TOP 5 Effective Work From Home Tips for People Self-Isolating…

Paul-Anthony
6 min readMar 20, 2020

Advice for those who are working from home, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

I’ve been working from home since last September 2019, long before we knew about the Coronavirus, that has shocked the entire world since the outbreak started in China just over 3 months ago. I want share with you my top tips for staying productive, whist working within the comfort of your own home, plus my personal experience since I decided to work at home.

Over the past few weeks, many officials have been telling everyone to self-isolate within our homes, avoid public transport and workplaces in order to reduce the spread of the outbreak.

My partner was told this week, by her company that a plan was to be put into place for all office staff to carry out workable duties from home. She asked me for advice on how to set up a successful plan, in order to work productively and not get distracted.

I started working from home last year September 2019, the first week of working as a freelancer wasn't very easy and I had to quickly put a plan in place in order to avoid getting too comfortable at home. The other issue, was having a retired father who was watching loud action movies and noise became another for us. Luckily I had a spare room that I could turn into an office and added some sound proofing around the door to reduce noise.

I am not saying you should go to extremes to sound proof your working environment, adding foam around the door and windows.

The one product that I can recommend for anybody working from home and requires to listen to sound, watch videos or even if you are going on a call with your company and want to avoid distracting others if you not alone, is to buy Noise Cancelling Headphones. This was at the top of my wish list when I started working from home, watching videos whilst I was studying as part of my personal development plan in order to provide new services and skills.

Depending on what your job role entails, headphones may be optional however, I find it’s useful to have a good pair of headphones, as you may need to use them.

There are many good noise cancelling headphones on Amazon, and depending on your budget, you can buy wired ones to Bluetooth wireless headphones, and other factors like quality of the headphones, playtime hours (wireless), quality of the ear muffs, built in mic etc.

Here is the headset that I bought and recommend if you are looking to buy a good quality headphones without paying a hefty price. The brand is called, DOQAUS Bluetooth Headphones, priced at £34.99.

DOQAUS Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Here are my 5 Top ‘Work From Home’ Tips for those who are Self-Isolating due to amid coronavirus outbreak or started to work from home;

1.) Designate a Workplace

First and foremost, try to find somewhere in your home that you can create an office-space. If you have a spare room at home that you can add a desk or table, this would be very helpful when it comes to separating what is a work space and what is home space. If not, you can use a dining table or breakfast bar. If you don’t have a table, I recommend taking a trip to Ikea, were you can find desk to suit your budget. This is what I did at the start, but since then I saved up to buy a desk with drawers. This step is critical because having a designated work space helps you go into what I like to call, focus mode. Its all about having a quiet space, no distractions like the TV or even the fridge for that matter.

2. ) Set Up a Daily Work Schedule in the Morning

First, get showered and dressed like you would for a normal working day and try not to get tempted to wear pj’s. You may be working at home but you are still working. Even through it may look funny to be wearing your working clothes at home, but this helps to get into the right mentality to work.

Next, plan your day and write it down or use a tool on the computer, I like to use notepad or a project management tool. If you are working with your works email tool, like Outlook, you can add a to do list in order to prioritise what needs doing in that day, week or month. You can also use a diary to write down your work schedule. Having a successful work structure can help you stay on track while you work from home. This will help you avoid getting distracted, knowing when to have breaks and when to stop.

I find it very helpful to use an online project management and collaboration tool in order stay productive and meet important deadlines. Part of my freelancing career, I collaborate with other freelancers, especially when I am outsourcing certain projects that can be better executed and gives me more time to work on certain tasks that are better suited to my experience and skill set. I use a project management tool, called Wrike.

What is Wrike? an all-in-one project management and collaboration software, that helps multiple teams and multiple projects running concurrently in real time. Some of the biggest advantages for me, is that it provides you with real-time updates, cross-project reports and news feeds.

Features:

Gantt Chart

View Workload

Time Tracker

3.) Eliminate Distractions

This step goes back to what I said in Tip 1. Having a quiet work-space is important in order to be and remain productive when working from home. Now, I know how difficult it will be to adjust to your new work environment and we can’t say for sure how long you will have to work from home, but it’s crucial you remain proactive and not get easily distracted. Try not going on social media or online shopping sites or watching the television while working.

Also, I made a point about using noise cancelling headphones to eliminate background noises, especially if you are likely to go on online conferences or video calls and you have distracting noises going on. The headphone that I bought and recommend, are the DOQAUS Bluetooth Headphones.

4.) Network Online Effectively

Use a tool that allows you to effectively communicate with your team, clients, stakeholders and customers. There are many online tools that you can use like, Linkedin groups, Whatapp groups, Teamviewer, GoToMeeting and Cisco WebEx. Some are paid and some are free.

I recommend: All-In-One Project Management and Collaboration Tool, called Wrike.

5.) Take Regular Breaks

It is important to collaborate with your team and organise breaks, just like you would within your office work environment. This is crucial if you share emails or an urgent call comes in. When I am on a break, I like to go for a run, a walk and even sit in my garden, obviously when the weather is nice. I don’t recommend watching TV, but I think this will come down to your preferences and how discipline you want to be. At the start of my journey, I remember watching Suits at about 12 whilst eating, it was meant to be a 45 minute break, which turned into a 2 hour break. I got into that ‘one more episode’ attitude.

It can be a daunting feeling in adjusting to a new work environment, whether this is a temporary or permanent work space for you. Having the right mentality and preparation is key.

If you are looking to outsource content writing, financial modelling/analysis or excel projects, please check out my Fiverr account, by clicking here.

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