4 Tips for Remaining Productive Whilst Working from Home
Working From Home: the ultimate double-edged sword. It gifts us with the freedom to create our own schedules and saves us from those soul-destroying commutes. Yet, it also lures us into a tangle of distractions, leaving productivity waving a white flag. Studies show 65% of employees claim their productivity skyrockets in the comfort of their own home, however 29% of those people also claim that they find it difficult to concentrate. So today we’ve got you covered with a bunch of practical tips to help you navigate the territory of remote work and master productivity.
1. Set Up a Designated Workspace
“When people are free to choose where in the world they want to work, they simply enjoy their day-to-day work more” – Brian De Haff, CEO of Aha.
In the realm of remote work, your environment becomes your blank canvas for productivity. By creating a designated space to work in, you can build a physical boundary to transition from personal life to work life and maintain focused and productive.
Start by communicating expectations for anyone that will be at home with you. Whilst it may seem like you’re hanging out at home, its important that remind them that when you’re in your ‘office’, you are at work.
Then choose a comfortable and quiet location away from the allure of household chores. You should opt for a peaceful space away from high traffic, tv noise and other potential diversions.
Remember: While a dedicated room may not be feasible, a designated chair at your dining table can work wonders. Avoid setting up in your bedroom to maintain the boundary between work and rest.
Finalize your space by making it comfortable and inspiring, by customizing and adding personality. Adding your own touches such as a plant, candle or colorful painting has been proven to have positive effects on mood and well-being.
Once your office away from the office is set, you can train your brain to associate this zone with business, shielding yourself from distractions to stay fully engrossed in tasks and maintain a productive mindset. As well as giving yourself the opportunity to physically leave work at the end of the day.
2. Create a precise Morning Routine
“He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life” – Victor Hugo, Author.
By establishing a structured and consistent morning routine, you lay the foundation for a purposeful and focused day. Many accomplished individuals attribute their achievements to the power of a well-designed morning ritual.
So, let's explore some inspiring examples that could serve as valuable additions to your own routine:
- Get changed from PJs into comfy casual clothes to change your mindset from being relaxed at home to engaged at work.
- Get some daylight in your eyes to help maintain a sleep schedule.
- Have cold water exposure, we’ve found success in having a normal shower and finishing it off with a cold shower after you’ve washed.
- Craft a daily 'to do' list with achievable goals to combat procrastination and stay focused on the tasks at hand.
- Enjoy a nutritious breakfast to fuel your body and boost your mental power - protein and healthy fats are a good option. High sugar cereals are best to be avoided.
- Dedicate time for reading or listening to inspiring and educational content to stimulate your mind and gain new insights.
- Incorporate some light exercise or stretching periodically to keep yourself alert.
By weaving these simple yet impactful practices into your morning routine, you're able to jumpstart your day with positivity and personal growth.
Remember: Just as no two sunrises are alike, no two morning routines need to be identical. Your routine should reflect your unique goals, aspirations, and needs. Take a moment to consider what fuels your passion, what areas of your life require attention, and what ignites your inner fire.
3. Maintain a Social Lifestyle
"In teamwork, silence isn't golden, it's deadly." — Mark Sanborn, Author
While the allure of working in your PJs is undeniable, it’s easy to accidentally distance ourselves from the social fabric of a traditional workplace and become isolated. It has been proven that lack of collaboration and feelings of loneliness have a direct impact on focus, energy levels and job satisfaction.
To encourage connections, employers frequently use platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack or Zoom to communicate with their colleagues, and help their employees feel involved in their work communities. From virtual water cooler conversations and team lunches, through to quizzes and office parties on zoom, a virtual hangout is a great way to foster a sense of companionship and boost employee morale.
Social interactions also offer a break from the monotony of working alone. Regular interaction with colleagues enables a collective way of working, by being able to exchange ideas and tackle problems as a team.
Taking short breaks to chat with colleagues about non-work-related topics can also refresh your mind and increase your ability to concentrate when you return to your tasks. These moments of connection have a huge impact on your overall well-being.
Remember: You’re working from home, not space! Working remotely doesn’t mean that the social aspect of your workforce must come to an end!
4. Establish a Work Schedule
“Successfully working from home is a skill, just like programming, designing, or writing. It takes time and commitment to develop that skill.” – Alex Turnbull, Founder and CEO of Groove.
Within the appeal of comfort and the persistent distractions that surround us, it's crucial to harness the power of structure and establish a well-defined schedule.
To do this, you must establish effective time boundaries, these allow you to compartmentalize your workday, foster a sense of structure and strengthen the line between work and personal life to remove the ever-present feeling of being “on the clock”. Whilst creating your schedule, here are some important factors to think about:
- Set Specific Work Hours: Determine the start and end times of your workday and discuss them with your team. Ensure they align with typical business hours in order to maintain communication with colleges and customers.
- Designate Break Times: Integrate regular breaks into your schedule to recharge and maintain focus. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for focused intervals (e.g., 25 minutes) and take short breaks (e.g., 5 minutes) in between.
- Respect Personal Time: Just as it's essential to allocate time for work, remember to carve out personal time for relaxation, hobbies, and family. Respect those boundaries and resist the urge to work beyond designated hours.
Whilst working remotely, time is a valuable currency, and how we spend it can significantly impact our productivity and overall well-being. By establishing a schedule, we lay the foundation for success, enabling us to navigate the workday with purpose and clarity while avoiding burnout.
So, whether you're conquering deadlines from your cozy home office, engaging with colleagues on Teams, or crafting your schedule with a newfound sense of purpose, these four tips will be your guide to a more optimal strategy for working from home.