7 Ways to Make Working from Home Easier
Computers revolutionised the world, but home computers are now revolutionising the way people earn money. Even prior to lockdown 4.2m people were doing some sort of work from home in the UK – during lockdown that figure rose to include 65% of the entire workforce.
When the Covid dust settles, the working landscape will be unrecognisable from that of 2019 – especially with two-thirds of employers reporting increased productivity from homeworkers. Yes, homeworking is here to stay.
Of course, working from home does not suit everyone – in fact some people actively dislike the isolation and lack of social contact, not to mention the distraction of family, daytime TV and the kitchen fridge.
But the work that people do at home varies greatly – and not everyone is working for a company. All manner of sole traders and desktop entrepreneurs are coming to terms with their own changed working situation. From eBay power sellers, to freelance marketeers, from Instagram influencers to Forex traders.
What is constant for all homeworkers is they need to feel comfortable, assured, professional and motivated in their home environment – and for that to happen there are some useful rules to follow…
Give Yourself Structure
By giving structure to your day and planning your work in advance you will soon become an organised and productive homeworker. Plan your meals, set yourself targets and don’t forget to take well-earned breaks. Most importantly, have a start time and an end time. Clocking on and clocking off should become part of your working life at home as much as they would do in the office.
It’s important to get your head down and work – but it’s sometimes also important to get your head up and look around you. A quick trip to the shop for a sandwich works wonders for productivity – and don’t forget it is food that is the fuel that keeps you focussed and sustained through the working day, not coffee. If your food is in the downstairs fridge, well, hook up with a fellow working-from-home buddy and get out and visit the local attractions or, if it’s cold, a local coffee shop.
Earn Your Breaks
That hour off is vitally important. Don’t get caught up overworking or overextending yourself trying to impress the boss. Your time off recharging equals to improved productivity in the long run – as any smart boss will understand. So get on the Peloton, lay on the bed and read, get the laptop out and dive into the Mega Moolah bonus offers and maybe you’ll even get lucky. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as your brain switches off work mode for and hour or so.
Looking After the £££
The biggest peace of mind an online entrepreneur can have comes from a good and friendly accountant – if keeping your own books isn’t your thing, of course. As soon as – or even before – the cash starts rolling in, find an accountant that works for you, that understands your business and your needs – and who is flexible and understanding with your (lack of?) financial know-how. The days of sniffy accountants offering little more than a financial cut and paste are gone – your accountant should be your business partner.
At home you are surrounded by a multitude of distractions, such as the TV, fridge and games console. Remember, your home is your office – so just like you wouldn’t put your feet up to watch Countdown at work, don’t do it home. Building up and not retreating from an organised work routine is key as eventually working from home will be second nature.
Make Sure the Tech is Savvy
We’re all slaves to the internet (well, most of us) – and if keyboards and screens are the centre of your homeworking environment you’ve got to make sure they’re functioning well. Usually, it’s all about the set-up. A lot of homeworking spaces are upstairs utilising the spare room, for example – and this can stretch your modem’s functionality. Make sure your signal is strong – if it isn’t there are ways to improve it, even if it means moving it away from electrical items and keeping it in a cool place.
Don’t Forsake the Water Cooler
Informal chats with work colleagues – or ‘water cooler conversations’ as they are sometimes called – are actually important for social bonding and striking up relationships with fellow workers. With homeworking, the literal water cooler chat is over – but a virtual one, where you talk not necessarily about work-related matters but about ‘other stuff’ with your colleagues is still good for morale and your state of mind. Remember all work and no play is good for nobody.
Remember these tips if homeworking has come your way and you’re not sure if you have what it takes – because if you follow them your dream home might just also house your dream job.