Whether you’re thinking of talking to your employer about flexible working, or starting your own business, we have a few tips that can help you make the most of working from home.
Find a way to separate work from home
When your home is your workspace, it can be difficult to switch off from the job and just relax in your home. Having a healthy work-life balance is important, so try to work to a set schedule, and maintain “office hours”, just as you would if you were commuting to the office.
It can also be tough to avoid all the distractions of the home when you’re supposed to be working; even housework can seem appealing when you have a looming deadline or a tough client call to tackle. If you schedule set times on working days for household tasks, family time and relaxation, you’ll be more likely to concentrate during working hours. And if the kids know that they have the whole evening for playtime, they’ll be less likely to distract you when you need to concentrate.
With unlimited access to the fridge and the sofa every day, it can be really easy to pick up unhealthy habits.
To stay healthy and active, try to take a break outside the home every day for some exercise – anything from a walk round the neighbourhood to a session at the local gym. If you’re likely to snack and graze through the day, keep a selection of healthy snacks within reach, like fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Thanks to easy access to broadband, smartphones and telecommunications software working at home doesn’t have to mean being disconnected from colleagues and clients, but too much time in the home office can leave you feeling a little isolated.
People are social by nature, and we need plenty of interaction with others to stay happy and healthy, so make sure you schedule in some quality time with friends and family every week. Remember, these social meetings are just as important as work, so set aside plenty of time in your diary to catch up with friends.
Make the most of your home office
A wide variety of occupations can now be based at home, from writing, project management, or consultancy, to child minding, web design and teaching. When setting up your work space at home, tailor the space to the work you will be doing there. For many professions, a simple, uncluttered home office set up with plenty of light, a large desk with comfortable chair and plenty of storage is ideal.