The Ultimate Guide to Working from Home

Want to learn more about remote working? Read our helpful guide for tips on how to get the most out of working from home.

Since the UK headed into lockdown in March, most businesses have had to adapt how they operate and homeworking has become the new norm for many employees. In April, at the peak of the pandemic, nearly half of all employed people did some work from home and a significant number hope to ditch the daily commute permanently.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the many digital technologies that we now have in our arsenal. Tools like Zoom, Skype, Slack, authenticator apps, digital asset management systems and cloud computing, have made it possible for employees to carry out their office roles just as effectively from home.

The increase in homeworking has in fact highlighted a number of benefits for employees and employers alike. Whether you’re new to working from home, work remotely every day, or split your time between home and the office, this article will give you useful tips and tricks for getting the most out of working from home.

Benefits of homeworking

First off, let’s consider the perks of working from home and why you might want to look into remote working opportunities.

Better work-life balance

Many homeworking employees can choose between a broader set of working hours or on a flexitime basis. This means that you can work when you are most productive and fit your job around other commitments, such as the school run. No commute also means that you’ll have more free time to spend with loved ones and to do other activities before or after work.

Greater job satisfaction

Studies show that remote staff tend be generally happier in their role. This is no real surprise, since employees are able to customise their workspace to suit their needs, work more flexible hours and have no need for a stressful commute. But homeworking can also offer greater job satisfaction. With less supervision, comes more control over your workload and greater responsibility, which may help you progress in your role.

Location independence

Since remote jobs can be carried out from anywhere with a stable internet connection, this opens the job market up to a much wider pool of candidates. For people living in rural areas or who are unable to relocate due to family commitments, this means they are still able to carry out the role they wish without a long commute. It also reduces the need to live in a high-cost area such as London to get access to the best positions and for millennials, it offers more freedom and travel opportunities.

Better health

A less obvious perk is that working from home can actually improve both your mental and physical health. With more flexibility to manage other commitments, remote staff are likely to sleep better and feel less stressed. You’ll also have more time for physical activity and will be less likely to eat junk food on the go. Homeworking can also make it easier for employees to manage any long-term health conditions or disabilities.

How to effectively work from home

Choose a dedicated workspace

When you’re working from home, it’s important that you designate yourself a specific area to work in – preferably somewhere different to where you spend your leisure time. In other words, don’t just use the sofa or dining table.

This will help you get into the right mindset when you sit down to work. Ideally, you want to set up your workstation in a quiet area away from distractions, particularly if you take regular phone or video calls.

Maintain regular hours

Although you may not work standard office hours, once you have determined your new working hours, you should try to stick to them. This will help you to develop a routine and give you clear guidelines to help you maintain a good work-life balance and avoid over-working. It’s also a good idea to segment your day by scheduling your tasks in order of importance to avoid losing focus.

Make sure you have the necessary equipment

First and foremost, you need to make sure that you have access to a stable internet connection and a good quality desktop computer or laptop. This may seem obvious, but it is fundamental to you being able to your job effectively. If your Wi-Fi is unreliable, use an ethernet cable to stay connected. If you are working from a laptop, invest in a stand to raise it to eye level and use a keyboard and mouse to prevent back problems.

You also need to make sure that you have the right programs installed on your computer and that you know how to use them. Most remote roles will require access to Microsoft Office and a work email at a minimum. In addition, you may also need apps such as Slack or Teams for communicating with your colleagues, Zoom for participating in video calls and a hosted desktop for storing company and customer data securely, as well as accessing your company’s digital files as you would in the office.

Take breaks

When working from home, it’s essential that you remember to take breaks away from your screen. While it may be tempting to sit at your desk for hours at a time, it’s important to move your body regularly. Try to get up and walk around briefly or do a simple chest stretch every hour. If you can, try to take a walk outside during your lunch break. It’s also good practice to carry out the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye-strain from screen work – every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.

Stay connected

Although there are many benefits to working from home, it can also get quite lonely if you don’t keep in regular contact with your colleagues. To avoid feeling cut off, check in with your co-workers regularly via phone or Slack and look out for video calls that you can participate in. You could also look into arranging virtual social activities such as a coffee break together. It’s also important to stay in touch with friends and family, particularly if you live alone, to avoid feeling isolated.

Tips for increased productivity

Get dressed

Despite the temptation to stay in your pyjamas all day, it’s important that you get up and dressed as if you’re going to work. Although the same level of formality may not be needed, getting dressed will help get you in the right mindset for work and besides, you should always be prepared for an impromptu Zoom call with the team.

Plan your day

Without your boss breathing down you neck, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you need to do that day. Using a planner will help you manage deadlines and meetings. Make sure you check your emails at the start of the day for anything that needs addressing urgently. From there, review your priorities and create a to-do list. Try setting a time limit for each task – this will help to keep you on track and it is also really satisfying when you achieve your goal and can cross it off the list!

Ask for help

If you’re new to remote working or are struggling with self-teaching a new IT program, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s better to ask how to do something, than waste hours trying to figure something out for yourself or carrying out a task incorrectly. Remember, you’re not alone and the team needs to work together to be productive, even when you’re in different locations.

Set some ground rules

When you work from home, it’s important that you set out some ground rules for the other people in your house and those closest to you. It’s a common misconception that those who do their job remotely are available and can be called upon to look after pets or children. As such, you may need to explain that although you are at home, you are working and cannot be disturbed between certain hours.

Major companies offering homeworking in 2020

Looking for your next remote position? Here is a list of top employers that are actively hiring for homeworking staff in 2020.

FlexJobs, 2020

Glassdoor, 2020










Kelly Services



UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group


Trusted Health



Red Hat

BroadPath Healthcare Solutions

Final thoughts…

As you’ve seen, there are many perks to working from home. Whether you’re a permanent employee or a freelancer, homeworking gives you the chance to escape the daily commute, have more free time and work from anywhere you choose. But it’s not all plain sailing…

There is definitely an adjustment period and you’ll need to be self-disciplined and able to manage your time effectively. You’ll also need to get used to your own company, video calls and various IT programs. The bottom line is, working home from isn’t necessarily any easier than going out to work, it just takes place elsewhere. And it’s important that you take that into consideration when applying for remote roles.


Posted on 17.09.20