If recent circumstances have found you in that category, but you’re feeling unproductive (maybe you’re getting distracted by the washing machine, or feel uncomfortable at your kitchen table), people on Twitter have been sharing their best advice for getting work done at home.
So whether you’re a graphic designer or a consultant, a solicitor or an IT buff, here’s the best advice from people of the internet for successfully working from home.
‘Set a number of hours you need to work a day’
“Set & stick to work hours. You can split hours morning/night with afternoon ‘off’ or time-shift, but still have set hours or you’ll constantly get derailed. It’s easy to get distracted by flexibility to take a social call, duck out for an errand, or procrastinate with chores.”
‘Wear proper clothes as if you were going into an office’
“The best tip I can offer is get up and get dress as if you were going to follow your regular schedule (maybe a bit more comfy if need be). It’s too easy to lounge around if you don’t! You don’t have to dress formally, but get out of your pyjamas. It makes a huge difference in your mental state.”
‘Try and get some exercise – even a walk around the block in the morning’
“Leave the house in the morning to go to work, walk round the block and then come back into your house and settle down to work. Helps make the mental transition.”
“Go for a half mile walk before you sit down to start, and if possible, come in by the backdoor. That way it feels like you’re going to work, not your house (pattern behaviour is a trick I used to use when I freelanced).”
‘Make people aware that working from home is still work’
“Make sure your friends/family/roommates understand that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can talk or hang out during work hours. Talk to them BEFORE this becomes an issue.”
‘Separate your ‘work’ environment from your ‘home’ environment’
“Set work hours and have a distinct work space. When you’re done working for the day, leave the space, and leave your computer there. Do not check email on your phone after hours, or if you do, do not respond until the morning unless it’s urgent.
‘Schedule regular breaks’
At work you would go to the kitchen or have a chat in the bathroom queue – make sure you’re getting those screen time breaks at home, too. “Use your phone to time your breaks. Give yourself no longer than seven minutes, and you should use breaks to stand up and breathe and stretch, ideally not to check social media.”
‘Keep in close touch with your coworkers’
“Work your normal hours. Interact with your coworkers. Get a headset for your phone so you can talk without holding the phone to your ear. Use online meeting tools to conference, share screens, etc. Use instant messaging for quick conversations but don’t be afraid of the phone.”
Consider working from home, covered.
This post first appeared in Cosmopolitan.UK