How to successfully work from home

Working from home can seem like a dream come true. No boss to keep tabs on you throughout the day, no need to get dressed and free food just meters away. Great, right?

How to successfully work from homeWrong! When working from home you need to be just as disciplined and work equally as hard as you would when you’re in the office.

Read through our top five pointers to help you to be just as productive out of work as you are sat at your desk.

Get dressed

When working from home, the temptation can be to spend all day in your pyjamas. After all, why put on your work clothes when you don’t need to? Whilst it’s perfectly understandable to want to be comfortable, spending the day in the clothes you slept in is unlikely to make you feel productive.

There’s no need to dress as if you’re going to work, professional clothing is only necessary if you’re going to be making Skype or video calls, but at the very least it’s important to get changed. By putting on clean clothes, you’ll not only feel refreshed but you’ll be put yourself into the mindset of being in a working environment, automatically upping your focus and increasing your productivity.

Set yourself up a clean and tidy working environment

You may not have a desk of your own at home, but it’s important to set yourself a designated working environment. A seat at a dining room or kitchen table or a space on the sofa for you, your computer and everything you need to complete your work is all you need to feel focused and keep your mind in work mode.

Turn off all distractions

We’re sorry to say, but normal computer rules don’t apply when you’re working. Everyone loves a good YouTube video, and Netflix can be hard to resist, but if it’s going to distract you from your work, it needs to go.

If you find yourself unable to resist the allure of the latest episode of Orange is the New Black, try using a programme such as Get Cold Turkey to block access to the site for a certain period of time. You can also download apps onto your smartphone to block sites such as Facebook and Twitter to limit how much time you spend on social media.

Make sure you’re still contactable

One of the problems with working from home is that you don’t have the same access to your colleagues as you do in office. It’s not as easy to ask your neighbour a question when you’re in two different places.

This is why being contactable throughout the day is important. Keep your phone next to you at all times and make sure everyone you’ll be communicating with knows that you’ll be working from home that day. You don’t want to miss out on something just because you’re working from a different location to everyone else.

Be prepared

Sometimes a day spent working from home ends up being unplanned. Maybe it’s a tube strike, a sick child or an emergency plumber you need to wait in for, there are simply occasions when working from home happens out of the blue.

If this is the case, or if you regularly swap your desk for your dining table, be sure that you have access to all the correct programmes and files. Some offices can provide you with work specific laptops to take home, while others may be willing to load all necessary documents onto your personal computer.

If you know you will need certain documents, save them to a platform such as One Drive or Google Drive so you can access them from any computer. Whatever your company offers, try to have your at home technology as well prepared as possible so you can complete your tasks and work to your full capacity when at home.

The allure of working from home is tempting, and being able to work out of office has masses of benefits. As long as you’re ready and prepared to work just as hard, you’re sure to produce your best work no matter where you are.

About the author

Jess Howard writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs, including digital jobs.

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