5 essential tips to succeed when working from home
Tuesday, April 18 2017
According to recent figures, nearly a quarter of a million more people now work from home than they did 10 years ago. That is a lot of people who have waved goodbye forever to the endless commutes, office small talk and rigid hours in favour of a more fluid work/life balance. Working from your home, be it in a clerical capacity or more creatively such as a cake making, can certainly bring many benefits. Yet there are also certain drawbacks to this new setup that need to be considered.
We have pulled together our 5 top tips to follow, meaning that when you make the move to leave the office behind for good you are fully prepared for what lies ahead.
Designated work space
Make sure that you have a set space to work from, and that this area is not the same as the one that you tend to relax and unwind in. Allowing your working life to seep into your personal life will be to the detriment of both aspects. Having a designated space, be it a spare bedroom, study or outside office will allow you to be at your most productive during working hours and maintain a sense of separation.
Dress to impress
Although working from home brings the obvious benefit of allowing a much more casual (or non existent!) dress code, it is important to still dress for work each day. Although the perks of conducting a Skype interview while suited on your top half and wearing pyjamas on the bottom can be novel, it is important to try and make an effort so you don’t feel like you are in dressed down mode 24/7.
It is really important when working from home to ensure that you maintain some routine in your day. Although you are no longer working for a boss and tied to set working hours it is important to maintain some sort of routine. Start each working day with a shower, have a rough plan of your working hours and try to avoid running any lengthy personal errands during this time.
Although social media is a useful tool that many professionals now utilise, ensure that you are not wasting time procrastinating on such sites during the working day. If you do need to use sites such as Facebook for work purposes, try to complete your tasks for the day and then log out.
Equally, allow yourself short breaks away from your desk in order to remain at your most productive. A quick coffee break or walk round the block will only cost 5 minutes of your time but may hugely impact your productivity for the rest of the day.
Allow for some downtime
It can be really tempting when working from home to never switch off and constantly have that latest order or complex case on your mind. Having a designated work area and set hours will certainly help with this but you need to make a conscious decision to leave your work behind when you shut down your computer at the end of the day.
Working from home can bring many perks but can equally result in a certain element of seclusion. Unless you make the conscious effort to get out, days can go by without communication with anyone outside your immediate family. Make sure that you take the time to meet friends for lunch, arrange social plans for your evenings and keep in touch with the rest of the world.
If you are preparing to join the 4.5 million UK workers who are bringing their office to their home then there are numerous things to consider, on top of the points above. Ultimately there are perks and drawbacks to all working environments and the right choice and set up will be the one that works for you.
Consider your insurance
One thing that many people fail to consider when embarking on their new self-employed career is whether their current home insurance will now be adequate. While you will doubtless need to take out some form of business insurance to cover your company itself, many standard home insurers will not be happy to continue their cover at all if there is a business being run from the property.
This is where specialist home insurers can come into play, as they will be able to offer full cover for your property no matter whether you have regular business visitors, manufacture something on site or carry out basic clerical work. When setting up a new business the last thing you want is an expensive problem with your property that your provider refuses to pay for, so make sure you take the time to check this.