A schedule that works for you

These days, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of employing remote workers. It’s a change that looks like it will continue to happen more and more, as most employees, companies and local and national governments begin to favor it.

For employees it means more control over their time. When someone has financial stability, they begin to worry about how much time they have for the important things in life, and may well change jobs in order to avoid lengthy commutes. By working from home, they can save a lot of money on gasoline and may even decide to run one car instead of two if they have a partner. Further savings are made from not having to pay for childcare. All this coupled with increased control over their time means that more and more workers are striving to make remote working from home the norm.

Companies like it too. By not having someone in the office, they’re not paying to keep that person warm, keep their electricity running, insure them, insure against them, provide a parking space and so on. When enough employees work remotely, the company can save vast amounts by closing down expensive offices in prime locations and keeping a core of HR and IT staff in a cheaper and smaller office. A lot of companies are registered offshore and employ people in other countries, too, which allows for interesting mechanisms for reducing tax to be brought into play. A bricks and mortar business with 9-5 employees ends up paying more almost all the time.

Governments are warming to it, especially at local level as it takes unnecessary traffic off the roads and eases pressure on services such as childcare. It also allows people to be more flexible with things like medical appointments, meaning that busy days in hospitals are less and less extreme than in the past.

It seems, therefore, that we are going to see more and more people working from home, and therefore more and more people having to plan their daily schedules.

Once you have a dedicated work space or office set up, you are pretty much ready to go. You might have set hours by your company when you must be available and working, or you might have complete control over your schedule.

Don’t be tempted to fall out of bed and straight into work. Wake up at your normal time, get showered and dressed, eat breakfast and use the time constructively. This will prepare you for starting the workday and give you a chance, subconsciously, to get your ideas together for the day ahead. Spend time with your children or do some exercise if possible. If you can’t leave the house, think about getting some home gym equipment in your office. Many modern offices in forward-thinking companies have gym equipment in their offices, and so should you. The internet is a great place to start looking to find what kind of machine is most suitable for you.

Keep your work and home environments separate and allow yourself breaks at regular intervals, just as you would have in an office building. You can use these breaks to go home, sit down and watch TV, get some chores done or make a coffee, but be disciplined about them. Don’t make a habit of extending your breaks.

Try to find a way in your schedule to introduce some social time. This could be through working an extra hour on certain days to free up an afternoon on another, or perhaps by starting earlier and finishing earlier. Social time is more important for those who work from home, as they are very much lacking in interaction with others. Having the time to relax with friends over a coffee or a beer is important in maintaining mental health and morale.

When you finish work for the day, close the door and be done with it. If you’re tempted to go back and do more, just because you can, it’s probably not a good idea. Working from home is great when emergency situations arise, but you have to be clear in your mind of what constitutes an emergency and what doesn’t. If it’s not an emergency, leave it until the morning.