Technology has completely transformed the way in which people work. It is now possible for many employees to operate effectively and efficiently from home. This can help individuals to eliminate potentially long and stressful commutes and it allows them to function more flexibly around their other commitments. It can also help companies to reduce their costs. If you’re planning to work from home, here are some top tips to help ensure you make the most of the opportunity.

Home office space flickr.com/photos/nkeppol/

Get the right gear

First and foremost, it’s vital that you have access to all the relevant technology. Exactly what you need will depend on the nature of your role, but it may include a fast and reliable desktop or laptop, a tablet and a smartphone. You might also require a printer and scanner. Make sure you select versions with all the necessary specifications and bear in mind that your company may cover the costs. 

Take advantage of the cloud 

On a related point, it is a huge help if your firm uses cloud computing platforms such as London Cloud. Having access to hosted desktops, servers and applications makes operating away from the office much easier. With the aid of these solutions, you’ll have access to internet-based file storage and synchronisation services that make communicating and collaborating with your colleagues simple. The best thing is, all you need in your home is a web connection. Another advantage of cloud computing is the fact that it allows you to access documents and data via a range of different devices, making working outside your home much more straightforward. For example, when you travel for business or pleasure, you can perform an array of tasks on your tablet or smartphone. In addition, you won’t experience the version control problems that would occur if you and your colleagues were using different versions of Microsoft Office or other office suites. You and your coworkers will automatically utilise the same software. Meanwhile, you won’t have licensing issues to worry about either.

Set up an effective workstation 

Of course, there is more to working at home than simply making sure you get the technology right. It’s also important to set up a comfortable workstation. Lounging on your couch or perching at your breakfast bar may seem appealing at first, but the novelty of this informal approach will soon wear off. Try to base your home office away from potential distractions and, if possible, make sure it benefits from plenty of natural light. If you can’t achieve this, take care to install good quality lighting products. You’ll also need effective storage solutions so that your paperwork and other important items do not go missing. Additionally, pay close attention to the desks and chairs you choose. Your seating should provide support for your lower back and, while you are working at your computer, make sure you are at a suitable height. Health experts suggest that your forearms should be able to rest comfortably on your desk with your elbows roughly at right angles.

To brighten things up in your home office, it’s worth introducing some artwork or plants into the area too, especially if you intend to spend long periods of time sitting at your desk.

Manage your time

When you’re working from home, it’s important to manage your time effectively so try to set a schedule and stick to it. This will help to ensure that your tasks do not spill over into the evenings and weekends too often. Also, make sure you take regular breaks and try to vary your tasks. In offices, people tend to get up to speak to colleagues, make hot drinks, collect printouts, have meetings and so on. However, when you’re working alone, it’s easy to fall into the trap of staring at your screen for hours on end without moving. To minimise the risk of musculoskeletal problems and to give your eyes a break, stand up and walk around from time to time.

 

 

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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