Working from home tips
Are you struggling to adjust to working from home? Whether it’s your productivity or the aches and pains you can suffer if your home office isn’t set up just right, working remotely brings challenges. Find out how to avoid these with our working from home tips and guidance.
Are there problems with working from home?
Home working can have a number of benefits and for some people it’s a preferred way of working. Whether it’s cutting down your commute or having more peace and quiet to work on solo projects, you may find working from home suits you well. However, to have the best experience, your workspace must match your needs.
There are several differences between the office and your home office, and adjusting to remote work can mean dealing with challenges. These can be things like your posture, mindset, and the difficulty of separating work and home life – particularly if you don’t have a dedicated office space. There are practical considerations too, such as choosing the right equipment and lighting. For advice on these areas, read our free guides:
Common challenges when working from home:
Is homeworking here to stay?
It can be tempting to make do with an imperfect workspace at home, if it’s only temporary. However, it’s important your space is suitable – whether you’re using it for a year, a month, a week, or even just the occasional day.
Working from home tips
To help revitalise your home workspace and set you up for success, we’ve gathered our top tips for working remotely.
1. Combat inactivity
One key difference between office and home working is the amount of incidental activity you’ll do throughout the day, with remote work typically being more stationary. Activities like walking around the office, going to make yourself a tea or coffee, and going out to your car aren’t as frequent, so you might find yourself inactive for longer periods.
There are a number of issues associated with sitting still all day. Some of the biggest risks are:
Studies have linked being inactive with a number of conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. On top of this, inactivity costs the UK £7.4 billion annually. So, reducing the time we spend sitting down each day should be a top priority. We can do this in a number of ways:
Targets and trackers
Take regular breaks
You might not feel like you need a break but being strict about the taking them will help you in the long run. Try setting alarms to remind you and blocking off short sections in your work calendar.
Use equipment that keeps you mobile
There are lots of brilliantly designed chairs and desks specifically created to keep you active throughout the workday. For instance, a sit-stand desk gives you the option to switch between sitting and standing regularly, and a stand-up chair encourages good posture and movement.
2. Set up your workspace carefully
A properly thought-out, practical workspace will help you achieve your work goals from the comfort of your home. Think carefully about the equipment you’ll need, how it’ll fit into the space, and how you’ll use it day to day.
There are many types of ergonomic chairs to choose from – from the more standard models to specialist types with their own benefits. For instance, kneeling chairs can be particularly good for preventing back pain.
3. De-clutter your space
A cluttered workspace is far from ideal. Not only can clutter make it more difficult to work effectively, but it can also affect your wellbeing. There are a few helpful ways to approach clutter:
Split your workspace into zones
When assessing your workspace, evaluate what you use frequently and what’s most important to you. Place the most important equipment so that it’s easy to reach.
Get storage solutions
To keep your desk clear and usable, use lots of practical storage in your home office. There are many options to choose from:
4. Limit distractions
Distractions can be a barrier to your productivity when working from home. From family and housemates to barking dogs and noise outside, there are lots of day-to-day disturbances that can take you out of the zone and impact your work.
You can also tweak your home office to limit intrusion from the outside world. Slanted blinds are a great option if you’re near a busy street. If your workspace is part of a multipurpose room, like a kitchen or living room, set up a screen divider to reduce visual distractions.