Working from home certainly has its benefits. Flexible working hours are a major attraction for many, providing the opportunity to spend more time with family and loved ones. Whether you’re already working from home, or you’re considering swapping the daily commute for the comfort of your own settee, check out this latest post from Mr Lender to find out the benefits of working from home, as well as how you can succeed from your sofa.
Working from home
If you’re currently working in an office, but you want to begin working from home, there are a number of characteristics which will make the transition far easier. To begin with, those working from home cannot be lazy, easily distracted or unorganised. It will also help if you’re not someone who requires constant human interaction in order to work to the best of your abilities. Being organised is key to making money from home as it will help with productivity and will ensure the job gets done. Being able to work alone is also vitally important as working from home can be a lonely task. Take a look at the following tips and tricks to make working from home far simpler:
Not having set working hours can be both a blessing and a curse in equal measures. While it may mean you get to pick and choose when you start and finish work, it can mean that you end up working later into the evening than you would if you worked in an office. When working from home, it’s important that you set your work hours and stick to them. Don’t feel tempted to take a break from your laptop and put a load of washing on, or head to the gym for an hour. By sticking to your working hours you’re likely to be far more productive and the line between work life and home life will be far more defined.
Regardless of the size of your house, it’s important to give yourself a designated ‘office’ space when working from home. It could be as simple as a desk in the corner of your living room, or as grand as converting the spare room – either way, an office space is vital. Having somewhere to work will not only make it easier to focus on the task at hand, but will also make it easier for you to relax into the evening. If you sit and work from your sofa for eight hours straight, you may find it tricky to sit on the same sofa of an evening and relax.
Once you have your working area set, you need to make it inviting. Add photographs and colourful stationary to make your space an exciting and creative place to work. Having a homely working space will encourage you to sit comfortably in that area for hours on end, meaning you’re then less likely to wander off and procrastinate.
Dress for the occasion
While one of the perks of working from home is being able to wear as many or as few clothes as you like, you’re likely to be more productive if you get up early, washed and dressed smartly – just as you would if you were to go into an office.
According to Dr. Karen Pine, fashion psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, dressing casually could lead to an employee feeling less alert and focused. She says “When we put on an item of clothing it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear’, so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.” Dressing smartly will then mean you are more likely to be productive and get work done.
While it’s important to remain alert and focused on the task at hand when working from home, it’s also important for you to continue taking regular breaks. If you’ve been working at your kitchen table all morning, consider going to the living room for a spot of lunch and an hour of downtime. Maybe even pop out to your local cafe or coffee shop and grab something to eat in there. No matter what you choose to do, make sure you put aside an adequate amount of time for you to have a break.
Website, Health.com, claims frequent breaks at work lead to higher job satisfaction and reduced emotional exhaustion. They also state employees are more likely to go above and beyond their job description when they take regular breaks. Frequent breaks also mean employees have more stamina and fewer aches and pains when they return to work.
While working from home can be a lonely place, it does often lead to increased productivity as fewer colleagues mean fewer distractions. However it’s still important that you talk to people and remain social to avoid going stir-crazy. Make arrangements to meet up with family and friends on a regular basis, or even arrange to meet customers and clients face to face. You may even want to attend social events where you can interact with people who work a similar occupation to you – not only will this be a welcome change and will allow you to get out of the house for a bit, but it’s a great way of networking and meeting potential future clients.
The benefits of working from home
According to an article on Forbes.com, Microsoft published a whitepaper called ‘Work Without Walls’ which stated the top 10 benefits of working from home from the viewpoint of the employee were:
- Work/home balance (60%)
- Save fuel (55%)
- Avoid traffic (47%)
- More productive (45%
- Less distractions (44%)
- Eliminate long commute (44%)
- Quieter atmosphere (43%)
- Less stressful environment (38%)
- More time with family (29%)
- Environmentally friendly (23%)
Plenty of managers and employers choose to not let their employees work from home as they’re unable to monitor productivity effectively. However, so long as you’re able to prove to them that you’re committed and that you’re capable of completing the job at hand, you should be more than fine.