Working from home guide

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Working from home guide

Top tips for the home-based worker

Working from home guide

Many New Zealanders had their first taste of working from home this year. But the truth is that as technology evolves and our work processes improve, more and more of us are saying goodbye to the 9am-5pm office hours and saying hello to flexible, remote, work-from-home arrangements.

While working from home certainly has its perks, it also comes with its share of challenges. From communication, motivation and accountability through to the ever-present temptations of long sleep-ins, Netflix and the contents of your fridge it's easy to get distracted as a home-based worker. That's why we've put together our Working from home guide to give you all the tips you need to boost your productivity and prevent procrastination.

Set up your work space

Proper preparation is the key to success when it comes to working from home. A functional work space is an absolute must for anyone taking remote work seriously. While it may feel tempting to curl up with your computer in bed or snuggle up on the couch with your emails and a blanket, studies show this is not the most practical or productive place to get things done.

You may not have the space for a dedicated home office but a private, quiet place with strong internet signal is a no brainer when it comes to working effectively.

Your 'home office' could just be a quiet corner in your home with nothing more than a small table and chair. It could be a desk placed into your spare bedroom or, you may, even have the room for a permanent home office.

Once you have organised your space, it's time to arrange your tools and technology. By spending a bit of time prepping your work area and equipment, you will ultimately save time throughout your work day. Set up your computer, printer, coffee machine, any chargers, headphones, microphones, pens, notepads, or whiteboards in advance.

Create a schedule

Work from home schedule

Creating a schedule will help you to stay on track, on task and to be as productive as possible. Ask yourself some questions before creating your schedule such as:

  • What do you want your day to look like?
  • Are you planning on working the same hours as you would in the office?
  • Will your hours be the same each day or will they differ Monday - Friday?
  • Do you have the flexibility to work on your own schedule?
  • Do you have family commitments that need to be considered?
  • How many breaks will you take and for how long?

Be realistic with your expectations of yourself. If you deny yourself breaks, or don't consider all of the external factors of home-based working such as family and home life, then you'll be setting yourself up for failure.

Note down:

  • What time you will start
  • When you will take coffee breaks
  • What time your lunch is
  • When you will finish for the day

Whatever your approach is, it's important to be clear with your expectations and to create a schedule that is reasonable to you.

Don't skip your breaks

Your coffee breaks and lunch breaks are an important part of your day. They will help you to re-energise, refocus and go through your day in a more productive way. Don't be tempted to work 10 hours straight, instead, hit up your home coffee machine for 15 minutes with your favourite cup. Even a short break has the power to improve your work flow and productivity and leave you feeling better about the rest of your day.

Looking for a coffee machine for your home office?

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Work from home communication

Working from home does not mean you have to isolate yourself from others. In fact, remote working depends on clear communication between yourself, your supervisor, your team and your colleagues. The great thing is that there are more ways to connect than ever before. Phone, text, email and video conferencing, shared calendars, and project managing tools all have their place when it comes to the home-based work environment. Chat to your co-workers to decide when and where to use the different communication tools and stay accountable when you're offsite.

Leave the building

Locking yourself inside all day every day isn't good for the head or the heart so give yourself permission to take a walk and breath some fresh air throughout your working day. It could be as simple as walking around your garden and sipping on a homemade coffee. Sometimes stepping away from the desk means you can accomplish more.

Enjoy the time and flexibility

Ultimately, working from home should give you more time in your day and increased flexibility. So, how will you use your extra time now that you're not making a daily commute to the office?

You could start taking that morning run you've always been too busy for.

Or, our favourite, you could stretch out your morning coffee ritual. No more slurping down your takeaway cup, now you can savour every single sip of your morning coffee as you start your day.

Coffee is more than just a break. It's a daily ritual, and we want you to savour every moment.Whether work day or weekend we've got coffee that will create moments in your day.

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