Imagine the difference working from home could make to your life:
• Swap the rush-hour scrum for a 10-second "commute" to your home office.
• Ditch your high heels for your comfy slippers.
• Never again go to make a cuppa, only to find someone has nicked your favourite mug.
Home-based working can be the ideal way to create a work/life balance. But it does come with its unique challenges.
Below I suggest five ways you can S.M.A.S.H. those challenges - and turn from Commuter Casualty to Home Working Wonder.
S. Set up your workspace
Consider investing in a specially fitted home office. It may seem expensive but look at it as an investment in comfort and productivity.
If you can’t have a dedicated room, smart use of fitted furniture can make work-friendly spaces from spare corners like under the stairs.
M. Make sure work and non-work activities are separate
Make family and friends understand that work time is for work! Not time to look for lost socks, bake cakes for the school fair, or catch up with your best friend's love life. It probably won't be popular at first but persevere.
Have set working hours - at the start AND the end of the day. Yes, flexibility can be great, but structure will be your friend. Make it official with a sign on your office door or over your desk - this will also stop work drifting into the evening. Remember, it's all about balance.
A. Always get into the zone with a "Going to Work" routine:
Plan your To Do list the night before, so you can pick up where you left off.
Consider having separate "work clothes" - they don't need to be formal.
You could even start the day with a brisk “wake up” walk, arriving back at the “office”, ready to work.
S. Stay focused
Social media is the downfall of many a home-worker. We all enjoy a quick peek at Facebook or Pinterest, but it's so easy to let five minutes turn into 50. If you do browse in your coffee break, use a timer.
If willpower alone isn't enough, there are apps to block distractions like social media or news sites, so you can get your work done without wasting time watching cat videos.
H. Human interaction
And don’t forget you are a human being, not a robot. Find ways to factor in some human company, even if it’s a trip to the coffee shop. Otherwise, you will get lonely - and maybe even wish yourself back in the office!
So yes, working from home has its challenges - but the rewards can be incredible. Are you ready to S.M.A.S.H. the home-working revolution?