New to working from home? Here’s some helpful tips.

Whilst some Australians have been working from home for some time now, for many it’s a new spin on the working week. Some will love the freedom; others will struggle with the discipline. Here are our top eight tips to make the paradigm shift easier.

1. Find a designated workspace – consistency is key to being productive and staying focussed. It’s important to have a ‘work zone’ that is clear to you and anybody else in the home that this space means business.
2. Keep a routine – just like you have a daily set of rituals you go through at your regular place of work, the same should apply when working from home. Get up at the same time every morning, exercise as normal (if that’s your thing), shower, get dressed (don’t work in your pyjamas), have breaky, grab a coffee, etc. Keep it consistent. This will do wonders for your psyche and help your motivation. In a couple of weeks, you’ll be ‘in the zone’ of your new routine.
3. Set goals and tick off your tasks – if you are working as part of a team, stay connected and consider a daily team catch-up where you can reconnect and keep on top of what you are working on. It’s also good to keep your boss in the loop with regular progress and reporting so that he/she can see that you are still being productive.
4. Have the right tech – this is a no-brainer, but if you don’t have your ‘work computer’ or can’t perform your regular tasks by working on an iPad or tablet your productivity will suffer. If you have to take home your computer or screens, so be it. Likewise, consider how you can stay connected to your usual contacts (i.e. office team) in a way that allows you to communicate quickly rather than via email or phone. There are some good messaging options for desktops such as Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp (yes, WhatsApp has desktop version for Mac and PC) – find one you can all agree on and keep it on throughout your working day. You can save a lot of time using quick text messaging and file transfer this way, and it can help you from feeling isolated.
5. Schedule your day – block out some time for lunch or a walk around the block for some fresh air. Walk the dog or go for a run. But again, keep it within the ‘working day’ schedule. A break here or there however will help you sustain your working day. Don’t let things like hanging up the washing, vacuuming, doing the dishes, or other domestic duties distract you, save that stuff for when the working day is done.
6. Set some boundaries – let family and friends know that your workday is just that. Make it understood that during your dedicated work hours (whatever you decide to set these at), you will not be available to stop work or be interrupted (unless the house is on fire).
7. Noise – some people prefer to work in peace whilst others like the noisy work environment and can thrive in it. Putting some tunes on in the background can be a great substitute for the regular office ‘hum’, but don’t turn on the tv.
8. Don’t forget to unplug – some people can fall into the trap of ‘bleeding’ their work hours into their private or family time. This may not be an issue for the single workaholics amongst you but for the others, it’s important to have a ‘switch-off’ time and stick to it every day.