Working from home can be a challenge, especially if you have children to look after. I’ve written my ‘Top tips for working from home’ including; temporary desk solutions, the best places to work in the home and suggestions on how to schedule the day. I hope you find it useful.
- Stick to a schedule. This is beneficial to both you and the children as it creates structure and routine throughout the day.
- Get dressed. As tempting as it is to stay in your pyjamas, it’s proven that you are far more productive if you are dressed and ready for the day.
- Try to build exercise into your day, it will keep you alert and able to concentrate. If you are unable to walk around the garden or down the road, pick from hundreds of online videos. If you have younger children, dancing to music will do the job.
- Keep the day as close to your usual routine, this includes breaks, lunch and finishing times.
- Prepare your lunch just as you would for school or work, either making it the night before or in the morning. This will avoid distractions and lengthy lunch breaks.
- Choose a designated area for working. If possible, make sure it has natural light and is free from bright and colourful distractions. Keep the television off.
- If it’s just you working and no children to look after, consider where you work from. Does it need to be quiet? Away from direct sunlight? Do you have lots of files and paperwork? If so, it might be better not to work in the living room as looking at work at the end of the day could make you feel stressed.
- Take regular breaks, the brain works best in 30-40mins sessions. Setting a timer will stop your clock watching.
- If you have children working with you, a daily worksheet is a good way to plan the day. I’ve included one below from this home learning website.
- Brainpop is another fantastic learning resource which supports core and supplemental subjects.
- Hiring a temporary desk for the time that you are working from home is also an option. City Furniture Hire has very good rates. Alternatively, charity shops and Gumtree have 2nd hand desks.
- Create clear guidelines of where everyone is working and respect each other’s space.
- If you have young children and a partner at home, play tag and do shifts with the children. Better to get small bits of quality work done than a whole day of interruptions.
- Try not to work longer than normal hours. If your workday would normally finish at 6pm, finish at that time.
- Lots of people working in the same room can get noisy – this might be a good time to invest in wireless noise-cancelling headphones.
- If you are switching from a desktop computer to a laptop, make sure it is raised up to avoid craning your neck. Office Direct sell a very reasonable platform for £6.
- Invest in a supportive chair or place a cushion behind your back.
Images credits: Feature cover image; Ascot Desk in Ash from Globe West; / Trestle Desk in Carbon; Graden Trading / Nidi Graphic Chidrens desk with orange legs; Go Modern Furniture / Fresco Desk in Natural Mango Wood, £299, Swoon