As more and more of us are able to do our jobs with little more than a screen, WiFi access and a healthy supply of coffee, the need for an office or fixed place of work is diminishing.
For many of us, our office is anywhere there’s WiFi. This, of course, comes with its benefits: no commute, no dress code, greater flexibility. But it’s not without its setbacks: endless distractions, no co-worker camaraderie, the constant lure of the lie in.
To work from home effectively, you’ll need a good amount of preparation and even more self-discipline. Here are a few tips on how to increase productivity, and make working from home work for you.
Set allocated workspaces
Have a space where you can be in ‘work mode’. It’s easy to grab your laptop and set yourself up in the kitchen, but before long you’ll look up at the dirty dishes and get sucked into household chores when you should be working. Give your workspace some thought, and treat it as your office.
Create a schedule
And stick to it. If you build a schedule and prioritise tasks just as you would in an office environment, you’ll keep yourself organised and focused – and you’ll probably get things done quicker without the distraction of workmates. Be sure to make time for trips outside too. Even if it’s just a short stroll around the block, you’ll feel all the better for it.
Don’t mix work and social
Be strict with yourself on this one. With no managers or supervisors looking over your shoulder, it might be tempting to keep Facebook and Twitter open on your browser. But this will only distract you and decrease your productivity. On a similar note, if a friend suggests popping in for a cup of tea during the day, be disciplined enough to say no if it’s during your work time.
Take regular breaks
10-15 minutes per hour should do it. Take a walk, have a flick through the newspaper, read a blog – whatever it is, a break will aid your work and give your mind time to stop and reflect on what you’re working on. Productivity rarely comes as result of working non-stop throughout the day.
Remember the paperwork
If you’re freelance or self-employed, you’ll need to file your own taxes. Don’t let the tax payment become a nasty shock at the end of the tax year. Work out how much of your monthly earnings you need to set aside for tax, and consider keeping it in a separate, high-interest savings account ready for your annual HMRC payment.
Working from home with Essential Living
Working from home at Union Wharf, Vantage Point , Berkshire House or Dressage Court is easy. We include superfast WiFi in your monthly rent, so you can get connected without any hassle. What’s more, all our buildings include a variety of work spaces and meeting rooms. So if you’re looking for somewhere to focus, somewhere comfy, or somewhere you can host a group, there’s a space for you. All without having to leave the building!