The 5 rules to working from home

  Tay      Apr 14 2020     Career Advice, Expert Articles, Remote Toolkit

Struggling to get into the flow of working remotely? This will help.

How do you ask for flexible working?

Not having to schlep into the office every day may have sounded like an absolute dream a few weeks ago, but if you’re not used to working from home every day, chances are you are feeling the pitfalls by now. Add to that the fact you’re likely to be stuck indoors most of the day even when you’re not working, then it can be a real struggle to get motivated, concentrate and generally perform to the best of your ability.

If you’re not into the swing of things yet, get into good habits by starting with these five simple rules…

Do your own health assessment

If you're reading this from your bed, or cross-legged on the sofa with your computer perched on your lap, stop! It's not good for you. Use a desk or table where you can spread out any papers or materials you need but keep it otherwise clutter-free, and find a comfortable, good-levelled chair to sit on. Drink plenty of fluids, get up and move regularly and access as much direct light and fresh air as possible in your surroundings. If you haven’t got an outside area, choose a work space next to a window if you can.

Find your new routine

Your old one is out, so you need to adapt. And that doesn’t mean setting your alarm for 8.59am ready to log on at 9.00am. Get ready for work - it helps to get dressed, even if you have no intention of stepping a foot out the house - and take advantage of the extra time you have from not commuting by having a decent breakfast, doing some exercise or meditating. Make sure you keep up any aspects of your old office routine that keeps you organised, like your daily To Do list.

Take breaks

Obviously working from home means completing a full day’s work and meeting your expectations, but don’t underestimate how much occasionally downing your tools helps to facilitate that. Decide what your break times will be and save any treats for then - it’ll give you something to work towards and stop you raiding the fridge every seven minutes. If you’re used to taking a lunch hour at work, keep it up and let everyone know you’ll be away from your desk during that time. Then move away from your workstation and do something non-work related, like read a book, have a dance or go for a walk. 

Stay in touch

Never has there been more ways to reach out to each other and ask questions, or ask for help or simply just interact. Use the communication technology available to you to continue to do this internally as well as externally (see the best communication tools for working from home). This includes letting your colleagues know when you are going offline and what time you will be back at your desk. It will help them manage their own time if they need your help, as they can’t just glance across the office anymore to see if you’re available.

Keep your focus

In normal circumstances, when working from home you’ll ideally be in a quiet, separate space without the distractions of partners, housemates or children. Of course, this isn’t normal circumstances and that might not be possible, so do your best with what you’ve got. Come up with a schedule with other adults about who is working from where and when, and what times you’ll need quiet for calls etc. Give children a timetable that coincides with yours so if possible, they’re occupied while you’re working. And don’t give in to the temptation of having the TV on in the background - it will hinder your concentration and productivity. 


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Tay Associates was established nearly 20 years ago with the mission of being the best recruiter of PA and business support staff in London, and we’ve achieved this by being consistent in our values, attitude and work ethic, but evolving with the market and our clients to stay on top of our game.

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