Business Bytes: How to stay focused when working from home
You get to work in your comfort zone, at your own pace whilst avoiding traffic, skipping the crowded trains and staying well clear of irritating colleagues. Yes working from home can be a dream, but only if it’s done correctly and this is how to do just that.
Create a space
Having a dedicated space is crucial, whether it’s a formal home office or just a dedicated corner of the bedroom where your laptop lives during the week.
However, as you still need to feel that you have, in some way, gone to work so make sure you stick to your space and don’t try to multitask other activities during work time.
Other than a reliable and speedy Wi-Fi connection, you’ll need strong collaboration tools that will let you hear, see and share effectively. Videoconferencing and content-sharing technologies could be the difference between a wasted day and a productive day.
When employees work from home, the biggest thing they miss out on is the conversation and commentary that occurs after meetings. Make sure to use your phone, instant messaging or audio or video calls to check in and get updates about what’s happening in the business.
To avoid being forgotten by not being “seen,” consistently communicate about progress, ideas, insights and what you’re thinking — but make sure it’s relevant.
Commit to work tasks
For some people, keeping focused on their job while working at home can be difficult, especially at first.
When you’ve started your work day, ignore the laundry, gardening, dish washing or any other non-work related business until the clock hits 5 o’clock or whatever time you’ve scheduled to finish up for the day.
It’s easy to stay glued to your desk or sofa all day if you work from home, and that’s not good for your health or your mental capabilities. Make sure you get up regularly, stretch your legs and walk around as this will also help you to be more productive when you sit back down.
Working from home doesn’t need to literally mean “from home” either. Getting face time with clients at a coffee shop, working in a Wi-Fi zone or changing scenery are ways to remain productive while moving around.
Don’t work 24/7
Drawing a line of when work begins and ends is crucial as well as ensuring you have regular breaks and a decent lunch hour. After work, keep your home office door closed as it’s all too easy to walk back in and check emails or continue working on a project.