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How to make working from home work for you

Thinking of running a business from home? Our essential tips tell you how to make working from home, work for you.

With the COVID-19 crisis developing and many people facing lockdowns, working from home has suddenly become a hot topic. But staying focused and motivated can be very difficult – especially when you aren’t prepared for this new way of working.

So, here are some handy tips on making working from home work for you…

Change it up

Working from home doesn’t mean you can only work from home. Think of ‘home’ as an umbrella term for ‘anywhere but work’. It’s important for your overall wellbeing that you get a change of scenery from time to time. Working from home makes it all too easy to stay within those same four walls for days on end, rarely (if ever) venturing beyond the front door. So make sure that sunlight remains your friend and get out whenever you can. If you have a favourite café, for instance, pack your laptop and park up at a table for as long as they’ll let you – if you’re paying for back-to-back cups of coffee they won’t be quick to kick you out.

Take regular breaks

Working from home gives you the freedom to work in a way that suits you, so if you find your attention waning then go ahead and take a break. But the most important thing to remember here is to get back to work after those breaks and avoid the temptation of ‘just five more minutes’. It’s far too easy to procrastinate when you’re surrounded by things like the TV, the fridge, or even the ironing if you’re desperately dodging work, so be disciplined if you want to make working from home a success.

Have a clear cut off point

We’re all used to set working hours, and that should be no different when you work from home. When your home is also your office, it’s easy to just carry on working into the night, but this isn’t healthy or productive. So stipulate a start and end time, with some flexibility either way. When you’ve finished your tasks for the day, shut your computer down and get away from it all.

Establish a routine

To help productivity, it’s a good idea to set a routine in the same sort of way you would if you were heading out to work every day. Set your alarm (and resist the snooze button), get up, have breakfast, and get ready for the day ahead. Have a lunch break and use it, if you can, to get some fresh air.

Remember that you’re still at work

The key word in the phrase ‘working from home’ is ‘working’: just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you can make social arrangements or have long, leisurely lunches with friends. It takes a bit of willpower to create boundaries between your work and social life when you run your business from your home, but it really is the key to making it a success. Be firm and explain to your friends and family that you’re still ‘at work’ even though you’re at home.

For more helpful tips, advice and insider knowledge on expanding your business, check out the Growing your business section of the Biz Hub.

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