In the UK, millions of people work from home regularly, but since March this has become the norm for even more of the country’s workforce. If your job can be done from the safety of your home, you may be one of the people dusting off that desk in the spare room which you store freshly ironed shirts on and sitting at it with your laptop.
We all work differently, some like silence, some like music – but one thing that can be agreed on is this: working from home is very different from typical office life. Here, we take a look at how you can stay motivated and focused while working from home.
Have a designated workspace
While the sofa may seem like the comfiest option, there are droves of distractions: TV, games consoles, film streaming services and more. While you can have some of these on in the background, they can cause hours of procrastination without you even realising it. Instead, have a proper desk in a room free of distractions, set up a mini-office (while you may already have a home office set-up, you and your partner or housemate might be working from home so need more than one desk).
If you are finding yourself without room for a home office, you can look at moving some of your unused furniture into a storage unit. For example, if you have a spare bedroom, you may not have people round for a while so can store some of the furniture from that room to make way for your new desk.
Storage unit providers, such as Cubic Storage, offer short and long-term solutions to storage. This means you can safely pack away furniture for as long as you need to while working from home to make room for your new workstation.
Get into a routine
When you need to go into the office every day, you create a routine because other factors come into play in ensuring you get there on time – you likely need to consider traffic, weather, do you eat breakfast at home or in the office etc.
However, you don’t need to think about any of those issues while working from home and so you may be tempted to roll out of bed and sit straight at your desk. Instead, you should stick to a similar routine as much as possible. Get up at the usual time, get dressed and ready, eat breakfast away from your desk, take a moment outside. Not only will this help you get prepared before starting work, but can help you adjust better to when you eventually return to working in the office.
This one may seem obvious, but how you dress matters for a few reasons:
- It ensures you’re camera ready
Don’t assume all meetings will be done over the phone or voice calls only. If you’re sat in a virtual meeting and everyone has their cameras on, it doesn’t give a good impression. People may think you’re uninterested or not actually at your desk. Be ready for a meeting with anyone and dress for a day at work.
- It can help with productivity
If you dress how you would when in the office it can help you feel more productive as you’re ready and dressed for a working day. If you want to still be comfortable, you can opt for the ‘WFH mullet’: A top you would normally wear for work paired with some comfy bottoms (such as joggers or leggings) and you can even wear some comfy slippers.
Now while you don’t need to wear a three-piece suit and have an office set-up with four screens, you should take time to ensure your set-up and routine is perfect for you.
If you want to get up nice and early, do your daily exercise routine, put on a shirt and then sit at your desk with a coffee – great. But if you want to wear comfies with no make-up and slippers, also okay – it’s about finding the way that works for you and allows you to be as productive as possible, while also maintaining some professionalism.