How to structure your day when working from home

“Working from home is a future-looking technology… I think it has enormous potential.”

– Professor Bloom, Stanford University


Home-working IS is the new future

Coronavirus has been a boon for the growing work-from-home trend, making millions of people into remote workers for the first time almost overnight as companies seek to continue business as best they can. amid the current global pandemic.

Whilst I totally understand that the any world-wide pandemic is currently disruptive and upsetting, I do also think that it bring opportunity – even at the start of the current situation with Coronavirus , I have said that when we come out the other side, we’ll find ourselves in new age where organisations and the workforce will have honed their home-working skills and utilisation of technology. I believe we’re going to find ourselves in “new normal”. And surely, this will be a good thing long term from everything to work-life balance, opportunities for working parents and the environment.

As Professor Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University, told an audience during TEDx Stanford, way back in April 2017. “Working from home is a future-looking technology… I think it has enormous potential.” I agree.


What about productivity and mental health?

However, there are growing concerns that it may not be a positive move for workers and productivity. Even Professor Bloom is concerned. Recently, in an interview with Rani Molla published on the Vox web site, Professor Bloom expressed his concern that in the past people were trained for their new role but now they were are working from home with no training and or limited support. He was concerned about the negative impact this would have on people’s productivity and mental health.

In the interview, Professor Bloom said, “People were trained. They were set up, whereas now we’ve just been thrown in. It’s like you join the army, then on day three you’re told you’re going to be parachute-jumping at lunchtime, and you’re given a parachute and thrown out of the plane. No training, no preparation.”

He went on to add, “I worry about an explosion of mental health issues. Because you’re isolating people at home all the time and removing them from social interactions, and that’s going to lead to depression. Depression itself generates — it’s not just mental health but physical health tends to do very badly.”

Speaking to my clients and reading up on this topic, especially when I was researching for my e-book on working from home How To Work From Home : Whilst Staying Productive, Healthy and Sane, I do understand the reservations about working from home and maintaining productivity. However, as someone who has worked from home for years, trust me, when you do it right, you can still be productive when working from home and research even reveals that it can be much more productive than working in an office.

This I want to share with you in this blog explores how you can how to work from home whilst staying productive, healthy and sane. These tips are especially for those who are new to working from home or are struggling to settle into this new way of working. These are the tips that people I have been speaking to have found particularly helpful, so I hope you do too.

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Alice working at a her at home in London

Top 5 Tips for working from home whilst staying productive, healthy and sane

Tip 1: Structure your day as if you would if you were going into the office

One of the keys to being productive whilst working from home is to have structure and plan your days. In a time when there is so much change and uncertainty, structure is more important than ever. Structure your working day as you would if you were actually going into the office.

For example, structure when your lunch break is, allocate a proper start and finish time and pre-book catch up calls with your colleagues.

Tip 2: Plan your working day around what is going on at home

To be productive whilst still managing your household and looking after your family will need you to create an optimum work-life balance. The advantage of working from home, for so many of us, is that the expectation (and restriction) that we strictly work a 9 to 5 is going to end. Take advantage of this and make a new normal that will (however temporary or long) work for you, your home and our family. Consult your manager and colleagues to develop flexible working that suits your needs and your company. If it works for you to take a break at 3pm to help your children with their homework for two hours before going back to the laptop for a bit to finish off, then do that if you can.

Tip 3: Have a set time to start work and agreed working hours

When you start working from home, you can be lured into thinking that you have no set start time. Working from home is sometimes seen as a luxury working world where you can start whenever you want. Whilst that technically might be true, that attitude won’t help you get things done or work smoothly with your team. Set a time to start work and agree this with your boss and colleagues. Setting and agreeing working hours will also help alleviate the guilt every time you see an email fly into your inbox early in the morning because you’ve agreed what time you’ll log on.


Alice Dartnell Life Success Coach Consultation London sat on sofa working at home writing in note pad

When you work at home, set a time to start work and agree this with your boss and colleagues.

Tip 4: Communicating work time with the family

You need to somehow find a way to communicate to your family or housemates when you are working. It might be something as simple as the office door being shut, or a ‘do not disturb’ sign pinned up.

It is especially important to communicate your working schedule to family members who are at home and not working. My semi-retired dad often gets annoyed with my mum as he attempts to work in his makeshift office at the table in the living room whilst she tries to dust around him or keeps interrupting to tell him how good her cooking tastes.

The solution? He lets her know at breakfast what time he is working, what time he is having a break and when he will be finished for the day. By discussing it over breakfast, both my parents can plan their day (and dusting time) to both enjoy an argument-free day.

Tip 5: Take regular breaks

Not just important for your health, taking regular breaks is crucial for your productivity. In any working environment, you shouldn’t stay glued to your screen all day. No one can stay focused for eight hours straight. It is essential to take regular breaks in order to remain productive, healthy and sane

It’s important to take regular screen breaks, get up from your desk and move around. Take a 15-minute walk, go make a cup of tea or catch up with a loved one quickly on the phone— don’t work yourself to the bone without letting yourself take a break away from screens, meetings and work. Studies have shown that breaks can significantly improve productivity levels and a person’s ability to focus.



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My latest book “How to work from home whilst staying productive, healthy and sane“.

Further reading

For more top tips on how to work from home take a look at my book, How To Work From Home : Whilst Staying Productive, Healthy and Sane.
With many people are working from home for the first time, this book is a practical guide to show you how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane. It will show you how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane. In informative, easy to read chapters, you will learn how to set up your own dedicated workspace, select the right office equipment and tips for video calling and conferencing. You will also learn the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries inside the home, managing distractions, avoiding procrastination and learn how to establish a routine that suits your lifestyle.

As one reader wrote:
Alice has written an amazing, practical, thought provoking read. It is like she is talking and coaching you through each tip and piece of advice that she has masterfully constructed into a brilliant e-book. I have read many personal development books on this topic, but many authors write lengthy chapters. Alice, however, has put these tips together in a short, snappy and easy to dip in and out of style such that you feel you are improving yourself and moving forward with each one. I fully encourage fellow entrepreneurs and those adjusting to a new normal of working from home to purchase and apply these tips to turbo charge their business.

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On sale at Amazon for just £2.42 / $2.99!  To purchase please click on the link below!

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Let’s Work Together

If you are serious about wanting to make life-long changes and positively transform your life, then I would love to hear from you to see how I can support you.

I have helped a range of people on a huge variety of goals – from suffering with confidence loss, to publishing a book, to enabling a change of direction in life, to small business owners struggling with staff – but my main focus is to support the busy professional who is trying to juggle it all.

I can help YOU through  my 1-2-1 coaching, group coaching and my bespoke but life changing courses.  Let’s Work Together.  Sounds good? Take a look at my website to find out more!

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Other Blog Articles on My Web Site

Below are links to other blog articles that you might be interested to read.

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If you asked me what was one of the things I was most proud about in my corporate career, apart from moving up the ladder fairly quickly, it would also probably be my work-life balance.



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When it comes to goal setting, you’ll have heard about SMART goals.  But if SMART goals are the way to do it, then why do so many of us not achieve our goals?  Here is why SMART goals are stupid and some top tips how you can improve your goal setting!




The real secret to success (and it isn’t what you think it is)

The way to achieve success and get your goal isn’t to do with what you might think. It has nothing to do with willpower, determination or how many degrees you’ve got. It is about the daily discipline of habits. 




This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.

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