So, thanks to the storm earlier this week I spent Monday working from home. I’m not a big fan of working from home – the only benefit I see is the lie in and being able to start cooking the dinner earlier (not that I actually did in the end)

It’s not that I get distracted at home, because I don’t really have many distractions here. It’s more just staying motivated when you don’t have a proper desk to sit at, and that ‘office atmosphere’ to keep you going.

This got me thinking about ways to stay motivated which worked for me.

Get dressed!

You don’t necessarily have to put on your smartest blouse and trousers, but at least get out of your PJs. I put on what I would have worn to work – a smart-casual ensemble. It stops you from feeling too relaxed and gets you into the right frame of mind to work to your best.

Clearly plan your day

I’m quite fortunate in my job that we map out and schedule our day in blocks of time, dependent on what we are working on. This is hugely beneficial when working at home because it means that you know exactly what you’re doing at all times. It seems like a simple thing to say, but when you have any gaps in your schedule, you will soon lose motivation and determination for completely anything that needs doing.

Also, stick to your working hours – don’t start earlier and don’t finish later!

Take your lunch break

This might seem obvious, but when you’re comfortable at home, and you don’t have other colleagues around you going for lunch, it’s not unheard of to forget about it. Get away from the computer on your lunch break – if you hang around looking at blogs, Twitter or Facebook, you will likely continue to do so into the afternoon. Once you’ve unearthed the distractions, it’s hard to get rid of them! It’s best to get outside for a bit for some fresh air to blow away the cobwebs.

Stay in touch

It can be easy to feel disconnected from the office. Stay in touch with what is going on via email, phone or IM if your company has it. This isn’t an excuse for a natter with a colleague, it’s just a reminder to not be afraid to ask questions or update the members of your team that would appreciate it!

Have you ever had to work from home because of the weather? Or do you have any tips to add to this?