Did you know the number of people regularly working from home has risen to more than 4.2 million in the last decade? And would it surprise you to know that the Office for National Statistics also expects 50% of the UK workforce to work remotely by 2020?
The trend for home working has really gathered momentum over the last ten years, with BBC 5 Live Wake Up To Money analysis revealing a 74% jump in the number of people working from their own home between 2008 and 2018. This working arrangement has perks for both employer and employee. From being able to control your immediate environment and experiencing less workplace distractions, to avoiding illness and never losing hours due to traffic or public transport delays, a desk on your doorstep can lead to better productivity and efficiency….or can it?
Whether you work from home full-time, divide your time between the office and remote working, or have agreed a flexi-work week, staying focused away from the office can be a challenge – especially in the summer months when there’s the temptation to catch some rays in the garden or have a siesta on the sofa. Here is Bond Williams’ home working advice for staying on track when the temperature rises.
5 ways to focus when working from home during the summer
Abandon plans to set up outside – it may be inviting to grab your laptop and set up outside but the conditions are not always conducive to work. You’ll waste time finding the right shade and angling your screen to avoid the sun’s glare, and a patio table and chair set up is all wrong for typing posture. For a dose of fresh air, schedule an early morning or late afternoon stroll instead, or eat your lunch outside in the shade.
Keep your work space cool – your home probably won’t have the benefit of air conditioning like an office may, so beat the heat, stave off restlessness and banish fatigue by keeping your home office or room where you’ve set up as cool as possible. A through breeze always works best, so open all the doors and windows, and have a plug-in fan ready for when a heat wave strikes.
Adjust your working hours – if you find the peak of the day too hot to work, devise a revised working hours schedule with your employers. You may find it beneficial to start early in the morning before the mercury rises, rest in the afternoon, and log on again after 3pm. Just ensure your employer knows when to expect you online and document your hours to prove you have pulled your weight.
Eat and drink for the conditions – plenty of fluids is the order of the day and in the absence of a water cooler, keep a topped-up jug of water next to your glass so you stay hydrated. You can also use the advantage of having your own fridge and fully-stocked cupboards to make fresh, light lunches and when it gets unbearable, you can raid your freezer for lollies and ice cubes.
Dress for the temperature – being in the comfort of your own home does give you some creative license when it comes to what to wear. Opt for light colours, thin fabrics and loose fitting garments but home workers should, however, avoid the temptation to stay in their pajamas. This doesn’t always get you in the right frame of mind for work and can lull you into a false sense of relaxation. A word of caution, however, double check if you have any video conferences scheduled!
Ask Bond Williams for its current vacancies where working from home or flexi-working may be an option.