Who doesn’t love working from home? Ok, maybe not people with babies or tiny children, but the rest of us. However, it doesn’t mean a day for lolling around in your pyjamas catching up on Jeremy Kyle while munching through a packet of Jaffa Cakes (Maybe that’s just me). Anyway, the clue is in the title: ‘working’.
See below our 5 top tips for getting the best out of working from home:
1. Get Dressed
We’re not saying this as a military type idea that the quality of your work reflects the smartness of your appearance. We simply refer you to the case of the young woman in Australia employed by a large corporate. She was working from home on a hot sunny day so naturally enough she made herself comfortable behind her computer – naked. After three confusingly abrupt conference calls using Skype, she received a call from another colleague, Patricia.
“I answer with a ‘Hi Patricia!’” recalled the young woman. “There’s a long pause. I lean in further to my screen, boobs perked above the keyboard, ‘Patricia, I’m working from home today, can you hear me?’” Patricia hung up and thirty seconds later received an email from Patricia: “Sweetie, put some clothes on.”
2. Get Comfortable
In the unlikely event you have a home office, tuck yourself away and get on with it. For most of us, it’s a question of finding somewhere to can sit comfortably with enough space to spread out – but this does not mean bed!
We are well aware that Winston Churchill worked from his bed every morning, fortified with liberal amounts of what he called “mouthwash” (a tumbler of regularly topped up whisky and soda). But he also held meetings while in the bath, and we don’t recommend either of these habits.
3. Structure Your Day
Working from home is not an excuse for a lie in. As you won’t have a commute, you may be able to give yourself a few extra minutes under the duvet but don’t overdo it. Use the extra time to get some early morning fresh air or exercise so that you start the day fully focused. Work your normal hours and take your lunch break at the usual time.
Some people go to the other extreme. They feel that they have to make up for the luxury of working from home and overcome any implication that they are skiving. If you are like this, resist the temptation to start work extra early, skip lunch or continue past your usual leaving time.
4. Stay in Contact with Colleagues
It can be lonely working on your own all day. Some people thrive on the solitude, others find it boring. If you are one of the latter, keep in contact with colleagues. If you feel you are missing out on small talk in the kitchen or with people popping by your desk, it’s OK to check in by email or on the phone.
Beware of social media, though. It can be tempting to fill the people void by spending too long on Facebook or Twitter. Before you know it, time has disappeared and you’ve wasted precious minutes (or even hours).
5. Enjoy Yourself
It’s a treat to break your routine and have some peace and quiet to get on with things without interruption. Enjoy the freedom of working at your own pace in your own space. Make the most of closing the lid of your computer at the end of the day and not having to battle your way home.
But just because you are more relaxed, it doesn’t mean you can let all your barriers down. Don’t spend the day aimlessly grazing. And, if you can, get someone to hide the Jaffa Cakes.
Opus offers a range of products that allow your employees to work remotely from the office. Call us on 0800 316 7566 to discuss the right product for your business.
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