During the London 2012 Games, millions of Londoners stayed at home to avoid the expected crush on the tube. According to recent figures from the CBI, around half of London based firms allowed employees to work from home during the London 2012 Games – with over 40% specifically investing in new technology to allow employees access to email, video-conferencing and critical business systems.
If you are working from home, you’ll probably end up working harder and longer hours according to BT, but you must take care to ensure a proper work / life balance. Here Olivier Chameyrat, managing director of Pixmania-PRO, highlights top tips for those working from home:
Create an office space
Set up an area within your house or flat that is specifically dedicated to you working from home – this is not to be shared or used by other members of the family and when you’re working in this area of the home it is clear you are not to be disturbed or distracted.
Define your working hours
Keep to your usual working and sleeping patterns, and try not to stray outside of this. This will help define when your working day is over and when you can take that all-important time to relax and wind down from the stresses and strains of the day.
Make sure you switch off your computer / phone at the end of the working day so you are not tempted to start on another piece of work. When you’re done for the day, shut down and ensure your co-workers know you have finished for the day.
Keep in contact
We are naturally social animals and being isolated from human contact can have an adverse effect – make sure you stay in contact with your work colleagues over the phone, over email and even over social media channels, such as Twitter. Make sure you go to networking events, join online communities and forums – don’t be alone during the day.
Take regular breaks
Just as you would in a normal office environment, make yourself a coffee, grab a glass of water, get up and walk around the house to stretch your legs. Go out at lunchtime to get a sandwich from the shops, get some fresh air and avoid the cabin fever.
When you get up in the morning, avoid heading straight for your workstation still in your pyjamas. Have a shower, get dressed, have a proper breakfast and start the day as you would in the office. This will also help you stay motivated throughout the day.
Don’t be distracted
Turn the TV off, put away the Xbox and the PlayStation, and stay focused on delivering your workload. Get together a ‘to-do’ list for the day and don’t allow yourself to hang out the washing or log on to Facebook until you’ve ticked off a certain number of tasks.