All of our centres are fully open for in centre study and exams. Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available.

All of our centres are fully open for in centre study and exams. Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available.

A Guide to Working From Home

A Guide to Working From Home

Roles that offer flexi-working are on the rise in all sectors. Many people study with Pitman Training to help use new skills and qualifications to either find a new job or climb the career ladder with their current employer.

Working remotely either part time or full time can be a great option for those who can banish a long commute, however some people struggle with the thought of never returning to office life. So, here are our five tips to follow so you can be productive and comfortable whilst working from home: 

1. Establish the ground rules

When working from home, it's essential to establish some ground rules while you're away from the watchful eye of your employer. So, before your day starts, write out a list of goals that you wish to achieve over the course of the day. This allows you to push yourself throughout the day and helps you keep on top of tasks. Also, ensure an employer can always reach you during agreed times and via what means.

In most roles, you would not reply immediately to your line manager if you were concentrating on a piece of work. So, if most of your tasks would normally take 15 minutes, set expectations that you’ll normally respond within 20 minutes or less.

2. Set up a functional workspace

If lockdown Zoom meetings have taught us anything, it's that not everyone has a designated home office space. However, it is still critical to have a private, quiet place for you to concentrate on work. So, if you're without a formal home office, allocate a room in your house for the purpose of working over your contracted hours. All you need to make this a functional workspace is a laptop, internet access and furniture set up in a comfortable position.

Designating an area just for work helps you separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of daily life and gets you in the right mindset. 

Related: Top 10 Tips for Home Learning Success.

3. Get the internet speed you need

Ah, internet speed. Is it your friend or foe? Unfortunately, in most instances, it seems to be a foe. Especially if you are sharing your home with your social media and gaming-loving partner or kids.

To combat slow internet speed, consider moving your router closer to where you are working, invest in a broadband accelerator or swap wireless internet for wired. Also, you could try cleaning up your computer – keeping your PC clean of unwanted apps and files can help lengthen its life and speed up how it operates. 

4. Minimise distractions

This is perhaps the hardest thing to do whilst working from home. The kids may be shouting, you could have a pile of washing to do, or you might be craving those eclairs you left in the fridge, but now is the time to work. To help you minimise these distractions, set aside some time in the morning before work to deal with them - this helps you to focus on your job more effectively the rest of the time.

If you are being distracted by kids shouting or noisy builders, consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones. Also, log out of your social media accounts and take regular screen breaks – you don’t have to stop working entirely during these breaks but time away from devices can leave you refreshed to take on the next task. 

Related: How an Accountability Partner Doubles Your Chance of Success.

5. Plan extra social interactions

Remember, you're working from home, not the moon. Interacting with others throughout the day is allowed and many businesses will use video calling on apps like Microsoft Teams to keep colleagues connected.

As some companies are choosing to offer more flexi-working, they are also using technology to schedule socialising time too. It's a great idea to see another face during the day when most of your workday is solitary, so if your employer hasn’t already suggested it, set up a lunch date with friends, a video chat with colleagues or start an exercise class.

Whether you want to impress a new employer or just feel more comfortable to adapt to working from home longer term, these five tips are a great place to start.

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