Staying Productive at Home

It’s always brilliant to hear from people who read the blog, stops me from thinking that I’m speaking into a vacuum – not that I’d mind – I spend most of my time out of work doing it😉

Amar Patel contacted me to say that he’d recently started working from home and was increasingly working on the road. He’d been apprehensive about moving away from the office and had found my blog useful when trying to ‘normalise’ himself with the new way of working. He wanted to share some tips that he’s found had really worked for him.

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I am a recruitment consultant. This essentially means that I played matchmaker between prospective candidates and financial companies, in reality this meant sorting through thousands and thousands of C.V.s. Recently, I was offered a promotion, which meant that instead of combing through resumes I would be conducting screening interviews for our international offices, this came with the added bonus of the chance to work from home.

After making the daily commute to the office for over 7 years to my ‘wonderful job’ as a recruitment consultant, I was offered a promotion which came with the added bonus of the chance to work from home.

Working from home can be hard, especially if you are used to the ‘norms’ of office life. At first the move from an office to your home can be daunting, as you are by yourself, however, it doesn’t always have to be so bad, following the tips below you should be able to keep productive and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to spend time the train/tube/bus/car commute, and ultimately spend more time with the family.

Amar's Home Office

  1. Desk and Chair.
    Sounds obvious but you need a good desk and chair. Working from home affords you the opportunity to have a desk and chair that you want and will be able to sit at for 8 hours a day. By using online auction sites in partnership with shipping sites you can find cheap courier services, Therefore, making finding that perfect desk at a cheap price and shipping it your home office, easy and at a very affordable price
  2. Define your spaces.
    Separate work from home. Have a room devoted to working. Don’t just work where you happen to be. Set aside some space, preferably a room (it doesn’t have to be a large space) to be your workspace. That way, when you enter it, you know consciously what you’re there to do: and that’s to work. It changes your state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work”.
  3. Get showered and dressed.
    It’s all too tempting to slob about in pyjamas all day without having a shower or getting properly dressed but this will only leave you feeling sluggish and lazy. Dress like you’re going to work and you’ll feel professional and ready for the working day.
  4. Take a break! Having all that quiet time to get your head stuck into some serious work is great, but your body, eyes and mind need a rest several times during the day. Take a walk outside; make a call or a cup of coffee, if the kids are at home, spend some time with them. Especially if you are on the PC
  5. Set Deadlines.
    Ever wonder why you’re mega productive when facing a tight deadline, while a simple task can take hours to complete. You might chalk this up to working well under pressure, but it could also be Parkinson’s Law which basically states that a task will expand to fill the time you can give it. Combat this phenomenon by imposing your own deadlines for specific tasks. These can be as complicated as finishing a proposal or as simple as responding to a client email.
  6. Get the right tech.
    Most importantly if you are working from home, you need to make sure you have the right technology, both in terms of hardware and software. If you are connecting to your corporate network, this means setting up a VPN network, which can be difficult. It might be wise to take the machine you will be using at home to your I.T. department and get it properly set-up. You also need to make sure that you are easily reachable, so ensuring your internet connection can handle video-conferencing is essential.

Amar Patel

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