Working from home is like marmite, some people love it, others hate it.
When I first quit my 9-5 job to set up my own business, I went through a mix of emotions; at first, I loved lying in and not having to travel two hours every day but then after three days I seriously missed the interaction you get in an office environment.
I found myself struggling to focus, easily distracted by household chores and daydreaming all the time.
After a quick google and chat with some other work-from-home women, I decided to convert my spare room into an office, discipline myself as if I still had a boss and enjoy the perks of working from home. Nowadays, the technology available to businesses allows employees to work from home safely and effectively in terms of internet access, so I wasn’t concerned that I wouldn’t find an appropriate company to work for. Software such as Wandera is available to businesses to help them safely share information, programs, and documents between their remote-working staff, without running the risk of cyberattack. With trustworthy services like this, the technical side of working from home actually became a perk of the job, not a downfall.
These slight changes made a huge difference to my working life and I was able to productively work from home and switch off when my husband came home.
Get up & get ready
Many people believe that working from home means you can stay in your PJ’s all day and get up at any time you like. Now, this is true but it’s hardly productive.
Set your alarm for a decent time have some breakfast, shower and get ready as if you were leaving the house. This will help to motivate you to really get on and do some work.
Create a working environment
In today’s world, the most important requirement for working from home is a reliable internet connection. You’ll need a high-speed connection that won’t impede your work efficiency, particularly if you work in the IT sector. Hence, it would be wise to have a broadband connection at home such as those provided by Sparklight Internet.
It’s important to have all the tools that will allow you to be as productive as possible. For example, using products and software such as can be found over at Agora.io will give you a reliable means of communication and can help increase your workflow. It’s also important to look at the physical space around you. I turned my spare room into an office and it was the best thing I did. It helped to separate home from work and when I was in that office, I knew I had work to do. It was where all of my documents were, and more importantly, it was where I had my computer. I spend hours and hours a day working in front of this screen, and with the help of these blue blocking lenses, my eyes don’t get strained so I can work productively for the time that I set aside for my tasks. This helps massively because I don’t know what I’d do if my eyes couldn’t take all of this pressure, but luckily I don’t have to worry about that now that I have my own accessories and a dedicated room for my work. So when I was in the kitchen or living room, that was my switch-off time to spend with my family.
Set office hours
When you work from home, it can be so easy to spend all hours of the day working. Even when you don’t think you are, answering emails or going over notes is still classed as working and you need to give your mind a break from it all.
Set normal office hours 8-4 or 10-6, whatever works for you and fits around your lifestyle but most importantly try your hardest to stick to your allotted hours and if you work late one night, finish earlier on Friday and so on.
Have a cutoff point
This is especially true for partners who are in business together. It can be so easy to only talk about work at the end of each day when you’re in bed and throughout the day as well.
Set limits on when work can be discussed usually from the morning until 6 or 7 pm, then time after that is family time. It’s so easy to get consumed by your business but it’s not healthy.