How to work from home, according to old hands

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
April 09, 2020, 8:37 AM GMT+0

Take breaks, set a strict routine and create a dedicated spot to work in

With the UK in its third week under lockdown, many Britons are still grappling with the trials of how to get their regular job done without being in the office.

In order to help the 52% of Britons now confronting the reality of having to work from home regularly, we turned to the 16% of Brits who say they usually worked from home prior to the coronavirus and asked what tips they would give the newly housebound. Here are some of the most common words of wisdom.

The most common piece of advice, given by 26% of work-from-homers, was to take regular breaks.

“Take regular breaks, don’t feel like you have to be glued to your computer”

“Try and work as normally as possible, starting and finishing as normal with breaks. Normality helps everyone, we are all creatures of habit”.

“Don’t feel bad for taking breaks (you do it at work without thinking about it)”


Another one in five (22%) say that having a routine helps them.

“Develop a clear routine and stick to it as much as possible to give the day purpose”

“Settle into a new routine, working from home can be less pressured anyway – you might find you prefer this way of working”


The third most common piece of advice (14%) is to have a dedicated place for working – and not bed.

“Arrange the time and space to make yourself feeling being at work. It's very easy and somehow attractive to work in the pyjama but it doesn't work out in a long term”

“Dedicate one room/area in your house for work. Don’t work in front of the TV or from your bed.”

“Try to keep dedicated room or space for work only”

“Make yourself comfortable - comfy trousers, cup of tea. Have a workstation in your house (even if it’s just the dining table)”

“Work in a separate room if possible so that you can physically separate work and time off.”


Get away from your desk was another popular tip (11%).

“Working from home is great but makes sure you get up from your desk every hour and walk around for 10 minutes.”

“Move around - it’s easy to remain seated without normal work distractions and develop backache.”


Many (9%) also said it is important to set clear work/home boundaries.

“Focus and keep a clear divide between work and home, i.e. no pyjamas, and sit at the kitchen table, not the sofa”

“Set aside a space to work and only work there - don't blur the lines between home and work.”

“Keep structure to differentiate between work time and home time....AKA no TV on until 5pm.”

“Maintain a work routine, if living with others ensure proper boundaries are set, I.E don't expect help with house work etc whilst working.”

“Stick to your usual daily schedule, take regular breaks and ensure you finish and shut computer down after your work day ends.”


And turning off the TV or any other potential distraction is also a must for 9%.

“Don't get distracted by the TV or family, once you sit sg your desk concentrate on the task in hand.”

“Try not to get too distracted by household chores.”


Getting dressed helps some (8%) get in the work mind-set.

“Create a work area and always dress properly. This helps frame the mind properly”

“Don't fall into the habit of not getting ready properly, because it can make you feel worse.”


Some (7%) stressed the importance of maintaining human contact.

“Keep in touch with colleagues via email, phone, Skype etc. Working from home doesn't have to be lonely”

“Chat to colleagues via Skype etc to prevent the cabin fever.”


Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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