Working from home is the quintessential dream. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your PJs – or even your bed for that matter. But for those of us who have been fortunate enough to experience working from home, you’ll know it is no easy feat.
There are distractions everywhere and you can feel disconnected from your colleagues, not to mention the constant supply of snacks that are within walking distance! In saying this, sometimes working from home is our only option, and with society becoming more globalized and connected, it’s likely that an increased number of people working remotely will be the future for many workplaces.
So how can you stay switched on?
1. Give yourself a break
It can be easy to fall into the habit of putting a load of washing on or unpacking the dishwasher when you’re working from home. Although you might think this is multitasking, it’s not, and you should leave any chores or personal errands till outside of work hours. You need to allow yourself an actual break, as you would do at work. And let’s face it, it’s unlikely you’d start doing some household chores during your break in the office!
2. Make sure your Internet is up to scratch
Imagine sitting down and trying to dial into a video call meeting only to be met with constant dropouts. You might think your Internet is able to keep up with the downloading and uploading of large work files and the occasional video conference call, but if you’re on the slowest speed plan it’s probably not. You’ll need Internet speeds of 50Mbps and above, so make sure you’re getting those before you commit to working from home.
3. Try to sit up
Might it be tempting to stay in bed all day – working from home has got to have some perks right? But sitting at a table or in your home office, for at least a few hours, will help you stay on track and increase your productivity by keeping you in a working frame of mind.
4. Use a workplace messaging app
One of the pitfalls of working from home is how disconnected, and for lack of a better word, lonely you can feel, especially if you’re used to working with a big team. If you can, suggest setting up a workplace messenger app account. There are heaps of apps like Slack and Google Hangouts Chat that you can use to keep in contact with the rest of your team and ensure you stay in the loop.
5. Set yourself clear goals of what you need to achieve in the day
It can sometimes be easy to go off track when you’re working from home, but if you have some short-term goals that you know you need to achieve, it’ll be a lot easier. By doing this you’ll also avoid beating yourself up if you do find yourself distracted by a load of washing. Instead of working standard work hours you can be a bit more flexible with your time and work towards achieving your goals.
6. Get dressed
Again, as mentioned above this has got to be one of the perks of working from home, but you know that sluggish feeling you get after spending all Sunday in your PJs watching movies? Well, if you want to avoid that and get into a more productive headspace, it’s best to get yourself up, have a shower and get ready for the day. I’m not saying you can’t spend an extra few hours in your PJs in the morning, or that you need to doll yourself up as you would if you’re going into the office, but staying in pyjamas isn’t the greatest feeling no matter what you’re doing for the day.
7. Get some sunshine
If the frosty mornings are anything to go by, I think it’s safe to say we’re not done with winter yet. But as soon as it starts to warm up, take advantage of your work from home situation and set yourself up outside. The fresh air and sun rays are a great way to boost positivity and, in turn, productivity.
Bessie Hassan is the Money Expert at finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.