Simple tips to maintain productivity when working from home
Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or you’ve never worked away from your usual workplace before, chances are you’ve experienced working from home over the last few months.
Due to the global pandemic and the need to socially distance, thousands of teams have been forced to base themselves from home to work – and for some, it may be a permanent move. Many businesses have realised the viability and benefits of having a workforce based at home and, even in organisations in which employees have started to return to work, a mix of office and home working looks probable moving forward. Though it wasn’t uncommon before the pandemic, it seems likely that working from home will be a big part of the new normal.
So, if working from home is here to stay, how can we ensure we can work from home effectively? It’s not always easy to be as productive as we need to be when working from home, especially if the change of working environment has been something we’ve been unable to plan for. Here are our tips for maintaining productivity when working from home.
Productivity tips for working from home
Create a dedicated home workspace
If you are one of the many people who began working from home at the start of lockdown, you may have delayed creating a proper home working set up; few of us expected the situation to last as long as it has. Now though, with working from home set to become part of our lives on an ongoing basis, it’s time to ensure you have a home workspace that works for you in the long-term.
Your home workspace should be a dedicated area where you can concentrate on work without disturbing others, and vice versa. You don’t necessarily need a home office, but aim for a designated space where you can create a comfortable working set up, organise any paperwork or files and most importantly, leave at the end of each day. This way, you can more easily define working and non-working hours, rather than trying to work at the same table at which you eat, for example.
Stick to normal working hours
Leading on from this, it’s important to keep to the same working hours as you would do in the office – it’ll help you be more productive while you are working. When your workspace is at home, it’s easy for the lines between work and free time to blur, and it can be tempting to answer emails or try and make up some time in the evening or at weekends.
Try to resist this though. A lack of distinction between working and non-working hours can be a slippery slope. We need time to properly switch off from work so that we can return to our jobs refreshed and ready to focus.
Take regular breaks
Frequent breaks away from your desk and screen are a must when working from home. While it can feel like you’ll get more done if you work through your lunch break, it’ll only leave you flagging and struggling to concentrate.
Make sure you get up and stretch your legs during your breaks, pop out for a walk or at the very least, move away from your desk to have a healthy lunch. Set aside a period of time for your break and stick to it, it’ll help your working day feel more structured and break it up into manageable chunks of time.
Find your own work soundtrack
One advantage of working from home is the fact that you don’t have to compromise your work soundtrack, and you can play it as loud as you like.
If you like listening to music while you work, take some time to compile a productivity playlist for yourself, songs or pieces of music that help you feel motivated and purposeful. You might find that calm instrumental music helps keep you focused, or you might prefer something more upbeat to work to. Experiment with different musical accompaniments and find what works for you.