Richard Maun – 5 Top Tips: Working From Home

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5 Top Tips: Working From Home

9 September 2013

I do like to work at home. For me it’s like having a really plush office that has sofas, a cool TV, a garden to sit in on warm days and a well stocked fridge when snack time comes a callin’.

Who wouldn’t want to work in an office as lovely as that?

However, working at home can also cause a few headaches, not least during school holidays when my office is overrun with little people, wielding Moshi Monsters and asking complex questions about Pepper Pig. Joyful though it is to have time with the children, when you’re trying to write a new leadership course this kind of interruption can become irritating. Working at home certainly has it’s ups and downs, but I do like it and so here are 5 top tips for success:

1. Stop at the end of the day. If you’re working from home and have completed a solid 8 hour shift then stop. People seem to think that working at home requires us to work 12 hour days to prove we’re not time-wasting.

2. Work to your rhythm. If an office has 9-to-5 hours and you work better from 3-to-10 then don’t fight it – if you are at home then enjoy working the hours that work for you. I prefer to do the school run in the morning and then work late at night and I am much more productive that way too.

3. Explain deadlines to your family. Work involves timescales and deadlines and if you want to avoid an argument then make sure your family understands when you need to be left alone to complete a project.

4. Go networking. Working at home can cause us to feel isolated, as we can be cut off from the office banter and miss human interaction. Thanks to the likes of Twitter we can connect with people and have fun and make new friends. It doesn’t matter if we network at a business club over breakfast, or Tweet to our friends during a break – all networking is useful because it broadens our world and introduces us to new and interesting people.

5. Schedule thinking time. One of the best bits about working from home is the freedom from distractions. We can silence the phone, switch off the internet connection and allow ourselves to become immersed in a piece of work. I have several business coaching clients who now use working at home as a way to get space for clear thinking, away from the tension and pace of their office. If you had a day at home next week, what would you think about?

Working at home is increasingly going to be a part of working life for many of us and we can think sensibly about it and make it work for us. I’m off to sit in the garden and enjoy the Autumn sunshine and if you hear snoring….I’m not asleep, just deep in thought….

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