Tips for Working from Home Efficiently | Our Top 10
Tips for Working from Home Efficiently
Our Top 10
Top tips for working from home | The Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything. From our social lives to our work routine, everyone has had to try and adjust to the new ways of working.
There are loads of perks of working from home – no commute, saving money, comfy clothes and flexible working to name a few!
Whilst we all might be enjoying working from home, it’s also completely normal to feel bored, stressed or anxious about the situation. After all, these are uncertain times. The important thing to remember is that we are all in this together.
As the UK’s leading garden office supplier, we’ve been advocates for working from home since 2006. So it’s safe to say we’ve learnt a trick or two over the years about how to do it well.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with our Top Tips to Work from Home Efficiently.
1. Winding Up & Winding Down
The morning commute was a great time to give yourself a shake, wake up and get moving. Without the need for a commute, it can be tough to get motivated to get out of bed and be suitably awake to start work.
We recommend trying to stick to your normal sleep and wake patterns as much as you can, whilst still aiming for a good 7-8 hours sleep at night. Get up at your ‘normal’ wake time as if you were commuting to work, get a good breakfast, have a shower and get dressed! Working in your pyjamas isn’t going to do much for your motivation, even if it is fun.
Keeping your scheduled commute time in your morning routine gives you more time to get organised for the workday ahead, helping you get more done.
Your evening commute time is normally your opportunity to wind down from your days work, letting you relax when you get home. When working from home try and incorporate a section of time to wind down before you see the rest of your household, that way you can be focused on them rather than still thinking about work. It’s all about balance! See Microsoft’s ideas about a virtual commute…
2. Make a Dedicated Workspace
Having a dedicated workspace away from any day-to-day home life distractions is key to productivity and probably our most recommended top tips for working from home. Try to get away from busy areas of the house, like the kitchen or living room, and find a quiet space where you can focus.
Make sure you have everything you need for the day in one place, that way you can shut the door and get to work. Grab your laptop, chargers, phone, pen, notepad and water bottle – then you should be good to go.
Our garden buildings were designed to be used as home offices as part of the working from home revolution in 2006. Having this completely detached and dedicated space to work helps give the perfect work/life balance whilst working from home. Being detached from the home means no distractions, and at the end of the day you can close the door and fully leave the office behind you.
3. Plan your Day
Working from home tends to give more autonomy to your working day. If you struggle to be organised and motivated throughout the day, then why not add a bit of structure to your day as if you were back at the office?
Create lists, set calendar reminders and timers for tasks. This should help you distribute your time in the right areas. Once you start ticking items off your lists you will start to feel like you are achieving more than you realised.
4. Take a Break
When you work from home it is easy to overwork yourself and to feel like you need to be available at all times. Allowing yourself some time to switch off and take a break is so important to help manage any feelings of stress.
Be sure to take your lunch break for a start. A proper break of at least 30 minutes to eat something nutritious and delicious will help keep you motivated and prevent a slump of energy.
Regular screen breaks are important too. Try and get up and move around during your breaks. Even better still try and get outside for some fresh air.
If you are feeling tense or stressed, why not take some time for meditation or fit in a quick 10-minute workout.
Wishing we had a garden gym like this one right about now! Exercise is so important for your physical and mental wellbeing, try to make time for it and start feeling the benefit almost immediately.
5. Keep Connected with Colleagues
Keeping in contact with your colleagues is a great way to prevent any feelings of isolation whilst you are working from home. If you are struggling with working from home in any way, no doubt your colleagues will feel the same way! Talking to each other is the best way to boost your mental wellbeing, as well as helping theirs.
It’s the modern way to make work a social occasion as well as a professional environment, so schedule in a social catch up with your colleagues over the phone or by video call. A digital coffee break is a great way to do it!
6. Set Boundaries
Achieving a good work/life balance has always been the key to a successful life. Working from home starts to blur some lines in the balance because your work is now at home!
Working from home does allow some great flexibility! But it can add extra stress when you are expected to do more around the house whilst still having to fit in a full workday.
Try to set some boundaries and expectations with your family or household. This communication will help everyone feel more relaxed about this new normal. If your household knows your schedule and expectations, then everything will be much easier going forward.
No one ideally wants to bring the office home with them, or let their family see their work persona. A dedicated workspace or a garden office helps you keep your work and home life separate.
7. Match Music to the Task
Now that you don’t need to share an office with a team you are free to listen to whatever music you like! Make the most of this new control by making your music work for you. Changing your music to the task you are working on can really help keep you motivated and get the work complete. Something upbeat is great for fast-moving tasks like clearing out emails and tidying up your desktop, whereas music without lyrics is best for tasks that require writing or extra focus.
8. Think Long Term & Settle In
Working from home might be the new normal. It might be time to think about making more solid improvements to your home-work environment to make it right for the longer term. Working in an unsuitable environment for any length of time is bad for your health, so be sure to invest soon in things like a proper office chair, suitable lighting, temperature control or height-adjustable desks. Maybe a coffee machine is needed to make you feel like you’re in a proper office!
Try decorating your office space in your style and add some pictures and ornaments. This is a great idea to give your eyes something else focus on when you look up from your screen, helping reduce eye strain.
If you don’t have space at home for a dedicated office, do you maybe have space in the garden? A garden office is a great way to add extra space at home and is the perfect environment to focus on your work. Our buildings are also fully-insulated for year-round-use, keeping you warm in winter and comfortable in summer. We also include heating as standard to keep you toasty in the coldest weather.
9. Remember, you’ve got this!
Remember, this is an unusual situation and things will not feel normal!
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you might not be as productive as you usually would be. Be realistic about what you can achieve given the circumstances, and relax when your work is done.
The most important top tips for working from home at the moment is to remember: we are all in this together. This unusual situation will not feel normal and will take a long time to get used to. Accept the things you cannot change and carry on as best you can. Productivity and motivation will fluctuate and that’s normal, especially during these uncertain times. Be realistic about what you can achieve and don’t put pressure on yourself to do more than you can. As we talked about above, setting boundaries and planning your day will mean you can relax more happily at the end of the day. Which leads us to…
10. Set a Finishing Time, and Stick to it!
When your workday stops, stop. There is no need to keep checking your emails into the evening or keep thinking about work. The top tips for working from home above should help you have a more productive, healthy and motivating day. Once the day is done, you can relax and focus on your home life instead. Try to catch a normal bedtime too if you can, ready to set you up again for another great day tomorrow.
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