get up. Monster lie-ins are really for the weekend. 

Set yourself up for the day

Get up, get washed and dressed (not your pjs) and eat breakfast. The ultimate bonus of working at home is more time so use it wisely. Get yourself up and ready for the day as if you normally would. This wakes you up and puts you in the right mindset, ready for work. Once awake spend those extra few minutes making a lush breakfast and taking the time to eat it. You are less likely to want to get up from your make-shift desk if you have a full belly.

Ensure your co-workers respect your needs for space

Seriously, what is it with a cat and a keyboard?? My furry co-worker always wants to be on my desk or on my lap. They need to be kept in check as I don't think that you can report them to HR.

Get out there, get some exercise

That aforementioned extra time I spoke of can be put to good use and get out there for some exercise. I use an hour before I start work to go swimming in the local pool. The beauty of it is that there isn't a soul there so I basically have the pool to myself. Go running or for a walk on your lunch hour (yes you are still allowed a lunch hour). Fresh air will help you focus for the afternoon. Even if you have to pop to the shops to get dinner for that night.

Manage your time 

Take a tip from the Danes and manage your time correctly, working at home doesn't mean working all day and night. Work out what your working hours will be for that day and stick to it. There is a bit of flexibility to your day as you aren't having to travel. Plan what time you need to start and when you are clocking off. I even set any alarm so I don't go over. 

I know that I am lucky at the moment to have this as a working situation but not everyone does and it still isn't the working norm. But times are changing. With childcare issues, travel and work/life balance to consider, companies are flexing but we still have a long way to go. What are your tips for working from home??
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