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How to make working from home work for you

Set yourself up for remote working success with these six tips.

Since the global pandemic, people all around the world have been forced to work from home. Some of us happily waved goodbye to the days of lengthy commutes and being crammed into trains like sardines, others struggled with change.

Even with cities starting to open up again and people returning to the office, one thing’s for sure - working from home in some form or another is here to stay. And as we’ve all learned over the course of the last year, working remotely can pose its own challenges – how do we stay focussed, keep energy levels high, and get the most out of our day?

Successfully working from home takes a lot of willpower. It means cultivating the discipline to be your own taskmaster, having processes in place to supercharge your productivity, and finding the right balance between work and play.

So, whether you’ve been working from home and need to find your groove, or you’re thinking of moving towards a flexible work arrangement, we've got six tips to help you hack your work from home situation.

Set yourself up for success

The saying goes: dress for the job that you want. The same applies to your workspace at home. Never underestimate the influence of your working environment. If you have a dedicated study at home, you can consider yourself lucky. If you don’t, you’ll need to set up a dedicated area away from distractions that can help you stay focussed and motivated. And no, your bed doesn’t count as an office space.

Make tech work for you

If you want to nail remote working, you must have up-to-date tech. Reliable, fast internet, the ability to conference call, and to stay connected, are all essential elements for any virtual office.

Luckily enough, we live in an age of technology. This means there’s a vast range of resources to support telecommuting while working from home. Using apps like Google Docs, WhatsApp, Zoom Video conferencing, Dropbox, and Cloud collaboration software for access to shared networks, will streamline communication with your clients, colleagues, and any possible prospects.

Create a routine and stick to it

If you’re asking yourself what you could be doing to make your workday a little easier, perhaps creating a routine will help you take control of your schedule. If you know you’re most productive at a certain time of the day, block out your calendar for tasks that take a little more brain power and commit your time to getting jobs done. Having a routine in place can ensure that you’ll be performing at your best and staying accountable for your responsibilities. 

Set boundaries

When your office is at home, it's easy to blur the lines of ‘house tasks’ and ‘office tasks’. A pile of laundry or dirty dishes can quickly tempt you away from the job at hand, which is why ideally, you need to separate your workspace and reserve any home chores for outside of work hours.

Friends, family members and neighbours are not so good at taking the hint when you're trying to work – so the same rule applies for them too! No one would come to a business during the day and hang out in your office, but it seems like as soon as your office is at home, all bets are off. 

There's no real way around this except to be polite yet firm, and let people know you're working until a certain time and you'll be able to catch up with them after that. In the same way, make sure you have healthy boundaries about your working hours. If you’ve finished for the day, log off – physically and mentally.

Update your insurance

If you’ve set up a new, swanky home office or have purchased equipment and technology to accommodate your new way of working, remember to update your insurance to ensure they’re adequately covered. Use this handy calculator to double check your sum insured is sufficient. 

Keep communication lines open

Working from home can be isolating at times, so remember to network, stay connected and keep your communication lines open. If you’re used to daily face-to-face interaction with clients, customers, and colleagues, remember to maintain these important relationships. It’s easy to pick up the phone or send a quick email or text just to let them know you’re still thinking about them and that you’re still here to support. 

At the end of the day, remote working works best when you can use it to have a more balanced lifestyle. So why not work out a schedule that works best for you and plan time for activities that make you feel good – you’ll soon start to notice your productivity skyrocket.