Conventional wisdom on working from home is based on the the mentality of making your home as much like your office as possible. I think they’re wrong. There’s a reason why Google, Facebook and other innovative companies are bringing more and more home comforts to the office. We should enjoy our homes as a place of work every now and again.
Whilst it’s nice to think working from home is a chance to relax, we end up getting even more stressed thinking about all the work we won’t get done. With this in mind, here are 11 unconventional tips for working from home.
1. Choose your work.
Despite a simple job description that summarises what you do in 150 words, we all quickly realise that this translates into dozens of daily tasks and duties. Choose (if you can) work that requires a lot of concentration or solitary thought rather than email and phonecalls. You’ll feel grateful for the peace and quiet you get at home that you can’t get anywhere else.
2. Plan your day.
The number one killer of productivity in the workplace is constant and unexpected interruptions. This means that making a schedule of your work for the day seems futile as it’s always doomed to fail. Not so much at home. Less interruptions means more work time and a schedule you can stick to. Let yourself feel good about hammering through that checklist.
3. Enjoy home comforts.
Hate sitting on an office chair? Sit on your sofa and work in a relaxed way. Normally spend lunchtimes hunched over your desk? Use your additional productivity to take a proper break and catch up with an episode of your favourite show or a chapter of a book or even take a nap (just make sure you wake up!). This means you can rest properly, which experts say gives you a better chance of remaining productive throughout the day.
4. Work in comfortable clothes.
There’s a difference between wearing your pyjamas and wearing comfortable casual clothes working from home. The former means you’re still not in the mindset to get stuff done, the latter means you feel at ease and will probably be more productive! Use this as an opportunity to ditch the suit (or even get it dry-cleaned) and give those weekend dresses a trial run. Saying that, some people are still productive working in their jammies.
5. Cancel all meetings unless they’re actually urgent.
Meetings in the office are usually inefficient enough. They become even more inefficient when you have dozens of people trying to log into a video conference. No-one on the call wants to be there and they certainly know the work is not going to get done until everyone’s back in the office. Cancel or postpone and move on with your life.
6. Schedule your deliveries / handymen.
Delivery companies and handymen (usually) don’t rely on the tube. So if you’re well prepared you can make sure these coincide with your day working at home, so not only can you make your working life more productive, but also your personal life – wahey!
7. Have something fun planned for the evening.
We are simple beings. Working in an office forces us to be productive because we know we will be rewarded for finishing our work by going home. However, that reward mechanism malfunctions when you’re already at home. Plan something fun for the evening so you still have something to look forward to, even though you’re working in sofa bliss.
Going to the office gets our systems going because it forces physical exertion on our bodies which makes us wake up. This pumps blood to your brain and helps you think, as well as clear you head. Why not use the time you would normally spend commuting to go for a run near your home, meditate or whack in a Davina McCall exercise video.
9. Play your music loudly
Most of us use headphones at work and don’t have the luxury of blasting our music in the office. We’ve all got great sound systems and speakers at home – if you work better with music on, then play it loud and proud in the comfort of your own home.
10. Have a drink or treat yourself in the afternoon
Like the days of Mad Men, plenty of creative agencies still offer an alcoholic beverage to help your day go along smoothly and relax. Why not pour yourself a glass of wine or try that new gin and tonic recipe and give yourself a treat whilst you work. You’re not going to get hammered or limit your work – so why not? Get a bit merry.
11. Cook or try a local place you’ve never visited before for lunch
Cooking is a great activity to look forward to if you enjoy it and treat yourself to a home cooked meal rather than the same Pret sandwich you have every Thursday. If cooking is not your thing and you’re pushed for time, why not take a stroll round your local area and discover a new place to eat that you’ve never seen before.
Hope you enjoyed our tips for working from home. For when it’s time to get back to the office, why not find one you love?