Domestic bliss: Hot tips for homeworking

Posted in Latest News on 10 Mar 2020

Our 2020 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker found that 37% of legal professionals currently receive homeworking within their benefits packages. Homeworking was also listed as the second most desired benefit by those who did not currently receive it as a perk. 

With the spread of COVID-19 or Coronavirus affecting more people in the UK each day companies may look to homeworking as a practical solution as a way of safeguarding their staff from the risk of infection. Either way with homeworking on the increase, we created a handy guide to help homeworkers excel.

  • Separate the home and office

Designate an area solely for your work-space to help you achieve a sense of distinction between your home and work life.

In order to shut out distractions, it’s wise to choose a separate room, however, that is not always possible. In the eventuality that a distinct space is not available, pick somewhere where you have room to work, that has access to plenty of natural light and is within a neutral, relaxed environment. Due to sleep hygiene, it is also preferable keep your home office away from the bedroom.

  • Limit distractions

Distractions are everywhere – from the TV to the pile of dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Try and switch off from anything that might provide distraction, quite literally sometimes. If you use a business phone, turn off your personal one or leave it in another room. Log out of social media or use browser software which blocks certain sites. Ensure your space is clean and complete any housework the evening before. 

Anything can be a distraction: from a picture on the wall to the view outside the window. Limiting the level of disruption as well as knowing how to snap out of procrastination cycles is more achievable than trying to y blot out distraction completely.

  • Plan for the day

One way to maintain focus is to create a daily plan. Each day you should define your start and finish times as well as make a list of all the tasks you are aiming to complete. Create a log of all of your goals and the duration of every assignment to help you keep on track. For those who work from home due to extra commitments such as child care provision in completion of the school run, factor these responsibilities into your working day and build your schedule around what is convenient for you.

Routine is key – if possible, stick to regular mealtimes. Schedule breaks for downtime and even use your freedom to leave the house either for a day working remotely in co-working spaces or for short breaks to get some fresh air. Home working enables greater flexibility, so use your time creatively and in ways that make you productive!

  • Ease yourself in

Whilst not having to commute is a massive advantage, when it comes to homeworking the morning period of adjustment is often necessary when developing a mind-set ready for work. Set your alarm as normal and wake up ahead of your start-time, continue your morning routine as normal, and eat breakfast to stop yourself from snacking throughout the day. Whilst it may be tempting to stay in pyjamas or comfortable clothes make sure to change into something that is fresh yet smart in order to fully mentally prepare and enter work mode.

This may not be applicable for those with routines developed around care-giving responsibilities, a popular reason why many choose to work from home. However, taking the time to adjust will still work wonders and enabling you to feel more relaxed and prepared to take on the day.

  • Stay connected

Social isolation can be a big disadvantage when it comes to homeworking. Psychologically speaking, it is often the energy of our colleagues within the office environment that spurs us on when we experience dips in motivation. Physically however, being in the presence of our co-workers means we have greater access to tap into their knowledge and skill sets. We may subliminally learn things such as correct telephone mannerisms and procedures from our colleagues as well as get physical training and support. 

This does not necessarily disappear when you begin to work from home – the network still exists but the connection becomes severed. Technology is one way to bridge the gaps in communication. Make sure you are easily contactable via online video chat, email and messaging platforms provided by your employer and make a conscious effort to stay plugged into any conversations that are taking place (so long as they are relevant to your own work).

To avoid the feeling of loneliness if you live close to local amenities why not pop to the shops or grab a coffee on short break, it may seem silly, but this can ensure you do not become disconnected from society.

  • Invest in homeworking items

Having the right tools in place can make working from home not only a comfortable experience but also a professional operation. A good internet connection is essential, as is having the necessary technology in place to do your job – whether this be a speedy computer/ laptop, remote access to systems and databases, and cloud storage.

Many people report that having a physical desk helps focus their attention on work matters. Moreover, to prevent back pain, you can invest in an ergonomic chair or specialist supports. In the meantime though, changing your sitting (or standing) position is also beneficial, and, you could even work in a few yoga exercises or stretches into your routine – without alerting the curiosity of your colleagues!

To view the latest leading positions in Legal, Compliance, and Finance click here. For more helpful career insights, visit our blog or contact our team of experts.

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