Here are our top tips for maximising efficiency when working from home.
Get out of those PJs
Get up, get showered and feel refreshed and ready for work. If you slob around in your pajamas all day, you’ll only feel tired and lethargic, which will ultimately result in decreased productivity. Put on an outfit as if you were going to work and you’ll feel prepped and ready for all those emails.
It can be all too tempting to switch on the TV, listen to the radio or check Twitter and Facebook constantly as no one is looking over your shoulder. Turn everything off and set yourself goals. You can then reward yourself with a bit of TV over lunch, or a quick afternoon break checking up on social media.
Be strong with friends and family
Working from home can often mean working with other people in the house – people who you’d probably rather be socialising with. Have the willpower to let them know you need quiet and space. People can also think working from home means you’ll be able to fit in all the household chores during the day. Remind them that this is still a full time job, even though you’re sitting at the dining table and you won’t be able to wash the dishes or clean the flat during normal working hours.
Avoid getting lonely
Working from home can mean it’s easy to feel slightly isolated or alone. Do your best to avoid this so you don't go stir crazy! Get on Skype to colleagues regularly or give them a call rather than an email if you have something to say. Say yes to networking events, or join forums for fellow freelancers, as they too will benefit from some company. Remember to organise week nights out with friends – even if it’s just a quick drink and chat, you’ll feel much more productive the next day.
One of the luxuries of working from home is the time you save on the daily commute. Why not use that time to head to the gym, go for a run or even just a brisk morning walk? Many studies have shown that exercise boosts productivity levels as it stimulates the development of the chemical that your body uses as energy. This means more energy for your brain and greater mental output. Even a lunchtime stroll will help, and get you out of the house!
Invest in all the right equipment
Just because you work from the spare bedroom, doesn't mean you should be starved of the most important gadgets and gizmos that will ensure you work effectively.
A speedy laptop, second screen and latest software are necessities, but also invest in a good printer for increased productivity. Home workers need professional quality output, but also something that will save space and money. The Ricoh GelJet SG2100n is a great option. It boasts ECO mode for proof reading documents while saving ink, it’s compact so will fit into small office spaces and will quickly print high quality text and imagery, so can tackle whatever the working day throws at you.
Unplug at the end of the day
It can be easy to just continue working overtime when you’re already at home and not realise the time on the clock. When the working day is over and everyone else is clambering for the tube, move your hand away from the mouse and switch off your laptop. The brain needs time for respite in order to produce ideas, so you’ll probably get much more done by starting again in the morning.