Spalding area writer Kate Chapman shares her top tips for home working
For many people working from home sounds like the stuff of dreams – no one to watch over you, unlimited access to the biscuit tin and the opportunity to keep your pyjamas on all day.
The likelihood is that more and more us of will be remote working in the coming weeks as the country tries to stem the spread of coronavirus.
I’ve worked from home for the past decade and met several others in the same boat, so thought I’d share the benefit of our experience and a few tips I’ve picked up along the way. It’s by no means a definitive guide, and what works for one person, obviously won’t work for everyone but here’s a few suggestions -
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* Get dressed – it may sound obvious but start your working day as you normally would. Set an alarm and follow your regular morning routine. Shower and dress – it may be tempting to keep your PJs on but getting dressed will help get you in the right frame of mind to tackle the tasks ahead. It also means you won’t get caught out by postal / delivery workers!
* Establish a designated workspace – not everyone has the luxury of a home office, but if you’re able to set aside a specific area to work from then do so.
Maybe use the kitchen or dining room table rather than lounging on the bed with your laptop, where it’s all too easy to think, ooh, I’ll just take a nap!
It’s also good to keep your working / living spaces separate so you can close the door on work at the end of the day.
* Set a routine – it may sound obvious but set designated working hours and stick to them to make sure you get your job done.
Procrastination is the homeworker’s best friend; it’s so easy to get caught up in all those other jobs around the home which need doing. Don’t! By all means tackle them in your breaks if you want but not when you’re supposed to be working.
* Take designated breaks – just as it’s important to have set working hours, it’s also important to take regular breaks. Go out and stretch your legs or do some exercise if you’re able. No one can work solidly for eight hours.
* Turn off social media – it’s all very well having a cheeky scroll now and then because there’s no one looking over your shoulder, but before you know it you’ve wasted three-quarters of an hour watching cute cat videos and someone demonstrating how to make a swan out of paper napkins on YouTube.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t check in from time to time, as keeping in contact with colleagues may be necessary, but just be wary of being drawn into a scroll hole when you’re supposed to be working.
* Do not disturb – let family and friends, roommates and children know that although you’re at home, you’re actually working and are not to be disturbed - unless it’s an emergency.
* And last but not least, snacks – if you’re anything like me, the lure of the biscuit tin is all too easy to give in to. Either don’t buy them or try and ration yourself. Alternatively switch to a healthier alternative so you don’t feel guilty about grazing so much.
More by this authorKate Chapman