I’ve worked from home for the last 5 years and earlier this week I read an excellent article from fellow Bloggertoner Sian Philips, over on her personal blog about getting away from the office and working from home.
Sian gives some great reasons why it’s more beneficial at times to work from home than go into the office. As I live at least 90 minutes drive from our nearest office, I can testify that in terms of being productive and on top of my game, working from home has been fantastic. On a personal note it also means that I am able to spend some time with my 2 year old daughter, before she heads off to bed at the relatively early time of 8pm.
While reading Sian’s post it got me thinking about my experience of working from home, and one thing that is very important is to ensure that you are in the right place, both mentally and physically. I’d like to share with you some of my tips on how to prepare:
- I work in a relatively small team of 5 people, and I’m lucky enough to have a great boss who I talk to on a regular basis. That aside, I have recently started making a concerted effort to schedule work related calls with at least one person a day, whether it is a past or present colleague, or someone who I’ve been engaging with on our internal social media tools. Social Media is a great way for establishing a network, but I firmly believe that at some point you’ve got to pick up the phone, and eventually meet face to face to take the relationship to the next level.
- Establish a routine that involves getting out and about. I walk the dog every morning before I start work. Apart from the obvious benefit of forcing me to get properly attired before I sit down at my desk, I also get to meet the same people on my route each morning. Even a brief smile and friendly nod from someone is a great way to start the day.
- Make opportunities to network. Once a month I attend an Open Coffee event where I get an opportunity to meet like minded people, and talk about how things are going in our work lives. I’ve also recently committed to attending a monthly Blogger meetup, where I can hopefully learn to hone my blogging skills.
- Do plenty of stretching. This is more a general tip that could be applied to all desk bound workers; however working from home does give you more flexibility to put this into practice. Over the last few years I’ve had continual problems with my lower back. After putting it off for a long time I went to see a physio. It turned out that my pain was caused by tight hamstrings, which are a result of sitting on a chair for most of the working day. After a few months of treatment all is well, however I’m on a strict regime of stretching now each day – 5 minutes of hamstring stretches every morning and every night. For those of you who sit for large portions of the day and experience back pain, I’d urge you to see a physio immediately. If you don’t have any pain I’d still strongly recommend that you incorporate hamstring stretches into your daily routine, as a preventative measure.
I hope you found my tips of value, and that you might be able to put them into practice. Let me know in the comments what you think. Also please share some of your own working from home tips with us in the comments.