Top Tips for Home Working

How to Work from Home – Some Advice and Tips

Working from home can be a challenge, particularly if you are not used to it. It could be especially difficult over the coming weeks whilst we are in the midst of such a stressful set of circumstances. If you are able to work from home, issues such as: organising your workload, dealing with interruptions, using new technology and trying to stay connected with work colleagues can all be a challenge.

However, working from home can also offer opportunities to tailor your working day to suit your personal circumstances and to focus on the aspects of your work that need your attention the most. The following advice could also assist adapting to a change to homeworking:

Getting Organised

Choose a designated workspace

Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t ‘go to work’. Try to dedicate a specific room or area in your home to work, if you can. It would be best not to choose your bedroom or the sofa: spaces that are more associated with leisure time. Setting your work-related equipment out in the morning will put you into ‘work mode’ and clearing it away when you finish will allow you to stop work creeping into your home life.

Consider the Layout of Your Space

The HSE provides guidance on the use of Display Screen Equipment, which applies if you are working on a computer at home, for much of the day: https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/   Regular breaks from the screen will rest your eyes and assist with focus; and making it a stretch break, in which to move around, will also help physically. It is important to be comfortable in the chair you are working in to reduce any strain on your back or neck. These basic considerations apply at home, as they do in an office or classroom. Remember that it does not need expensive equipment to make it comfortable – it could simply be a cushion, or a box to act as a footstool. And remember to regularly look away from your screen to change focus to protect your eyes from eyestrain. If you would like a reminder of best practice: an online (ihasco) DSE Assessment can be provided via HR.

Plan your Day

Try to structure your day as if you were going to work. When working from home, you are your own personal manager. Without things like a meeting to break up your day, you can quickly lose focus or burn out. To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. Use your online calendar to create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start new tasks.

Try to regularly check in with colleagues via email, phone calls, Google Chat etc. so that you stay connected and linked to the workplace. Talking to others can assist motivation too.