Working from home provides employees and employers with a multitude of professional and personal opportunities; From parents to pet owners and frequent flyers, busy schedules and lifestyles are more widely accommodated with home working; But to those who have never experienced remote working, enforcing self-discipline outside the formal workplace can prove difficult, with distractions lurking around every corner.
To avoid falling into time-wasting traps, be aware of your boredom triggers. Mix up your routine, socialise remotely with your colleagues and organise your space to maximise productivity and stimulate creativity. The following is a breakdown of top strategies for getting the most out of your nine to five working day at home:
First up, set the alarm. The most common mistake lone workers make is to be undisciplined about starting and ending the working day. Behave just as if you were getting ready to go to the office. Get up, get dressed, get your coffee and open up your laptop in a room designated for work only. The natural association you make with this professional space will switch you into productive mode instantly. Turn off the TV and turn down the radio, or put on some background music to get your creative juices flowing. We love the concentration playlists available on Spotify. The type of chair you work from is also key to efficiency. A stool from the kitchen just won't do, nor will a comfortable sofa or armchair. A chair that facilitates posture and support will put you into a focussed state, inspiring presence of mind and productivity.
Establish social channels with your colleagues to facilitate a little chit chat and professional conversation. Here at Method we love Slack, but Google hangout and a group WhatsApp can also be useful. Schedule informal discussions with your co-workers to break up the day. For lunch hour, book out time to enjoy your salad whilst playing a game on an app such as 'Words With Friends' with your in-house designer or editor. Identifying on a personal level with the people behind the brand you work for will strengthen your homogeny and your communication with the company and allow your work to flow effortlessly.
Creating a schedule to help organise your day will give you focus and perspective on the working day ahead; Allow this schedule to structure your day and reward yourself with short breaks when you achieve your objectives ahead of time. Social media is generally counterproductive, tending to undermine your working routine. But, if like most, you feel compelled to check your feeds occasionally, allow five minutes max every two hours to do this.
Avoid the after-lunch slump with a quick dog walk around the block. No dog? Do a few up and down sprints of the stairs to clear your head and inspire a bit of adrenaline. Alternatively, download award-winning mindfulness apps Calm or Headspace to reset yourself and then get back into the grafting game.
As the day draws to a close, make sure you keep your desk space organised. Tidy space, tidy mind. Sort through redundant paperwork, delete obsolete desktop articles and keep the aesthetic of your office clean and professional. Winding down time is also necessary. Reconnect with your boss to request feedback on the day's proceedings and engage in chat with your colleagues, discussing what has been happening in their day. All of these routines will anchor you in the mindset of being part of office culture, despite operating remotely.
At five o'clock sharp, press sleep on your computer, close the door on your home working environment and return to enjoying the comforts of your home immediately. There is no stressful, time consuming commute home when you already work from there!