As more and more employers provide flexible and home working as a regular option, it’s worth exploring some of our top tips for productive home working.
The reality is that a recruiter is no different to any other home worker, albeit they may spend more time on the phone than other professions. The typically quiet home environment should present an ideal set up for most, as long as the IT equipment is configured correctly and the following tips should help you make the most of this approach to working.
- Go to work! No, we’re not saying that you should actually go into the office, but you should designate a space at home, either a specific room or area of a room that is your workspace. Being able to separate your work and home environment will be crucially important.
- Be mindful of your working day. We know that working from home means you can be more flexible about how you manage your time and what you do throughout the day, including whether you can make those all-important calls after hours to catch that elusive client or candidate – but it’s important to be able to know when to switch off too.
- Be contactable. Although you’re out of the office, it doesn’t mean you should be out of contact with your work colleagues. You’ll naturally miss the chats over coffee, but that informal networking can be invaluable. Finding out about a new client, contract or industry news through your informal networks internally is important, so make time for it and make the effort to stay in touch with colleagues, be available for calls and be responsive.
- Online networking. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or are the world’s worst recruiter, you can’t have helped notice the growing importance of social media. Building your network and candidate pool via platforms like LinkedIn is vitally important and can be easily managed via five to ten minutes each day. Keep on top of it and share, like or comment on other’s comments and you’ll soon find your online network growing.
- Structure your day. Creating structure to your day, just like you would in the office can help you avoid distractions. You might find the mornings are the best time to make your client calls, whereas lunchtimes are the best times to add your jobs to the job boards and your own website – so if that’s the case, structure your day accordingly. Don’t get distracted writing blog posts or browsing LinkedIn if you know you should be doing something else. Applying a little self-control can work wonders here.
- Make it harder for yourself to procrastinate. Whilst some social media use can be an essential part of a recruiter’s day, too much can lead to massive amounts of time wasting. To help avoid temptation, even the simple act of removing the social media icons and links from your toolbars and burying them in a folder can work wonders.
- Communicate with your housemates. Whether you’re sharing your home with your family, friends or lodgers, you need to let them know that just because you’re at home when they are during the day, that you’re not there for casual chats and watching TV! Set boundaries, let them know that you’re ‘at work’ and have calls to make, and that you shouldn’t be disturbed. By all means arrange a coffee break or lunch break with them, but be strict with yourself over timings.
- Take a break. While we’re talking about breaks, it’s important to remember that you should take breaks when you’re working from home. It’s all too easy to just get up, get dressed and work all day long – but that’s not healthy and not going to be a productive use of your time. Get up periodically, stretch your legs and walk around when making a phone call, and remember to take regular breaks from your screen and your work, keep refreshed and have a break for lunch.
- Remember to eat. Just like you would do in an office environment, breaking for lunch is vitally important. You’ll not be distracted by hunger and you’ll perform better once you’ve eaten. And just like you might do in an office environment, consider a packed lunch of sorts and make your lunch the evening before. It’ll stop you having too much downtime prepping your lunch during the working day.
- Dress for work. One of the most contentious points regarding home working and also one of the most common myths, but homeworkers typically don’t spend the day working in their pyjamas! We’d advocate going a step further and dressing for work too. That doesn’t mean you put on a full suit, but dressing smartly helps. You’ll feel smart, you’ll talk differently and if that impromptu video conference or Skype interview is dropped on you, you’ll look the part when the feed starts up.
We really could go on writing about productive home working tips for recruiters all day long, but the long and short of it all is to just use common sense. Working from home isn’t an excuse to not do any work, go shopping, sort out all your chores, or hit the gym – but it can be a great approach to improving or managing your work /life balance.
If you’d like to explore what home working recruitment roles might be available to you, then get in touch with Harrison Sands recruitment to recruitment specialists today.