Working from Home – Top 10 tips for organising your time and your family

This blog was written by Warren Wint, lead trainer of Total Success Training Ltd. Warren and his collegues are available for training consultancy, workshops, training and presentations. You can contact him at or call total success on (020) 8269 1177.

Homeworking may have sounded like your birthdays and Christmases coming all at once when you first embarked on the journey. But the reality of being stuck at home all day can be either heaven or hell depending on your personality and your dependence on the presence of others around you. Some people are be able to work without interference and get lots done, whilst others, without people around you might go stir-crazy for social interaction. This is even more challenging when you are trying to work with your family, friends and flatmates around you constantly.

This blog is written to help you and give tips that allow you to work under these challenging conditions. You may find it useful to print it off and have that family meeting tonight to lay down the new rules of engagement. Tell them all that an expert on the internet told you to do it!

  1. You must constantly remind yourself that you are “at work”. Try to surround yourself with all the objects and paraphernalia you would normally have if you still worked in an office. This is also an excellent way of reminding your friends and family that when you or they enter the room it is a place of work.


  1. Have rules. Set up rules that everyone agrees to. These may include schedules, who does what and when and daily tasks that everyone can own. Stick them on the fridge (or somewhere else visible) that will act as a constant reminder. This gives everyone ownership and understanding of the situation. Don’t worry if the tasks set of your kids is small, it shows that you have trust in them and gives you the chance to praise them daily for exercising their commitment to the situation you are all in.


  1. Try to dress the same as you would for the office. This can reinforce in your mind that you are still at work and will visually remind those around you that you’re working too.


  1. Have a schedule and stick to it. Many people become used to the routine that an office environment brings to them and find it a great help to have structures and routines they feel comfortable with.


  1. Let your family know you are ‘working’ and not there to talk or do household chores. Be firm with them that both your work space and time are valuable. You must not get drawn into ‘helping out every time someone needs you , just because you are there


  1. Protect your work space. It’s not easy to work away from the hustle and bustle of homelife whilst working from the dining room table. But, if your defended space is in a room that others use, try putting some screens around it. At the least, put a symbolic waste-paper basket beside the table to say to everybody: “I am now at work. Do not disturb.”


  1. Shared responsibility. Share family responsibilities with partner, friends, colleagues or relatives. Ensure that you all take responsibility for tasks including cooking, cleaning, childcare, and playing. Don’t feel guilty for taking your work responsibilities seriously and communicating this to others. We are all under a new reality so don’t take other’s excuses for not taking their fair share.


  1. Review your family schedule every Friday night or Sat morning to make adjustments as necessary. Set up timed-daily schedules that organises everyone. Allocate tasks for the week with incentives when they are completed. Make this visual as mentioned earlier.


  1. Try to work in the best way. If you use a computer more than a few minutes a day, make sure the screen and keyboard are positioned right to avoid glare and muscle tension or even headaches. Wherever you work, you need a good desk, efficient filing space and comfortable chair.


  1. Plan your daily chores the night before. Do all your ironing, arrange your clothes, polish your shoes etc. This will ensure you avoid ‘finding something to do’ if you’re bored or if you get easily distracted.


If you’ve found these tips valuable you’ll find the others on our website under our newsletters and blogs section, freely given and enthusiastic enjoyed.. We’ve a wealth of free tips and techniques for you on loads of subjects. Try it, we’re sure you’ll love them.


Warren Wint and, is the lead trainer of total success training and is available for training consultancy, workshops, training and presentations. You can contact him at or call total success on (020) 8269 1177.