How to Effectively Work from Home
5th July 2018
As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and employees demand more work-life balance, many companies are adopting remote working policies. But even though it might seem like your local coffee shop is always packed with people tapping away on their laptops, 35% of businesses still don’t offer the option of working from home.
If you’re one of them you might want to reconsider as one in four people who aren’t currently offered remote working options say they would change jobs if they found a position in which they were allowed to work outside the office. There’s a reason why working from home is more popular than ever. Just look at the recent chaos on the railways for one! But regardless of the current situation, eliminating the commute can save a considerable amount of time and money too.
So why, when faced with a free benefit that makes employees happier, don’t more businesses offer remote work as an option? Especially given it’s more achievable than ever thanks to collaborative software tools, online meetings, and cloud storage? It all boils down to trust issues with many employers thinking, rightly or wrongly, that their employees won’t put in a full day’s effort.
So whether you’re an HR department preparing guidelines for staff on how to work from home effectively, or you want to prove to your boss you’re productive despite being elsewhere, here are some tips for getting the most out of your day.
- Make a to-do list to keep yourself accountable. Being organised is crucial if you’re to avoid spending the day wandering around the house or surfing the internet!
- Some people who work from home love the fact they can answer emails in their pajamas however many advocate getting showered and dressed as normal to maintain a feeling of professionalism…
- Be firm with friends who have time on their hands and who may overlook the fact that just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you can take a break anytime you like.
- Invest in a comfortable office chair so you don’t have an excuse to keep getting up to stretch your legs. This is important for your physical health too. If you have the resources, create an office space that you genuinely enjoy spending time in – and banish clutter!
- If you want to separate home from the office and prefer to work from a coffee shop make sure the documents you need are accessible by storing them in the cloud – e.g. in Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Define your working hours: if your job allows for it and you prefer starting and finishing work earlier (or vice versa) do so, but stick to a schedule.
Finally, it is good to be aware that if you’re working remotely, you won’t be as visible. It’s important that colleagues and bosses realise you’re still part of the team so check in with the office a couple of times a day, even scheduling meetings via video or conference call so to avoid lowering your profile in the workplace.