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Improve Your Working From Home Routine

IPSE estimates that 87% of self-employed workers have worked remotely in the last 12 months. This is a huge change, up from just 6% in 2017, and of those remote workers, 97% worked from home. Home working comes with some important advantages, which is why the self-employed have embraced it so dramatically, but it also comes with some challenges so in this article we’ll look at ways to get the most from your home working time.

Have a dedicated workspace

Physically separating your work life from your home life has huge advantages both in productivity while working and relaxation after you clock off. It helps you to make the mental shift into being “at work”, and it also allows you to close down your workstation and “leave”, which makes it easier to switch off and relax at the end of the day.

Having a dedicated space also means you can set up your workstation so it’s comfortable to work in, which is important if you’re going to use it for hours every week.

Dress for work

While it may be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, it’s a good idea to dress for work. Whether you dress in “business attire” or more casually is up to you, and will depend on whether dressing smarter has a benefit for you. This will also mean you don’t have to leave your camera off when a client surprises you with an urgent Zoom meeting.

Have a separate business contact number

Again, this is about separating your work and home life. Having separate personal and work numbers allows you to switch one of them off when you clock on and off, meaning you can be available on your work line only while you’re working, and on your personal line only when you’re not. It also makes it easier to claim expenses if your business calls are not mixed in with personal ones.

Stick to set working hours

This allows you to set expectations for your clients and colleagues. Most will understand that you need to stop working sometimes and be perfectly happy that you’re not available when you’re not working, as long as they know when they can reach you. Sticking to set working hours will mean they don’t expect you to answer the phone or respond to their emails at all hours.

Having a regular routine will also help you adjust to living and working in the same place, and help you to avoid the common pitfalls of either being distracted or “always on”.

Brief your housemates

Make sure your family members, or anyone else you live with, is aware when you’re “at work” and knows not to distract you. This could mean letting them know your working hours, or if things are more fluid, you could ask them to leave you alone when your office door is closed.

Wake up at the same time every day

It may be tempting to stay in bed until the very last minute, but having a regular morning routine will pay off in the long term. Try getting up at the same time, even at the weekend, for a few weeks and you’ll see how worthwhile it is.

Embrace the advantages

One way to improve your experience of working from home is to take full advantage of being at home. This could mean doing housework in the morning, when you’re not commuting, going for a walk in the middle of the day, or taking a shower during your lunch break. Take a note of what habits trigger a positive and productive mood and add them into your routine.

Stay connected with colleagues

Isolation and disconnection are common problems experienced by home workers, so it’s important to stay connected with your colleagues and contacts. Join chat channels where remote workers can discuss common interests, invite colleagues to informal face to face meetings and make a deliberate effort to stay connected, not just professionally but personally as well.


Another issue that home workers often encounter is that they can become invisible to colleagues who are based at the office, which is why home workers need to communicate a lot. When a project or important task is finished, speak up and make sure you’ve been heard. Inform everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. Be visible.

Overcommunication doesn’t mean you have to justify every move you make, but it does mean repeating yourself. For example, you might tell everyone concerned that you’re off next Thursday. Then, make a joke about how you must’ve mentioned your upcoming day off three times already. Then, send a reminder the day before.

“Book-end” your working day

Not many home workers actually miss the commute, but many have found that it served a useful purpose, in helping them switch into “work mode” at the start of the day, and giving them chance to unwind on the journey home. You can create the same effect as a home worker by “book- ending” your day with some kind of activity that will help you adjust at the start and end. For example, you might go for a short walk before and after work, or take ten minutes to have a coffee, or read a book for half an hour – the idea is to signal the change and give your mind some time to adjust.

If you have questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 46843 or email .

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