How to effectively work from home
Here at Bravo Digital Marketing we work from our home offices in both Melbourne and Ballarat. No client likes to think that 50% of their fees are going towards overheads such as office space rental, receptionists and expensive company cars. So we do things differently. We keep our outgoing business costs low so that we can keep our prices low too.
Our home office is a cool, creative and relaxed space where ideas flow. There’s a break-out area for meetings, digital screens to show off our work, an office dog named Gus and an endless supply of coffee and treats. I’m so happy I designed a life where I can work the hours I want in the comfort of a beautiful home office. I think it is very important to set up an “office space” when you work from home – I find that I am never as productive while working from the couch, dining table or even the bed (yes I’ve tried that before and was not productive at all!).
Being efficient working from home can be a challenge. There can be lots of distractions, less accountability, and less communication than when you’re working in an office. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are many ways to keep yourself working productively from any location. Below I’ve outlined some tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way on how to work effectively from home – enjoy!
Setting up your home-space
It might be tempting to work from your couch or bed, but this could take a huge toll on your productivity. It’s a good idea to always work from a consistent room, desk, or chair to tell your brain that it’s time for work, not relaxation. We have set up a little home office and it’s been the best thing for productivity. Try and personalise the space as you will be spending quite a large amount of your time there, Things like clocks, colourful notepads, art work, books and indoor plants can all make a space feel relaxing.
Set yourself a regular work schedule – and stick to it!
When will you work? What time of the day will you start and stop working? Do you have some days where you might work a few hours at night, and others where you might want get to an afternoon gym class? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself, as you define and establish your working from home routine. It’s a good idea to set yourself some regular work hours so you can have a routine, schedule meetings during those times and clients/co-workers will know times that they can contact you.
Get ready for the day like you would going into an office – aka get out of those trackie pants
Even if you won’t be interacting with another person all day, it’s important to dress for success. Get out of those track-suit pants, gym pants or pjs! This will tell your brain that it’s work time, not relaxation time, and that will give you a lot more energy. If you have a hard time motivating yourself to get ready in the morning, try laying out your outfit the night before, or plan to drop into the local cafe during the day so that you have to look presentable.
Keep active and take regular breaks (this ones a no brainer!)
I think Nilofer Merchant nailed it with her TED Talk, Got a Meeting? Take a Walk (see below). When working from home it’s important to still schedule in time to get out and about for a walk, whether that is for a morning coffee, to grab some lunch or while you are on a call. The fresh air will do you good!
I could keep going on for days, so to round it up…
There are so many things you can do to set yourself up for success when working from home. To recap:
- Set up an office space that encourages productivity
- Start everyday as if you are going into the office
- Decide your work hours and stick to them
- Create a schedule and stick to that
- Get out of the house and keep active
And lastly, enjoy the flexibility that working from home brings. In the end, most of us look forward to working from home, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get things done when we’re distracted by family, housemates, the mailman, or even the pantry calling your name. Think ahead, prepare for distractions, and carve out a comfortable, well-defended place for you to settle in and be productive, and you’ll manage to get things done.