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  • Chris Tate

working from home

Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, more and more of us are being asked to work from home. Well, for once this makes me something of an "expert" as I've done this for over 10 years so I have put together some "Top Tips" for you...


Wake Up


Perhaps the most unnecessary tip, but it's important to get up and get out of bed. Of course you can have a few extra minutes in bed, think of it as the commute, but don't forget to get up at some point.



Some people say it's important to "make the bed" to signify the start of the day, but I don't often bother. It takes valuable seconds from the afternoon nap for starters.




Get Dressed


This is a no-brainer of course if you're heading to the office, but remember it when at home. At some point during the day you will have to join some kind of video conference and you don't want to have your important point about P&L being diluted by the fact you're sat in Bart Simpson pyjamas.


Sit at a Desk


The temptation is of course to sit on the sofa and "work". In my experience this doesn't work, I prefer to sit at a desk or table. I must confess that I sometimes pretend I have a fancy "Stand-Up" desk by putting the laptop on the kitchen counter.


I think it's best to try to have as "work-like" setup as possible, so I have external monitors as well as a proper keyboard and mouse. (Assuming we all agree laptop keyboards aren't proper of course)


Focus


Some people are able to just "stay in the zone", but for the rest of us, I find that listening

to music helps. Not proper music, that kind of music has too much temptation to stand up and start singing. No, the kind of focus music you can find on Spotify etc... I find this helps me get stuff done..





Drink Tea


I love tea, I believe other hot drinks are available, but for me there is only tea. I drink a lot of it, you may know I created a machine to count how many cups I have a day (The Tate-Tea2000). With hindsight I could have just counted the used tea bags at the end of each "shift" (Yes, I'm calling it a shift)


Whatever you drink, at first you will be a little annoyed that you have to make literally every round, but after a while you will get used to not having to deal with the whole "Just a splash of milk", "Strong" or "Did you put sugar in mine?" thing.


Plan Your Chores


Working from home is great as you get to do some of the chores you can't do at the office. However, be careful with your timings, especially if your desk is within earshot of the washing machine, dishwasher or other noisy appliance.


Trust me, pitching your new idea to Sir Dennis is a lot harder when the washing machine goes into a spin cycle.


Homes Under The Hammer


No further words needed - Join Martin Roberts, Lucy Alexander, Dion Dublin and the other one as they churn out the most formulaic and best daytime TV show ever created.



There are over 1000 episodes of this show, so you'll never get bored of it, despite it being the same every single day. The best parts of the show are without doubt The Amazing Music selections and Dion Dublin saying "Stairs Going up the Bedrooms"


This is an ideal mid-morning treat for all home workers.


Get Out


This is something I speak about a lot, but don't do as often as I should. Trust me though, it helps. Just get out of the house for a 30 minute walk once a day, it helps you plan the day and get things organised in your mind. I usually combine this with popping into the shop for a bag of sweets.


Log Off


The end of the day for me usually comes when I hear from the lanky Fulham fan,

Richard Osman. It used to be at 17:15 when it was time for Pointless, but now it's 18:00 when House of Games comes on. If Richard ever takes a day off I'll be working till midnight.


It's important to end though, when you don't leave the house to go to work it's hard to know when to finish work, so I try to set a time where I close the laptop down and go back into "home" mode.






I hope these tips help you - Working from home is a way to be really productive and saves a great amount of commuting time and allows us to follow advice to delay the spread of the Coronavirus.


Stay safe everyone...