Remote working: How to make your home office work for you

Home working

So, you’ve landed the ultimate in jobs: you can work from home, you have flexible hours and the kitchen cupboard with all your favourite snacks is only a few steps away from your desk.

But that’s where the problems start, right? There are simply too many distractions at home and you realise self discipline is much harder to apply when you’re not surrounded by your colleagues.

Good news: all you need to do is implement a few smart tips that have helped many home-based workers tick off all those items on the to do list.

Get your cup of coffee and let’s solve a few challenges quickly.

Where are You Sitting?

The ideal here is to have a separate room as a home office. Having a door that you can close brings many advantages:

  • It’s easier to stop people from interrupting you if you’re not working where other family members are walking all day.
  • At the end of the day you don’t have to see your paperwork or computer. You can switch off from work responsibilities, affording you time to rest up for the next day’s tasks.

If you don’t have the luxury of a room, at least find a space that’s your own so you don’t have to pack up everything each day. You can simply continue the next morning without wasting time.

Even defining it as a separate ‘work-space’ can help, such as placing a carpet underneath your desk if it’s located in the living room. Visually it will be different to the rest of the room, so your mind will ignore it while you’re watching TV with the family.

Use the RIGHT Equipment

In an office environment there are usually devices and networks incorporating the latest technology. But now you have to use what you have at home.

If you’re in survival mode you won’t deliver optimum productivity. For example, if you often get disconnected from the Wi-Fi or your computer shuts down for no reason, your workflow will suffer and you’ll battle to focus.

This often calls for capital investment but it will pay off in the long run. Discuss renting a Macbook laptop with your employer so you have a device you can count on. And make sure you have a secure network at home with the latest virus protection.

Everything you had at the office should be at home, or your boss can’t expect the same outcome, right?

New Gadgets for New Habits

Now it’s time to help your mind focus. These methods can help you learn how to focus without the stimulation of the office environment:

  • Get headphones: You may not have colleagues to distract you but that dog barking or the cars in the street may. Experiment with different audio tracks and see what helps you ‘get in the zone’. White noise? Your favourite band? Classical music?
  • Timers: Avoid taking too long on tasks by setting timers. Use your phone or timer apps. You know more or less how long a task will take you at the office, so set a timer and let the clock spur you on the way your boss used to in the office.

Working at home can be fun but without discipline and the right tools you may end up missing your cubicle at the office. Or your to do list will only get longer.

If you have more tips for this new lifestyle many of us now face, please share.