The UK government has recently announced that those who can work from home should be doing so for the foreseeable future. This means now is the time to sort out your home working situation once and for all.

As a team, we have done quite a lot of home working over the last few years, but especially in the last 6 months. Whilst these tips have worked for us, the one overriding piece of advice we would offer is to do what works well for you. Every one of us is different so there is no ‘one rule fits all’. We hope the following tips help guide you to being as productive and happy as possible during these strange times.

At Metro Storage we are willing and able to help clear some physical space (and therefore head space) for your working-from-home situation should you need it.

1. Maintain regular hours

Treat working from home as you would working in the office. By having a schedule to work to, you are able to keep the boundaries between your work/life balance clear. However, one of the main benefits of working from home is the flexibility it offers, so if you need to start early or finish late in order to do something in the middle of the day then do it. We are of the idea that as long as the work gets done that it’s all going to be fine.

2. Be clear about the rules

If there are other people who are also working-from-home, you do need to be clear about when you are working and when it’s OK to interrupt. Likewise, if you are working from home and the kids come back from school they also need to be clear as to what can and cannot be done. Just because you are home does not mean you should do all the chores! You are home to work and everyone needs to be clear about that.

3. Take breaks!

You may not be able to have your regular ‘water cooler’ moments by working from home, but it is still very important to take breaks. Unless you schedule these in, they can easily slip by and the quality of your work will suffer. Obviously don’t overdo them but do get up and take a 15-minute break mid-morning and mid-afternoon at least – along with a good break around lunchtime. If you can get out and go for a walk at this time then all the better!

4. Get out of the house

See the above point about getting outside at lunchtime. Leaving the house – even if its to pop to the local shop – is important for your brain to take a break. You will need to keep safe and observe social distancing but the fresh air and natural light will be great for your body, mind and soul!

5. Don’t be afraid to ask

If you work for a company and need reasonable things to set up a home office, then don’t be afraid to ask. It’s in the company’s interest to have you working as productively and efficiently as possible. We’re not sure a professional coffee machine will be approved, but if you need a printer or a new monitor then there is a good chance that will.

6. Try to have a dedicated office space

We know this may be a big ask. If you can, then have at least a corner in the house where you can set yourself up for work, and only do work in this area. This will help you maintain your work/life balance as well. It also means that when you’re in your place, then you and everyone else in the house knows you’re working. If you need help to get some clear space in your life then our team at Metro Storage are available to help out – if it’s getting a few boxes of things cleared away up to clearing out that spare room that has become a dumping ground – we are here to help. You can call us on 0800 999 5881 or fill in a quick form and we will get in touch to answer any questions you may have.

7. Be punctual for your ‘meetings’

If you’re working from home it’s almost certain you’ll also be having video meetings. It’s important to not only turn up but to ‘turn up’ on time and to be heard during these meetings. Where possible ask for everyone’s cameras to be ON so they cannot dive out to make a quick tea in the middle of the meeting and hope nobody notices. It helps everyone to focus and keep the meeting impactful and short. A simple ‘Thanks everyone. Bye!’ goes a long way at the end of a meeting.

8. Training opportunities

In order to stay fresh in your job and ‘front and centre’ of your colleagues and boss, be on the lookout for any virtual training that is on offer. Just because you’re working from home it doesn’t mean you should stop developing your skills. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to grow and learn more as you have more time in your day due to not having to commute or be interrupted whilst in the office.

9. Enjoy the advantages

As touched upon above, by working from home you have more time in your day and the flexibility to use it.  This is one of the main perks of working from home, so use it! Whether it’s reading/catching up with friends on the phone or video calls/cooking, etc. you should do it whilst you can.

10. Don’t be hard on yourself

You need to be disciplined to work from home, there is no doubt about that! We all have a hundred and one diversions winking at us if we let them. If you find yourself being diverted don’t be too hard on yourself – if you think ‘would I be doing this in the office’ and the answer is yes, then cut yourself some slack. If the answer is no, then equally you should park it until you are out of work time/on a break and get back to it after work or when you take a break.

Working from home can be difficult and sometimes lonely, but if you approach it in the right way, set some clear boundaries for your time and for others and follow these top 10 tips for working from home. We hope you will find it a rewarding and productive way of doing your job.

Remember, Metro Storage is here to help with any storage needs you have! Metro Storage – London’s best All-Inclusive storage!