How to Make the Most of Your Work from Home Set-up

The ability to work from home is a huge blessing, offering flexibility and improved work/life balance that most of us never dreamed of ten years ago. But all too often it becomes a little too easy to lose our focus on the job and start to feel isolated from our colleagues. To get the most from your work from home approach, there are a few simple steps you can take.

1. Set yourself a daily routine

Our days can so quickly become disordered when working from home, but it’s essential to establish some sort of structure if you want to stay productive. Re-establishment of the ‘getting ready for work’ ritual can really help, even if it’s as simple as changing out of PJs and brushing your teeth. Letting yourself sleep in too late can easily give your day a rushed, disjointed feeling.

2. Balance your breaks

Breaks should ideally form a part of your daily routine too. Allowing yourself the mental space to kick back and rest will help you to stay focused and motivated when it’s time to get back to work. How often and how long your breaks should be will depend on your own individual needs. The important thing is that you’re taking time out to have a break as well as staying mindful of how long your actual working hours are.

3. Designate a working space

Where you work – and how – can have a huge impact on your efficiency and level of focus. Whenever possible, create a space that’s in a relatively quiet and low traffic area so that you’re not interrupted or distracted: a home office, spare bedroom or quiet corner of the living space. Make sure it’s well-lit and comfortable, with the right tools (notepads, pens, laptop etc.) to help you to feel organised, inspired and motivated.

4. Avoid working in bed

It can be really tempting to do some work whilst snuggled up in your pyjamas in bed, but it’s important to draw a distinct line between your working hours and downtime. Working in bed can also lead to a feeling of ‘checked-out-ness’, without the standard office cues to remind you to switch your laptop off at the end of your shift.

5. Keep regular contact with colleagues and clients

It’s essential to remember that you’re not alone when you’re working remotely – you’re part of a team. Schedule regular meetings or catch-ups with colleagues to maintain professional relationships: check-in chats help you to stay connected and exchange ideas even when there’s distance between you.

You might also want to set-up shared systems and tools to give you greater visibility of what the rest of your team is doing, so you all remain connected and on the same page.

6. Make the most of ‘downsides’ of WFH

We can be too quick to think of the negatives, but there’s a few surprising positives to working from home that should be taken into account. A few things to bear in mind:

  • Time and money saved on commuting
  • A flexible schedule – the possibility to move tasks around and react to the needs of the day
  • Fewer distractions from colleagues, noise and office gossip
  • The ability to work in a more comfortable space that suits your needs and personality

7. Take full responsibility for your own success

Yes, managing your own time and being in charge of your own working environment and output can be great – but it also comes with great responsibility. Being able to manage yourself can be a challenge, with the potential to get off-track and become disorganised and distracted. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of your own limitations and maintain an organised, disciplined work-from-home approach.

When done effectively, working from home can be extremely rewarding and a great way to stay in touch with the office. By staying focused and organised, you can make the most of your new set-up and enjoy the full potential of a successful work-from-home lifestyle.