With working from home becoming increasingly popular, many are opting to embrace this alternative style of working. There are many benefits; just think – who wouldn’t enjoy avoiding the rush hour commute?

However, there are some obstacles to working away from your office; home working for extended periods can cause feelings of isolation and the physical disconnect can hinder collaboration.

We’ve put together some handy tips, that we've gathered from some of our experienced home-workers, to help you make the most of going solo.

Time keeping

Pretend you are going to the office... even when you’re not. Many find the lack of structure of a normal workday is a challenge while home working. Have a similar time management plan or establishing a routine can help keep you focussed on tasks at hand. Set an alarm, get up and get dressed, make a coffee and start your day just as you would in the office.

Another tip to help you keep on track and productive throughout the day is to establish your own rituals. Start with making sure you’re at your local coffee shop for an 8.45 pick-me-up or set a reminder to have lunch or a tea break at a certain point throughout the day. These little rituals will provide your day with a bit of extra structure.

Set a budget

An added benefit of working from home is you save on your daily commute to the office. While lunch out may be a treat when commuting, you’re not financially worse off by keeping to the same budget and spending in your local community. Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eats offer free delivery from local cafes and restaurants that may still be open for take-away.

Stay connected

If a few members of your team are working remotely at once, make sure you set communication standards, so no-one feels ignored or isolated. If you need to focus and are going to close emails and silence your phone, then let colleagues know when they can reach you; distance shouldn’t hinder spontaneous collaboration. Plan a time in the day to catch up with the team or put some time aside for a quick call to keep that human interaction.

Face time

While it’s common to FaceTime or Skype for a conference call, have you ever thought about having it permanently running in the background? One of our designers did this, all day, every day, to avoid feeling isolated when working from home.

This trick works best between two or three colleagues. You simply setup a dedicated iPad and put it on in the corner or across the room. This way, seeing your fellow colleagues, helps bring a sense of physical connection. You also have the benefit of being able to spontaneously chat, grab a tea break and not miss out on that ever-important office banter.

Mirror yourself

Bring a little vanity or shaving mirror from your bathroom into your study or workspace. This may sound odd, but hear us out here – seeing your reflection, even in your peripheral vision can help abate feelings of loneliness.

While we’re not suggesting you start talking to yourself, but seeing a familiar face can often help and do wonders for wellbeing.

Don't watch box sets...

But put them on! Having familiar chatter on in the background can help emulate the murmur of your office background. Put on your favourite (or maybe third favourite) box set or TV channel if you like background chat. We’d recommend streaming on a secondary device so it can’t steal too much of your attention.

Wilson

Finally, if you’re really feeling like you need company, then you can always name your favourite volleyball.