A HUCKLEBERRY PARTNER’S GUIDE TO WORKING FROM HOME.
May 28, 2015
It’s 11am, the second load of washing is in, you’re still in your PJs and the near deafening cries of Jeremy Kyle guests are blasting on the TV. You’re even considering only getting dressed on the top half of your body for the Skype call you have booked in for midday. Sound familiar? This is often the picture people have in their heads when I tell them I work from home. Sorry to burst the bubble, but I’m afraid this is an entirely inaccurate representation of my daily routine (okay fine, except for the washing – but that perk is essential).
With more and more people beginning to work from home, it’s a trend that will undoubtedly shape the way we work in the future. The beauty of working remotely is that there’s no structure to fit around, you make your own rules. The downside? There’s no structure to fit around. Which means it’s down to you to be as productive as possible.
So whether you’re new to the game, or just looking to revive your ‘workstyle’, here are some tips to surviving in this ‘pyjamas optional’ environment.
Create a haven
Environment matters. You have the freedom to create whatever environment works for you. Embrace it! I have an unhealthy obsession with candles, so as well as filling my office with bright colours and lots of Sharpies, I’m always surrounded by lovely smelling tea lights. Fire hazard aside, I find them incredibly calming. Whatever the working environment that suits you best, try to make sure that when you’re in your workspace you feel ‘work-ready’ and out of home mode.
Give yourself a break
‘Always working’ is both a blessing and a curse for us office-less nomads. As I see it, we might as well go with it and in doing so define a ‘workstyle’ that really fits in with our lives. For example, I go to a gym class everyday, during the day, as part of my working day. Humans are social by nature, so apart from clearing my head, the change in my surroundings and chatting with other people gives me a fresh perspective. Don’t feel guilty about these ‘breaks’. It’s not just ok to make time for these things, it’s essential.
Mix it up
Someone once told me to try and take a different route to work everyday – it’s the perfect way to get a fresh outlook and break the monotonous daily routine. Similarly, working from home demands you to be creative about how best to utilise your space and time. I mix it up. Some days I go completely ‘tech free’. I just work outside or in a cafe with my notebook enjoying some ambient noise – home can be uncomfortably quiet sometimes. Unsurprisingly, these are the days I get the most done.
Let it go
It’s going to be hard, but you have to let go of the constraints of a 9-5 environment. Don’t beat yourself up that just because you’re not doing those traditional hours that you’re not being productive. Innovation and inspiration aren’t supplied on demand and the amazing thing about working from home is that you’re ready when they strike. Picasso was famous for dining with friends in the evening, then coming home and starting to paint at midnight. Inspiration and innovation flourish when people feel the most comfortable and relaxed – at home for example…
Alice Pittman is a Partner at Hoxby, and Co-Director of The Greedy Book Ltd and also does her own freelance marketing strategy work.