Self-isolating and working from home? Here’s a quick survival guide from one who knows
In my career, I’ve spent many years working from home as part of a virtual team, and in the last few years have run my own business from home too.
Running your business from home
Regardless of how much space you have, there are some small things you can do that will make a big difference to your productivity and state of mind.
1. Structure your day – plan your time and build in some time to catch up with colleagues, you’ll be missing social contact. Even better …
2. Take some regular breaks – get some fresh air go for walks, it’s great for your health and good to get the ideas flowing
3. Create a space and tidy up – if you can, carve out some space for yourself and remove clutter. If I’m working from the kitchen table, it really helps my state of mind if the whole kitchen is tidy and clean before I sit down to work
4. At the end of the day close the laptop and put everything away – just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re on 24-hour call. At the end of the day close the laptop and put away your papers
5. Get out in the evening – if you’re at home all day and all night, it’s more important than ever get outside as much as you can – go for a walk, a run, get on your bike, or potter in the garden.
6. Make the most of it – spend more time with family and see your kids or use your commuting time to do some exercise or get some jobs done.
1. Work in pyjamas, or in bed – Get up at the time you normally would, have a shower and get dressed. Don’t wear ‘slobbies’ to work either – I’m not suggesting you put on a suit, but what we wear is part of getting into work mode. Carry on with other parts of your morning routine e.g. put on some make-up.
2. Work from the sofa – instead sit at a desk or a table. It’s much better for your posture and gets you in work mode
3. Sneak off to watch TV – you wouldn’t sit in the office and flick on the telly, so don’t do it at home. 10 minutes will turn into half an hour in the blink of an eye. A good general rule is to not do anything you wouldn’t do in in the office.
4. Gift work your commuting time – just because you’re not commuting to work, don’t automatically use that time sitting in front of a laptop. Claim that time as yours.
Finally, try to enjoy it! Use tech to work more productively, but don’t let work creep into everything – guard your time and make the most of it.
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