One of the most notable changes to the world of work in the last few years has been the widespread embrace of working from home. Across a truly staggering array of industries and sectors, employers’ attitudes have shifted significantly.
While working from home was once seen as a niche and somewhat unusual thing, it’s now familiar and normalised, with even the British government taking official note of the growth of the practice.
Here we’ll explore the topic in detail, looking at how you can ask your employer to let you work from home and see which jobs best lend themselves to a WFH lifestyle. We’ll also share some of our top tips on how to work from home most effectively - including all the benefits you can gain from having access to dedicated spaces like those we provide in our Wembley Park apartments.
How to work from home
Working from home can offer a lot of benefits, including flexibility, avoiding the stress (and cost) of a commute and the chance to find a better balance between your personal and professional life. But it’s important to make sure you know how to do it right, and to avoid some of the traps that can make working from home difficult.
1. Ensure you have everything you need to do your job
For most, this will mean, more than anything else, making sure you have a fast and reliable internet connection. This is especially important for those whose jobs involve meetings and video calls - but it’s essential for almost any remote worker, as the internet is essential for everything from emails to research.
Some roles will require more specialist equipment, too, and you need to make sure you can get this set up in your home effectively.
Quintain Living’s apartments are perfect for this - we offer superfast broadband across all of our buildings.
2. Manage your time
It’s crucial to keep regular working hours when working remotely. While they can, of course, be more flexible than the hours you might keep in an office, you still need to carve out time that is solely for working - and time when you don’t think about your job.
This includes setting a time at the end of the day to switch off. While working from home can provide a great many advantages, it can also make it easier for your professional hours to creep up and eat into your personal time. Avoid this by setting a tight schedule - and sticking to it.
3. Use a dedicated working space
Similar to the above point, working from home effectively requires not just time management, but management of your space, too. Quintain Living residents have access to dedicated communal work from home spaces - but even those who prefer to work in the privacy of their homes should try to separate where they relax from where they work.
Whether it’s a room that you use as a home office or even just a dedicated working desk, it’s important to your psychological wellbeing that you let your body and brain know when you’re in a place for working and when you’re in one for relaxing. Yes, that means no working from bed!
Other tips that can help with this include:
- Getting out of bed and preparing for the work day as you would if you were going into the office
- Wearing appropriate work clothes, including shoes
- Using your kitchen as a distinct space for breaks for coffee or food
- Getting up and walking around, and even leaving your apartment for a while on your lunch break - regular breaks are important
How to ask to work from home
Even though working from home has become far more customary in recent years, not all employers will offer it as standard. However, if you think it would be beneficial for you, and you feel you could prove to your employer that your productivity would not dip, it can be well worth asking if you can do some work remotely.
While it might seem daunting, making this request can be less stressful than you might think. You have rights here as a worker. All UK employees who have worked their job for more than 26 weeks have the right to request flexible working, and employers have a responsibility to consider those requests in ‘a reasonable manner’.
When asking your employer to let you work from home, you should make a formal, dated written request. Make this as clear as you can, including the date you’d like to begin and how many days you’d like to work from home. Refer to previous flexible working requests you have made, if any, and include a list of reasons that you want to work from home.
For the best results, don’t just focus on the benefits that you will gain. Instead, show how your working from home, even for just a few days a week, could benefit the business.
Common reasons to work from home include:
- Avoiding lengthy commutes, decreasing stress and increasing the time you have to focus on your work
- Increasing productivity, with freedom from the potential distractions of an office environment
- Improving health and wellbeing by allowing you to stay on top of household and administrative tasks, making you a more productive worker and less at risk of burnout
Make sure to think all this through before you make your formal request. The worst thing you can do is blow your chance with an ill thought out or vague request. Do your research, think clearly about what you want, and be ready to make your case to your employer.
What work can I do from home?
As we’ve noted, the embrace of working from home has become remarkably widespread since the pandemic, with many employers embracing completely remote or hybrid working.
There are obviously some areas in which working from home simply isn’t plausible. On-site jobs like construction or decorating, for instance, and call-out work like plumbing.
Most office jobs, though, can be done at least partly from home, and most businesses have adopted software in recent years that makes the shift easier than ever before.
There are also a lot of freelance jobs that lend themselves well to remote work, including:
- Copywriting or editing
- Online tutoring
- Virtual assistance (VA) jobs
- Bookkeeping and data entry
- Building sites as a web developer
- Social media management
We hope you found this blog post helpful. Before making a WFH move, it’s worth considering why you want to work from home, as well as what work you can do from home and how you can best divide your time and space to stay healthy and productive.
Our Wembley Park apartments are perfect for professionals who want to be successful while working remotely. So why not take a look at them, and see what Quintain Living has to offer you?