So you’ve managed to score yourself a gig where you can work from home. Maybe it’s part of a flexible work schedule where the rest of your week is spent in an office.
Perhaps you’re returning to work after having a baby, or maybe you have your own business and forking out for an office space for one isn’t really a financially viable option.
Whatever the reason behind getting to crack open your laptop in the comfort of your own private space, there’s one very important thing you need to remember: working from home is still work.
So here’s a list of tips and tricks every home-worker needs to remember to ensure they get things done throughout the day (and don’t get distracted by old Friends re-runs along the way).
Get up and get out of bed
Yes, this means you can't wear your pyjamas all day, every day. A day of work from home should be treated like any other day at the office.
(That means you should wear pants.)
To make things easier, pretend you're getting up and heading out of the house: have a shower, get dressed and maybe brush your hair.
Eat a healthy, filling breakfast and have a cup (or three) of coffee before you get started on the day.
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Have a designated work space
Repeat after me: a bed is not a desk. Sorry.
To help with productivity, set up a specific spot in the house where you can go to work. It might be a home office or even the kitchen table, but having somewhere to 'go' when it's time for work will help get you in the right frame of mind.
Get out of the house whenever possible
Sometimes, you just need a change of scenery. Or somewhere to run when your TV is calling your name.
Getting out of the home office and into a different work space - like a library, or local cafe - can help refresh you and keep you in the working spirit.
Plus, the white noise of people chatting and moving in the background sounds similar to being in a busy office, so you can trick your brain into thinking you're surrounded by productive colleagues.
Let the people you live with know you're busy with work
Sometimes, you can be lucky enough to have the entire house or apartment to yourself when working from home.
Other times, the presence of roommates or partners can be more than a little distracting.
To keep things civilised, make sure you let everyone else who will be at home during your working day know that you're being a busy little bee. That way everyone can find a space to do the things they need to do without distracting each other.
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Remember to take breaks. And to eat
Without the structure of meetings or hearing the sound of your desk buddy's rumbling stomach it can be hard to keep track of time while working from home.
Set an alarm at regular intervals to get up and walk around the house to stretch your legs. Taking the dog for a quick jog around the block can help clear your mind between tasks.
It's also important to remember to eat proper, healthy and nourishing snacks throughout the day and stay hydrated, so set reminders on your computer or phone to keep track.
Have a clear start and finish time for your work day
Get yourself into the habit of waking up and starting your day at the same time every day - just like you would if you have to commute to an office.
Putting in place a set finish time each day will help separate your personal and work-life and keep the balance between the two going strong.
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