Even before the pandemic, more companies were offering flexible working options. Now it’s a reality for most of us. Katie Mellor of KM Virtual Office offers some advice…
These exceptional circumstances may have forced us to work from home, but I believe it’s a positive way to work. And I have some advice on how to make sure you’re mastering it productively.
There are lots of benefits to working remotely. You don’t have a commute and if you’re setting your own routine then you have total flexibility away from the rigidity of a strict 9-5.
Working remotely opens up opportunities in terms of not being limited by your location. From hugely reduced stress levels, to feeling more comfortable in your environment and noticing increased productivity, if you’re happy in your work space then you’re going to be happier in your job – and better at it.
Your Work Space
There are some key tools you will need in order to successfully work remotely.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a designated place to work where your brain can officially switch into ‘work’ mode and out of ‘home’ mode. In an ideal world, you’d have your own office, but if that isn’t possible, set a space in your home which is quiet and organised.
Try and ensure you have somewhere to file paperwork, collate all ‘work’ related items and keep anything related to your job in once place. It’s important to keep your ‘work’ time and activities within this area, and not spread throughout your house, as you need to ensure there’s a cut off between your home life and your work life.
Boundaries and Distractions
It all sounds pretty freeing, but it does take some micro management to keep a solid line between your work life and your home life.
There is a lot to be said for ‘leaving work’ at the end of the day, and if you’re working from your own home, it’s important to strike a balance. It will take some self-control to make sure you clock off when you should, and certainly if you have your computer nearby, the temptation to go and check emails or tackle outstanding tasks will be easy to give in to sometimes – you need to be disciplined and ensure you ‘leave’.
It’s super important to know what your distractions are too. If dirty dishes are going to bug you, make sure they’re done the night before.
Setting a routine is actually more important than ever when you’re working remotely or working for yourself, as without a proper structure, you can end up procrastinating, wasting time or feeling overwhelmed.
We recommend setting out planned hours for your day and utilising apps or lists that can help with organisation.
The joy of remote working is that you can set your own routine, but it can be easy to go the other way and get caught up in tasks without stopping.
We suggest always getting up for some fresh air at regular intervals and taking a short break for lunch to clear your mind.