Working from home: Our 10 tips for success

The challenge of successfully working from home

As companies everywhere are forced to make adjustments and prioritise the health and safety of their employees and communities during the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have been forced to set up their teams to be able to work from home.

As the coronavirus pandemic persists, most employees are now getting used to working from home and many are noticing benefits including avoiding stressful, time-consuming commutes; saving money on travel and food; managing work more efficiently; fewer interruptions; and seeing their children more often.

But, working from home can bring many challenges including an inability to get enough work done or actually working too much. If you’re new to working from home or struggling with the change there are many risks and challenges to avoid or overcome. The better you recognise them, the easier it is to mitigate them and succeed as a remote worker (maybe for the long term?).

Here are Vanilla’s 10 tips for working from home

  1. Home Office
  2. Start your day
  3. Commute
  4. Routine
  5. Be kind
  6. See people
  7. Stay active
  8. Communicate
  9. Balance
  10. Daily goals

1. Set up your home office

  • Create a dedicated workspace at home, this could be in a spare room, but if you don’t have this, set up a work station on a table or desk
  • ‘Go to work’ each day and only work in this space, where possible, so that work doesn’t overtake your home
  • In a shared space, end the work day by putting all work equipment away, where possible
  • Sit in a chair that supports your back with feet flat on the floor, hips and knees at 90 degrees if possible. Use cushions to be comfortable

2. Start the day well

  • Start each day as if you were leaving the house to go to work
  • Get up, showered, dressed, breakfast, walk the dog, feed the kids etc.
  • If anxious when walking, take slow deep breaths, try short meditations
  • Start weekends differently to make clear distinction between week days and weekends

3. Commute to work

  • Use the time you would normally be travelling to work to do something positive e.g.
    • A small job you’ve been meaning to do
    • Exercising
    • Calling a friend
    • Learning a skill
    • Spending time with family

4. Find a new routine

  • Develop a new daily routine which includes…
  • Work time, breaks, exercise, healthy food and drinks, snacks and social contact
  • Be careful not to work more hours than usual
  • Move at least once an hour
  • Create a structure for children where possible
  • Allocate roles at home

5. Communicate

  • Make sure you speak to someone each day, even if it’s over the phone
  • Take time to share what you are doing and don’t be afraid to ask if you need some help of ideas on how to do something in your new way of working
  • Consider taking virtual lunch or coffee breaks with colleagues
  • Ask people how they are and use calls where possible as alternatives to emails

6. Stay active

  • Build in some time each day to exercise
  • Move every hour if sitting down (stretch, go up and down stairs, march on the spot, join a yoga session)
  • Go out for a walk or run
  • Do an online exercise class – Boxx from Perkbox, Joe Wicks morning PE
  • Complete a 30 day challenge
  • Create circuits at home
  • Chase the dog (be creative)

7. See people

  • Make the point of seeing people every single day
  • Video Calls instead of phone calls/ texts/ emails
  • This might mean actually getting dressed – that’s the whole point
  • Staying motivated and caring for yourself is so important when working from home

8. Be kind

  • These are unprecedented times, so if you’re feeling good, check in with others, ask how they are feeling and just listen
  • Take notice of your own thoughts, be kinder to yourself – what would you say to someone else in the same situation?
  • Help others out where you can
  • Consider volunteering if you can

9. Balance

  • Develop a plan that works for you. If you’re working from home and have a family, it’s understandable that you might need to try a few different plans before you find one that balances out your responsibilities at home and work
  • Get some support if you are struggling to balance home and life. Communication is key
  • Review adjustment that could be made
  • What other support is available – simply health

10. Set daily goals

  • Write down 2-3 goals for your day, every day.
  • Keep a notebook, board, poster with your daily goals and tick them off as you achieve them
  • Develop shared goals and the people you live with
  • Make your goals SMART


  • Take control and try out the tips
  • We are all in unique situations so do what works for you
  • Be prepared for trial and error
  • Take your time, be kind to yourself and others
  • Talk and listen to others

Working from home comes with many benefits, from ditching the daily commute to a more flexible work schedule to being able to spend more time with family. But remember, it still requires work, and with every benefit comes a challenge.

Without the structure imposed by a traditional workplace, you need to create your own structure and routines to stay effective. If you want the freedom to work from home successfully, be prepared for additional responsibilities too.

Other pages of interest

For more useful information, news and resources feel free to look around our website and in particular our Client and Candidate pages including Client Journey, Candidate Journey, Training Courses, Case Studies, Client Resources, Candidate Resources and our regularly updated Blog.

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable job seekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office