Working from home: making it work for you

26th March 2017

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Flexible working is now a way of life for most employers and employees. The trend is gathering pace thanks to the enabler of technology allowing us to connect in anywhere. One aspect of flexible working that many workers naturally enjoy is the perk of working from the comfort of their own home every so often. Who wouldn’t enjoy working from home? You’re in comfortable and familiar surroundings, you’re saving money on commute fares and of course avoiding your commute, as well as being away from the many distractions of the office; noise, chit-chat, meetings, etc.

Many people who enjoy the benefit of working from home do advocate the productive work benefits that it brings. Working from home can of course be productive, but for those choosing their home as their office for the day, need to understand it comes with its challenges and the way you approach working from home will be key to your productivity. Remember, working from home can be a privilege and is entrusted upon employees by their employers so it’s important to pay that trust back.

Here are some useful pieces of advice to consider if ever you work from home.

Keep it consistent

Working from home means you don’t have to be too considerate of things like timing and attire. With there no need to worry about getting out of the house in time for your early morning train for instance, some people may see that as an opportunity to get an extra half hour in bed. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to not let these types of decisions affect your day for the worse. When working from home, you want to treat it as any other day. Waking up at a sensible time to ensure you’re at your desk ready and fuelled to start work at your expected start time, will put you on course for a productive day.

Designated work space

The importance of a work space at your home is a key factor to a productive work from home day. For those working at home, some may see the temptation to set up work on their sofa or armchair, in optimum view of their television. This may work for some people, but some may question the comfort and distraction of working like that. Having a home office set up is an ideal solution for home working. Being away from distraction in a comfortable and function-able environment will ensure a productive day like any other.

Keep motivated

Distraction is one of the biggest challenges of working from home; checking in on Facebook, switching on the TV for five minutes, or reading the news online for a minute or two. It’s important to keep focused and keep on track with your work. Anything you can do to give yourself more structure whilst working at home will keep distractions from ruining your day. These can be anything like to-do lists which give you more focus to get things done, or even little targets such as sending off a number of e-mails by a certain time, and your reward is ten minutes of social media.

Work can be anywhere, but it comes first

Carrying on with work distractions, working at home also brings in the temptation to dedicate time to do some domestic chores and errands. Of course things like dropping your kids off at school are things your employer will understand and be able to relate to, but whilst working at home try not to be sucked into tasks that are going to disrupt the flow of your working day. Things like laundry, hoovering, washing up; ask yourself if these things can be done at the end of your work day. Remember work comes first, so be sure to keep it that way when working from home.

Don’t be a slave to your home

Just because your employer has granted you the privilege of working from home, they will have faith in you that you will do the work that is required of you. They trust you enough to work from home so they should trust you enough to not monitor your every single move. If you feel a little jaded and need a bit of a break and need to get out of the house, do it! Whether it means taking a walk outside for five minutes or going round the corner to grab a coffee and a sandwich, approach your break time like you would any other day. As long as it doesn’t interfere into the structure of your day and hinder your work progress, it’s still important to stay refreshed and energised at work, wherever that may be for the day.

In an increased era of flexible working, why not start your journey today as a contractor and enjoy the benefits of flexible working. Pre-register with iContract, the new online platform launching in April, that connects contractors with recruiters and allows contractors to manage their work life better.