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Home working - experiences, hints and tips

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Chat about your experiences of working from home during the lockdown, and share any hints and tips you have. 

As I work from home myself in any case, I'm quite used to it, so I'll come back later with some of the useful strategies I've implemented over the years. 

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To get the ball rolling in here, some of my tips for working from home..

  • Keep work and non-work time well divided. If possible work in in a different part of the house to the one you may generally spend time in, or at least put away your work stuff when you're not working
  • Keep a morning routine - your journey to work may only be down the stairs but don't go straight from bed to work. Try to do the usual, shower, breakfast (away from your desk) and start work at a particular time.
  • Take regular breaks - perhaps more frequent than you may normally. The pomodoro technique can be very useful for keeping focus. 
  • If you're struggling to focus, walk away for a bit - it's better to take a break for an hour or so than to sit at your desk virtually banging your head against a brick wall trying to get something done.
  • Don't feel guilty for taking breaks. The temptation may be there to be always available and always at your desk, but finding a balance is important. 
  • Don't eat lunch at your desk.
  • Be open with your colleagues - if today is difficult, whether it be the kids playing up, your brain not kicking into gear or whatever else, let them know - they're going through the same things. 
  • Look after your physical health - use your time to exercise and consider your posture when sitting at your desk - especially if you're improvising in terms of your desk etc. 
  • Look after your mental health - seek help if you're struggling. Don't be overly negative or harsh on yourself if you're not being as productive as you may normally be - it can be a big change going from office to home-office, so you may need to reset expectations. Mindfulness can be a really handy thing to practice.

Hopefully these may help a bit. I've been working from home a long time now, and understand the challenges it can bring. But, it can be also be really rewarding, and can enhance work-life balance, so keep an eye on the positive aspects even if you're finding it a strain at times. 

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If you live in a flat or maisonette, tell your neighbours you are working. I'm in a first floor maisonette and have 2  dogs, and my 4 year old grandson here some days too. This equals noise on and off.

My lovely neighbour below me is working from home 10am to 7pm both on the phone & emails. I only know this because I asked her.

So dogs and grandson use living room at the front, she works in her back bedroom.

If you're trying to work and noise is distracting or annoying do mention it.

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