Our Tips for Working from Home.
Raring2go! is a home based franchise business. So as Raring2go! editors, we are used to running a business in our own homes (but not necessarily with children around us 24-7!)
If you suddenly find yourself having to work from home during the COVD-19 pandemic, here are some tips from our experiences, that may help you too.
“Let the family and friends know what your working hours so they can’t expect you to be available straight away. The beauty of working from home is that you can be flexible. So if your children need you in the day, consider working in the evening instead. You could perhaps schedule calls with customers/colleagues for later in the day – everyone will understand the limitations you have when there are children to look after too.” Sally Walters, Editor of Raring2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge.
Jo Messenger, our Wolverhampton Editor, shares her thoughts:
“Don’t skip breakfast or lunch, even though you are busy. Having meals at a regular time helps add structure to your day. If you have other members of your family at home with you, schedule meals and break times together, make it a rule not to talk about anyone’s work.
If your child, especially an older child, wants to talk to you while you are working - take time to listen to them. The ten minutes or so can always be made up later as you have the flexibility to work outside normal hours. Let them know if you are on a call and don’t want to be disturbed or you want them to play more quietly, then always tell them when your call is finished so they feel they can come and speak to you again. Being there for your children is one of the benefits of home working.
Think of all the money you are saving and the benefit to the environment by not having to drive or take public transport to get to work. Use the time you would usually spend on a commute to do some stretches, take a walk, do some vacuuming or start work earlier so you can finish earlier. “
Our Burton and Ashby Editor, Alice Johnson, suggests:
“Get your posture right. If you normally have a desk set up in your office with a PC and are now at home bending over a laptop… you’re going to get a sore neck and back very quickly!
Ignore the house work. If you’re working, don’t be distracted by the mess in the kitchen, the untidy kids’ rooms, etc. Be strict with the time that you’ve got set aside to work and concentrate.
Ignore the comments. I’ve been freelancing for 9 years – and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s people commenting on how ‘perfect’ working from home is when you’ve got children. No, it’s not possible to work and simultaneously look after a baby. This situation is no different – and don’t forget no-one is expecting you to still work full time and somehow miraculously look after your children in the same house.”
Jo Sanderson, Editor of Raring2go! Altrincham and Sale shares this wisdom:
”Set up a separate work area, e.g. corner of the kitchen, and allocate set working hours.
Make sure you take regular breaks, and get some fresh air in the garden.
Clear away your work at the end of the day so you’re not tempted to dip back into it again.
Arrange video calls with colleagues to keep in touch. We use Zoom which allows us to connect easily.
Use 'Away/ Do not Disturb' facilities on your email to allow you to get on with other things, like helping with homework.
Erm, no snogging in the stationery cupboard!”
Victory Withy, Editor of Raring2go! Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire shares this:
“My key is get dressed properly (work clothes), do your hair, makeup and start at a regular time (don't be tempted to sleep in or nap) -and ignore all housework and laundry! Even during these unprecedented times, work boundaries are essential”
Lisa Bayliss, Editor of Raring2go! Bromsgrove and Redditch says,
“Don’t let social media sap your time. Choose an allocated time to look at Facebook etc so you’re not too distracted from your work.”
Oh - and keep in a plentiful supply of coffee and chocolate!
We’d love to hear your tips too. Email us.
Don’t be too hard on yourself – we all have to adapt during these unprecedented times, so do what’s best for your own family and circumstances.