8 Ways to Make Working at Home WORK15th October 2017
Nowadays many people are lucky enough to be based at home for their work. Even people who are in fairly traditional employment may be able to have certain days working from home as well as people who run their own business for some of whom working at home may be the norm. While it does have a lot of advantages there are a few disadvantages or at least ‘traps’ you can fall into if you aren’t careful. So here’s a list of tips to make working at home whether it’s for a day, a week or usual routine, something effective and enjoyable.
Unless working from home is only going to be very occasional it is worth identifying a space to work in. The type of space obviously depends on what you are actually doing, if it is work on the internet then it needs to be a part of the house with a good wifi signal whereas if working at home means making something then those requirements will dictate where the most useful space will be.
For many people, working at home means various different tasks may be completed during the day and this might involve moving around. I know several people who will work in one area to perform certain tasks and other for different ones. The beauty of identifying a space or several means that you can have to hand what you need for that oarticular task and don’t need to waste time running around the house gathering thing that you need.
I’ve spoken to a number of business owners who work from home who say that when they first started they found it hard to create a work day. After all it’s easy to just do one more task – even if it is 11pm. The problem is that this is rarely sustainable. So unless there is a bparticualr deadline it is good to identify some regular hours of work and importantly some regular time off. As business owners we often love our business but we also need to take care of ourselves.
Structure the day
One of the challenges of being home based can be structuring your day. You may have numerous different tasks to do, in fact sometimes it can feel overwhelming, but it can be more productive to do certain things at certain times. Clearly this is individual but over time many people work out the times of the day that are good for mundane tasks and the times that are better for more creative jobs. What works best for me is making a plan for the week ahead, which I usually do either on a Friday before I stop work for the day or on Sunday – I find if I leave it till Monday I somehow waste the first half of the day.
Working at home is brilliant in all sorts of ways and it’s great that you can maybe throw the washing in or plan a meal while working BUT it can also be very distracting. Once again everyone will have their own way of managing these distractions and of course we are all human but that is one reason why identifying a space for work can be helpful. It can be tempting if working near the TV to catch up on a programme you might have missed. The important thing is to understand the distractions that you are prone to then work out ways to limit their ability to take you away from your work.
Schedule some breaks
Whether you plan when you will have them or simply take them at them when the time is right for you it is important to have regular breaks. It is definitely not a waste of time and in fact evidence suggests that breaks increase our productivity https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers
Here’s some ideas for things you could do in your lunch break https://hubpages.com/health/Loving-Your-Lunch-Break and working at home certainly shouldn’t mean you don’t have a break.
Beware of multi-tasking
I know some people swear they are brilliant at this but honestly for me I know it doesn’t work – have a read and see if any of this rings true for you. https://hubpages.com/education/-Reasons-to-STOP-Multitasking-Right-Now
Again the important thing is working out what works for you and there are certain tasks that are fairly mundane and you could do other thigs as well but often some concentrated effort means both the quality and quantity of work is better.
Avoid Rabbit Holes
We’ve all done it , wherever we work, we decide to just check facebook or whatever then 30 minutes later after we watched numerous funny videos caught up on what numerous acquaintances or second cousins twice removed kids are doing – we realise we should have been doing other things. Rabbit holes can also be work related we start looking something very useful up on the internet but then find ourselves wasting lots of time reading things that might be interesting possibly useful but we’ve been massively drawn away from the task in hand. Personally I find a clock useful so at a glance – without having to get out my phone I can keep a check on time.
Overall I think it is a massive privilege to be based at home and I do enjoy I but unless your work automatically brings you in contact with others it can be quite isolating so make sure you timetable in things that will prevent this. It could be a network meeting a coaching group or lunch with mate but most of us function better with some regular social contact.
But like many other business owners based at home I love the flexibility, the autonomy and of course I love what I do.