Be productive when working from home

Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. While the office space is free and the commute short, there’s more distractions, less “water-cooler” interaction and fragmented working hours. Follow the Institute of Careers’ simple tips to ensure your working day is a successful one.

Dress the part:

Even though your office shares the same address as your bedroom, it doesn’t give you free reign to greet your laptop in your Peter Alexanders. Stick to your usual workday routine – that means shower, eat breakfast and put on your work clothes. Wearing work clothes at the home office puts you in a mind-frame to work, not watch Sunrise.

Create a task list:

Write a list of all the actions you need to do that day, and objectives you’d like to achieve, and allocate the amount of time needed to undertake each task in one-hour blocks. Stay focussed and stick to the schedule, otherwise you could find yourself procrastinating and slacking off from the task at hand.

Set boundaries:

Don’t do your laundry during the workday and avoid personal calls until after work. If you wouldn’t do these kinds of things in an external office, don’t do it while working at home.

Take a proper lunch break:

Allocate yourself one hour for lunch. Make yourself a healthy meal and then go for a walk or short run to clear your head, thereby avoiding the afternoon slump. The advantage of working from home is that you can be super healthy by preparing your own lunch every day and making exercise fit around your schedule.

Say no to midday movies:

Tempting as it might be, don’t switch on the TV – Dr Phil's background chatter will only distract you from work. Surround your workspace with work-related things instead of items that might remind you of all the personal chores that need to be done.