With all the madness going on in the world there are so many of us now working from home but it can be a big change.
I've been a homeworker on and off for over a decade now so for me, nothings changed.
That being said, I know how tough it can be, being isolated and not having support right next to you in the office. So I thought I'd share my top tips for working from home!
1. GET DRESSED!! - One of the most common things people say to me when I've said I work from home - 'oh that must be awesome, you can work in your PJs'... - Which is true for the first few days. However getting up, having a shower and getting dressed really helps your productivity. I know I feel much better if I've got dressed for work. It makes you realise that you are working!
2. SET UP ONLINE CHATS WITH CO-WORKERS - This is the single most important thing to my sanity. We use Skype, although I have the majority of my co-workers on there, in different departments so they're there for questions I may have, the one thing that gets me through the day is the group chat I have with 5 of my closest ones. We will chat in there all day every day and it makes you feel a lot less alone. I know google hangouts is another that other departments use but for me having some sort of contact with someone else in your situation really helps, and passes the time if you're having a bit of a slow day.
3. PUT ON THE TV/MUSIC/RADIO - I always have something on in the background, be it music a TV show or a movie I've seen 100 times. Always something that won't distract me or take my attention away from what I'm doing, but it makes you feel like you have people around you. Try not to work in silence. Especially important if you're used to working in a noisy office.
4. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS - Even if its just to get up and put the kettle on, or go outside for a walk round the garden or up the road if you don't have one. Don't sit in front of your computer non stop for 8 hours. Having a particularly stressful customer/client/piece of work to do? Take a step away when you can. Take some deep breaths and come back with a clear head.
5. SET UP LIKE YOU WOULD AT WORK - As much as you can, try and make your desk mirror how it would be normally, sometimes a change in set up can really throw you. If you have a room you can have as an 'office' that really helps too. Less distractions - particularly if you have children - and makes you feel like you're at work.
6. REMEMBER YOU'RE NOT ALONE!! - It may feel isolating, no manager about if you make a mistake or can't remember how to do something. No tech team if you have IT issues. Do not worry. These things are out of your control. Everyone else is in the same boat. Just try your best, do what you can and speak up if you have a problem.
7. SET GOALS - Different jobs will have different tasks, and a different way to plan your day. My job is customer based so I have to take breaks around when I have none to talk to. But with other jobs you might not have that. Spread your day out, don't do everything at once. Your day will drag, you'll be bored and you'll run out of work!
I personally LOVE working from home, I wouldn't have done it for so long if I didn't. You may find you're more productive doing so with less distractions. You may hate it. This is not forever. Make the most of it while you can. Its not every day you don't have to worry about a commute, you might have a partner at home who can keep you in tea and biscuits all day. I've quite often had a shower in my lunch break, or done the washing or prepared dinner. And lets not forget our lovely pets, getting to have them around all day for cuddles is a huge stress reliever!
I hope this helps some of you.
Follow me on Twitter @jodievoicefm