As the new year kicks into gear, now is a good time to make a few resolutions to get the most out of working from home in 2017…
The Christmas decorations have been put away for another year, and the last selection box has been polished off. Your thoughts might be turning to how you can improve your work-life balance.
If you’re one of the growing number of people choosing to work from home, how can you make it work for you in 2017?
1. I will only work set hours
When your office is just a stroll across the hallway, it can be tempting to get up late and work at odd times of the day (providing you have a job that’s flexible).
While it’s great if you can nip to the shops when you feel like it, it’s good to have some structure to your day. Treat homeworking like an office job, with set hours for when your workday starts and finishes. Colleagues will also know when you’re available if they need to contact you.
Keep track of your hours so you’re not doing more than you’re being paid for, and don’t let work interfere with your personal time (or vice versa).
2. I will create a stimulating workspace
Make sure you’ve got a dedicated space set aside only for work so it feels like you’re going to a real office and not just sat in bed in your PJs with your laptop on.
Decorate your workspace with colourful artwork or furniture, depending on what helps you stay calm or feel more inspired. See it as your own private sanctuary away from the distractions of modern life.
While you want to feel comfortable, it’s important to stretch your legs regularly and get out of the house for a breath of fresh air, even if it’s just a walk round the garden. Set a timer or use an app to remind you to get up and stretch once every hour.
3. I will resist the urge to watch daytime telly
Distractions are an issue for every homeworker. Watching Bargain Hunt at lunchtime can soon spill over into the rest of your day and, before you know it, you’ve watched a couple of old movies and an episode of Pointless.
Other distractions include your partner, the kids, housework, online shopping and your mum phoning to say she had a lovely time at the bingo last night.
Try not to get side-tracked by non-work-related issues – it’s not very professional.
4. I will put my admin in order
Up to your neck in spreadsheets? January is a good time to review your organisational systems and get up to date with your paperwork.
You could even go paperless if you haven’t done so already. Mobile apps and software can help you become much more efficient and get rid of the clutter. You can monitor everything from your finances to the time it takes to complete a project.
And with the tax deadline looming, make sure your accounts are in good order…
Posted by The Secret Businessman