The number of people working from home has obviously massively increased in the last year. Whether working from home is now a permanent arrangement, or you’re spending time at home as well as in the office, making it as pleasurable for everyone as possible can be tricky. I’m a full-time homeworker and I have worked from home due to my family circumstances for almost 7 years now. Thankfully Cranberry Communications have the technology to allow me to do so and have supported me from day one.
The first thing you need is some decent technology. You need to be able to use your PC and a phone of some description as seamlessly as you would in the office. The first thing to consider is your connection – broadband or fibre. In residential properties this will mostly be down to what is available in your local area, but generally you want to choose the best you can. If you’re going to be using a phone at home, the last thing you want is jittery calls to clients. If you have a Cloud telephony solution, this is ideal because you can normally just pick up your office phone and plug it in at home with minimal fuss. Alternatively, if you prefer to use a smartphone, most solutions offer an app to run on your phone to allow office calls to be made and received.
In addition to your phone, it’s also helpful to have solutions available to allow you to set up video conferences, share your screen and have chats with colleagues. Working from home can be lonely, so it’s really important to stay connected as much as possible. Again, this might come as part of your Cloud solution and Cranberry Communications have different offerings to enable this.
Once you’ve got the tech in place, make sure you have a decent workspace. Even if working from home is going to be a temporary thing for you, it’s really important to mark out that space in your home where you work. And when you leave “work” for the day, then you actually walk away from it. If you do have to work at your kitchen table because space is at a premium, put it all away at the end of the day. Make sure you have a seat which is appropriate – what feels comfy might not be the best option longer term. Lighting is another thing to consider – sunshine glaring on your screen is just going to irritate you, but equally being sat in the dark all day won’t be great for your eyes or your wellbeing.
And wellbeing is so important when you work from home. For starters you’re missing out on your commute – which might be a positive – but you’re also missing out on that morning walk and potentially even leaving the house at all! So, use that commute time to go for a walk or a run. Go OUT on your lunch break rather than scrolling social media or catching up on Netflix. Meet up with friends when you’re able to do so. The social and physical element that you’re missing out on needs to be replaced – so find something that works for you.
And while we’re on the subject of wellbeing… it’s all too easy to become a little too attached to the fridge when you work from home. Snacks on demand! Try to plan your snacks and lunch and make some healthy choices. Working from home can be very sedentary – you’re no longer walking to the printer or going to see colleagues in other departments. Fill up a big bottle of water in the morning, use an infusion if you like them, and set yourself a challenge to get through it during the working day.
Working from home can be challenging, you really do have to change your mind-set. Many companies are choosing to continue to keep staff at home so if it’s inevitable for you, then try to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible.