How to work from home and actually get some work done

March 9, 2017


What does a typical working day look like, these days? Meetings via Skype. Managing your colleagues’ workload over Trello or Asana. Slacking… with other clients and companies.

And typing out your super-important presentation while wearing fluffy slippers and a dressing gown. No doubt, technology has revolutionised the way we work – and where we can work from. Now your coffee shop can double as a meeting spot, there’s no limit to the possibilities of a relaxed working life. From home.

Which is why the kitchen table, the shed in the back garden, or the loft has become our ideal home office.

While working from home sounds like a dream, those who do it know it requires some serious discipline. And no, watching Netflix and doing 20 minutes of Internet surfing doesn’t count as a morning well spent.

It’s also essential to teach yourself how to switch off from all things domestic. Or just get yourself to a coffee shop with great Wi-Fi, stat. Don’t let yourself get distracted by that towering pile of dishes you can spot while typing away. Do. Not. Do. It.

With the right apps and a multitasking home communications hub – yes, that’s your smartphone, working from home has never been easier. Here’s what you need to know so that you need never set foot in an office again. Unless you want to.

Stick to a schedule

The first rule when it comes to working from home? Pretend you’re going to actual work. Set your alarm, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and do whatever else you’d do if you were going into the office.

But instead of opening the front door, head upstairs and settle down at your computer like a real person. It’s so easy to get distracted by anything and everything in your home. TV, books, laundry, organising drawers – they’re all great as procrastination tactics – and you’re the only one holding yourself accountable.

Adopting office hours and setting goals for what you need to achieve that day and week will help you maintain discipline. But it’s the single most effective thing you can do. And don’t forget to plan some breaks and think ahead: don’t spend 3 hours making lunch when you could have reheated that soup you made yesterday.

Apps like Asana and Trello, an instant bulletin board of sorts, can help you manage your workload and prioritise your projects. This will give you a game plan of what you need to get done. And that means you can find 30 mins in the afternoon to stream videos of baby sloths on replay.

Get our Home Broadband

Once upon a time, every single work-from-homer who had moved would spend a restless few weeks waiting for broadband to be installed. Because as we all know, there’s no such thing as a home office without internet. You might have even sat on a street corner desperately trying to pick up signal as you frantically typed an email. And, of course, as you despaired, you drank about 4,000 cappuccinos, so you could use free Wi-Fi.

Just us, then?

No longer will this be an issue for the telecommuter: with our Home Broadband, you don’t need a fixed phone line to get a broadband connection, fast. You don’t even need wires: just plug in the hub and you’re connected. It couldn’t be easier.

And it’s ideal for lots of people. If you’ve moved somewhere new, have patchy internet, live somewhere remote, or just want broadband that you can plug and play.

Buy our Home Broadband. You don’t need a landline, there’s no messy installation, and no waiting. Place your order. Get the hub. Plug it in. Get connected. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Never drop a call again

The problem with working from home is that you want to convey professionalism, but also sit in your PJs eating crisps. So long as you deliver, no one needs to know your reality. That you’re sitting on the couch dressed as Olaf while your 4-year-old prances around you in a Princess Elsa costume.

However, when you do need to interact with other people, you’ll want to make sure your phone line isn’t fuzzy. Or that you don’t sound like you’re somewhere in Siberia when you’re really just in Kent. Enter 4G Super-Voice.

At Three, we believe in giving all our customers our low-frequency 4G Super-Voice. It’s available in areas with 4G signal and makes indoor black spots a thing of the past. We’ve even put together our favourite reasons to fall in love with Super-Voice. So, no matter where you’re working from, if you’re in a 4G-connected area, you’ll get 4G signal. You can make calls and not worry about dropping the other person on the line. We’ve currently got 84% of the UK population covered indoors. And we’re continuing to roll out to more places across the country.

Not in a 4G-friendly zone? No problem. With Wi-Fi Calling you can stay connected, no matter what’s going on with your signal.

To achieve the optimal work-from-home situation, you’ll want a phone contract that lets you do everything you need it to. From texting your colleagues to organising meet-ups. A Personal Hotspot allowance so you can keep working in transit. No roaming costs abroad if your work takes you from your UK home to an Airbnb in Australia for a week.

If you’re looking for simple, great value connectivity for yourself or a team of employees, check out our business plans. And if you love your current phone, you could always join us on SIM Only to get stuck into our award-winning 4G network. Think Unlimited minutes, texts, and data. Personal Hotspot, specialist customer service, and roaming with Go Roam. Keep connected and call our business team now for a full range of plans.

Embrace the man cave

Or the she-shed. Or a room of one’s own, to borrow from Virginia Woolf. But frankly, if you don’t have a room, then a tidy desk will do. Or even working from your bed if that’s the space in your house that isn’t overflowing with distractions. Any place you won’t be tempted to faff will do.

Having a space to call your own, where you feel at ease and calm, is essential when trying to work from home. Add background music, mood lighting, and whatever else it takes to get you into “work mode.”

Top tip: Noisli provides background noises to help you maximise productivity and bring some soothing nature sounds to your workspace.

Stay sociable

One of the things you might miss when you start working from home is the camaraderie and buzz of an office environment. You might be more productive when no one’s around, but you’ll also be lonelier. And you won’t have someone sitting next to you to bounce ideas off. Or look over your email before you send it to that important client.

Enter Slack, the messaging platform that is all about fluid and creative communication. It’s much easier and less formal than email. Chat and message in a casual water-cooler way, wherever you are.

Or get on group-messaging app Group Me to communicate with your team, ideal if you’re all in different places, or countries.

While you don’t want to become a hermit, you also don’t want to lose yourself in a Facebook-stalking spiral. Avoid the distractions on your computer when trying to work with the SelfControl app. It will block social networking sites and other potential time-wasters.

So, actually getting some work done while working from home can be done. All you need is the right apps and technology, combined with a bit of discipline.

Main pic: Pexels via Stokpic