WFH – 5 golden rules

Nov 25, 2015

Working from home is an artform. How to resist the call of the cookie jar and how to stay motivated when the sun is out, but you can’t be? Now that so many of us are doing it, either by choice or by directive, we took a look at what the experts are doing to get the job done.

1 Set the zone – choose a dedicated area within your home which is clearly separated from other activities, one that will not intrude into the lives of other householders. Think ample sunlight and uncluttered surfaces. This is your workspace and you need to mark your territory.

2 Set the tone – make your workspace a place you want to be. A comfortable chair, your tech set up properly, places for your files… and furnishings in colours that please you. If you’re feeling stressed, consider painting your office blue, they say it has a calming effect. Farrow & Ball’s Parma Gray is a good option (which despite the name, is in fact blue).

3 Shut out the world – noise cancelling headphones will help mute the neighbour’s dog, the Netflix sound ident in the next room and all the endless questions that get fired off in your direction during waking hours. Concentration is key!

4 Rhythm – try to lay-out your working routine and stick to it. This obviously calls for a little bit of discipline, but if you choose your hours and break times in advance, and tell those with whom you share your living space, it will help you get into flow, and give everyone else clarity.

5 Rest – it’s really important to avoid cabin fever. Get yourself outdoors as often as possible, rejuvenate with time in the garden or public parks and get a little perspective on things.

If working from home is going to be the new norm – and some big players like Facebook are talking about getting half their staff working from home in the next five to ten years – then it makes sense to take these small steps to becoming a productivity pro.