4 tips for getting the most out of working-from-home

Aug 13 2020

Now that work-from-home has been shown to be possible for millions of workers, flexible work schedules and more opportunities to work from home may be the way of the future.

Before lockdown, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show there were 4.1 million people who regularly worked from home in their job or business. Research has also found working from home can boost productivity, improve work/life balance and foster better mental health. Major employers are now lining up to extend their flexible working policies. For example, Lion has 70 percent of its people working from home during the pandemic, despite being a major manufacturer where some jobs have to be done on site.

The ATO has acknowledged this increase in people working from home and created a new ‘shortcut’ method to allow taxpayers to claim 80 cents per hour for work-from-home running expenses. Tracking these expenses can be challenging, so they’ve introduced a temporary shortcut method.

Here are 4 tips for getting the most out of working-from-home:

  1. FLEXIBLE DAYS. There won’t be a day that will suit everyone so by having the option to choose certain day/s will make employees feel valued, boost engagement, and lead to higher productivity.
  2. TRUST. “If you can’t trust your employees to work flexibly, why hire them in the first place?” We all know the opportunity to work from home is a valued perk and most employees aren’t going to abuse it. While you may not work the same way you would in the office, you are still going to get your tasks done in the way that works most productively for you. There will always be days that will make it hard for you to get in the zone, and that’s part of life whether it’s in the office or at home.
  3. CREATE A PRODUCTIVE SPACE. Setting up a comfortable workstation is a good way to make sure you’re working efficiently. If possible, make sure you have access to a good amount of lighting for your workspace. Avoid working in your bedroom if possible. Studies show that working from home can interfere with sleep so its best to keep the two separated.Some companies have even offered their employees the opportunity of setting up a home office by purchasing computer monitors, desks and chairs of their choice.
  4. ROUTINE AND STRUCTURE. Create boundaries between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’ by setting up a routine and structure as if you are going into the office. This includes start time, with breaks scheduled in, and finish time. This structure will help minimise work intruding into your personal time, and help you switch off from work at the end of the day.

With any environment, whether it’s the office or at home, try to go outside for a walk at least once a day. If you’re in isolation, go out to your garden or onto your balcony for some fresh air, and sunshine.