5 tips for working from home: For employees

17/03/2020

"We need people to start working from home where they possibly can," urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson in yesterday's Coronovirus update.

As a result, many small business employers are making provision for their staff to work from home. Those who are self-employed have decided to work from home, rather than going into their offices.

As an employee or a self-employed worker, you can make a success of working from home by creating circumstances that will allow you to have maximum productivity and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Here are our 5 top tips for working from home:

1. Get into a routine

Have regular working hours even if your employer offers you flexibility (or if you're self-employed), whether that's 8 to 4, 9 to 5, or another schedule that works for you. This will greatly assist you in being more productive during working hours, but also ensure that you maintain a good work-life balance.

2. Have a dedicated working space

If possible, have a section of your home dedicated for working - whether that's a spare bedroom, a "corner" in the kitchen or dining room or a separate office. Again, this will allow you to keep work and life separate and help you to be "in the zone" when you are in your work area.

3. Make sure that you are comfortable and have everything that you need 

This is especially important given that, because of the current situation, many will be working from home for an extending period of time. It's worth investing some time in ensuring that you can work comfortably. It may be worth investing in a more comfortable chair and desk and a second monitor (if you currently only have one). If you are employed, don't be afraid to ask your employer to provide the things that you need to work from home productively, especially if you will be working from home for some time. 

4. Have a change of scenery during your breaks

We must of course caveat this one by saying that you should be careful to keep your distance from other with the current situation in the UK. But as long as you do this, you can go for a walk, have a drink in the garden. Maybe even a change of room to watch some TV or read for a few minutes will do the trick. Everyone needs a break, so give yourself the full break time away from your desk. Taking a break outside or in a different area can help you to be more productive when you are back at work.

5. Take sick days if you need them

Working from home does not mean that you have to work when you are ill. If you are employed, sick days are part of your pay package - to be used when you need them when you are genuinely sick. If you are self-employed, it can be tempting to try and power through illnesses so that you don't lose any money, but ultimately, you will be more productive in the long run if you allow your body to rest when you are unwell.