The Do’s and Don’ts of Working from Home

girl with laptopWith the advancements in technology it is now becoming more and more often that people are working from home.

Members of staff can take their laptops or their tablets home and can complete certain tasks without coming into the office on certain days.


Working from home may have its perks, but it is important to lay down some ground rules so you do not become too relaxed in your home environment.

DO create an organised work space. If you have a study then that is perfect – however if you do not it is vital that you have at least a desk where you have more than enough space to work. File documents effectively and create a to-do list so you ensure that you maintain a high level of organisation.

DON’T become disorganised. Just having random bits of overlapping paper scattered across the desk is far from efficient. Also, working on a laptop or tablet means that some people opt to work in bed or on the sofa. I would recommend against this – with an over relaxed state of mind you can become over relaxed with your work and fall behind schedule.

DO take breaks. Everybody is entitled to a break – just because you are not in a working environment does not mean you are not working hard. Take fifteen minutes to yourself and make sure you take time for lunch. Staring at a screen all day in any environment will cause fatigue so it is essential you reload and reenergise.

DON’T procrastinate. Procrastination in the work place is even worse now with the rise of social media – people no longer have to wander over the water cooler to have a good old gossip. Try to avoid going on Facebook or Twitter and definitely don’t go tweeting about how you are watching Jeremy Kyle when you are meant to be working from home.

DO connect with people at work. Having access to your office email is pretty much essential. With you not being in the office you have to stay in the loop with colleagues to ensure that nothing important is missed. Telephone and Skype is always an option but you…

DON’T take personal calls. Even if the house telephone rings it should not serve as a distraction. Avoid excessive texting and stay focussed on the task in hand.

DO dress the part and work during normal hours. Lounging around in your pyjamas immediately will place you in the wrong mind-set to complete work. Dress smart but casual – you never know when a video conference call could arise. Also work for your normal office hours – just because you are working from home does not mean you have to do any overtime. However at the same time it does not mean you work for fifteen minutes then have the other forty five minutes off.

A lot of this article seems to be setting out just simple rules that are mostly followed – however for some people working from home is unfamiliar territory. Set basic ground rules and stick to them – remember you are still being paid to complete work, even if you are not in the office.

Many Thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training   | Image courtesy by marcolm of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Originally published: 12 May, 2014