Working from home: It’s nice, but when it’s school holidays, and there’s more things happening, how do you make it work without getting distracted?
The key is to tackle any possible problems before they arise. Here’s a full list of them and making it work for you.
Convenience – this is the greatest benefit of working from home, but it’s also the greatest downside. You need to be strict with yourself and set some clear ‘working hours’ and stick to them.
Family, friends and kids – this is a big one. Caring for children when you don’t have support, is like accepting phone calls from friends and family when you are meant to be working – it can all be incredibly distracting. Be upfront with loved ones, and where you can organise support or childcare, or even consider working more flexible hours to get things done if help isn’t an option.
“Working from home: It’s so easy to get caught up with household chores and admin during your work day.”
Working from home gets you away from many office distractions, so make the most of it and don’t substitute them with household ones. It’s also a good idea to put your phones on the “do not call” register and put a “no salespeople” sticker on your letterbox or door.
Lack of commuting – not having to travel to work saves time that can be dedicated to other things, however some people enjoy commuting (it may be the only time they’re on their own), and use it as their ‘downtime’ or chance to debrief after a tough day.
If you’re one of those people, schedule some ‘commuting time’ into your day. It needn’t be before/after work, but chose a regular, convenient time that allows you to get away from the office each day. Go for a walk, head out for a coffee or simply sit outside and read a book.
Out of sight, out of mind – Working away from colleagues can be isolating and can also have a detrimental effect on professional relationships. To alleviate this problem try to visit your employer on a regular basis – and don’t just make it a social call.
“Instead of a teleconference, attend some meetings in person, or schedule a weekly/monthly catch-up with your manager.”
Make sure that your manager is supportive of your working arrangement, commit to specific hours and times that you will be contactable and make it known that you’re still available for any ad hoc projects that may arise.
Ensure you answer calls and emails promptly.And don’t forget the social aspect – if you always went to Friday night drinks or monthly trivia nights, try and attend when you can. It will help maintain relationships and allow you to keep up-to- date with the ‘unofficial’ news and happenings.
Even though you’re working from home, your health and safety whilst doing so is still the responsibility of your employer. As such, they will have a say in the space you chose to work in.
Find out what your employer expects from your work environment before you set it up. There’s nothing worse than creating a space only to find that it doesn’t meet requirements (and therefore your employer does not allow you to work from home).
There may be paperwork involved and even regular checks from your employer – so be prepared.