Thanks to internet access and businesses beginning to appreciate the advantages of flexibility, more and more people are using their own home as their workplace. The most recent Office for National Statistics figures are from 2015 and show that nearly one in seven (13.7%) Brits now work from home.
Those confined to a remote office or other specific workplace tend to think of working from home as a bit of a doddle. They imagine employees rolling out of bed 10 minutes before their shift begins, working in their pyjamas, taking constant coffee breaks and maybe cramming in a bit of PlayStation time in between their work tasks.
It is true that one of the main perks of working from home is the increased flexibility that comes with it, but home-based workers need to adopt a disciplined approach to ensure they do a little more with their day than sit in front of Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women and countless adverts for short-term loans. Whether it’s your main job, studies or freelance work, here are three major distractions you’ll need to block out if you’re to work from home effectively.
Your biggest deterrent to getting work done comes right at the start of the day. Since you don’t have to make the drive to work, or make the train or bus, it’s very tempting to just keep hitting that snooze button until literally the last minute.
As we’ve mentioned previously, this is starting your day with procrastination, and doesn’t bode well for the day ahead. Get up when your alarm goes off, have a shower and enjoy a good breakfast, and you’ll feel a lot fresher and less sluggish when you start work.
Get dressed properly too. I’m not suggesting you need to put on a business suit to work from home, but if you at least wear something you’d be happy to leave the house in, you’ll be giving yourself a bit more confidence and self-worth than if you’re sat in front of your desk half dressed.
2. The internet
If you work from home, you’ll almost certainly be using the internet to some extent. The problem is that the web is ridiculously distracting, with all those videos on YouTube, constant goings-on on social media and information about anything known to man at our fingertips.
Separate computers for business and leisure are not a luxury everyone can afford, but one idea is to use a separate browser just for work. Most offices tend to favour Firefox or Chrome, so perhaps use one of them for work and keep general online messing about to a minimum. Browsers like Safari and Opera are arguably better suited to recreational browsing.
3. Other people
Sadly, the people you share your home with, or those that regularly visit, can be a diversion as well. This is especially because they don’t always understand that although you’re at home, you’re also at work.
You may need to be a bit firm to get the point across, but make sure you clearly explain to everyone what times you’re at work. You’ll probably still get day-to-day noise where you live, like neighbours, traffic, bin lorries or noisy pets, so consider wearing headphones to either block out sound or listen to something more preferable.
With a disciplined approach, working from home can offer you all kinds of flexibility without affecting your productivity.