Many companies are beginning to realise that allowing their employees to work from home can have a positive impact on their company. The global survey of business professionals found that in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France one in three employees found themselves more productive when working flexibly. From my experience, I find this true because when I am at home and I want to do something else that is on my mind, I can pause my hours get that thing done and then resume my hours. This allows me to focus on my work better because I am then able to put aside my distractions.
It is not all fantastic though, working flexibly comes with its own disadvantages. Here are the mistakes I first made when beginning to work this way.
When I first began working flexible hours, I did not have a routine. I was contracted to 24hours a week but I somehow managed to drag those hours over a seven-day week. When you do pause your hours to get something else done it can become very enticing to just stop for the day. Getting back to your work when it is your own responsibility can lead to procrastination and procrastination will lead to you working every day trying to make up your hours.
Do not sleep in! Just because you now have time to sleep a bit later because you do not need to travel to work does not mean you should. Get out of bed the same time you would if you had to go to the office. This will make your days longer and you will be able to appreciate working from home, even more, when you get to clock off at 4 pm with no extra travel time.
Lack of routine
Doing things on your own terms seems extremely glamorous but wherever possible try work out a routine that works for you. When you stop working in a routine it is very easy to start sleeping in late and staying up late, so try to set boundaries for yourself,
- Wake up every day at the same time
- Don’t work in your pyjamas (you will feel so much more productive if you dress for a work day)
- When possible, if you are part-time, work the same days every week
- Try to go outside for an hour at least a day
A routine will help your weeks feel structured and help you to get your hours completed in the times you have allocated to them.
Have an office and go to an office
If you are working from home the majority of the time it can become difficult to separate work time and free time. Try to make sure you have a designated workspace so that you don’t end up with your laptop in bed with you. Having a home office space is a useful way to separate work time from free time.
Although I find it helpful to work from the home sometimes, I also enjoy going into the office for a change of scenery. You might decide you only want to work from the office once a week or you might find you want to work from the office the majority of the time, I, however, find it helpful to mix it up. Certain tasks I find easier to do at home, but I do like to get out of the house and the office can be great for that!