How to Work from Home Productively
Right now there are more people working from home than ever before. Whether it’s done by choice or by necessity, working from home has its benefits, like avoiding your daily commute. But it also means it’s up to you to motivate yourself and get as much out of your time as you would in an office setting.
To help, we’ve created a list of tips to help you stay focused and productive while working from home.
1. Set up a designated Work from Home Space
Set up a dedicated work from home space that is comfortable and close enough to a power source to keep your laptop/monitor running. Check your Wi-Fi connection is strong in this area and that you are away from distractions as much as possible. At a minimum you will need a comfortable chair and a table-like surface. Treat this space as your workplace so it is separate to areas in your home that you use to relax or socialise. This means that you can leave your work space for breaks.
2. Maintain a Morning Routine
Having a solid morning routine will set you up for the day ahead. Wake up at your usual time, get washed and get dressed and think of ways that you can fill the gap of time that you would have spent commuting or getting ready for the office. Perhaps you could drink your morning coffee on a walk, cook a healthy breakfast, go for a cycle or do a home workout. These activities will help your body to release feel-good hormones to get you motivated.
3. Stay Connected with Your Colleagues
Working from home for days on end can feel a little isolating. It’s important to stay in touch with your colleagues to stay connected. Schedule a team call each morning to catch up, discuss the day’s work and share your thoughts. Having some structure each day will keep you motivated and engaged in your work. Following the meeting, create a to do list for each day and make it your goal to complete it.
4. Take Regular Breaks
Just as you would at the office, take regular breaks to make coffee, have a snack or even put on a wash. Have virtual coffee breaks via video call with your colleagues where you can chat about things other than work for a few minutes. Breaks are important for your mental health and will help with your work too.
5. Take Your Lunch Break as Normal
Having your lunch at home means you can cook delicious, healthy lunches and save some money that would have been spent in cafes. Try to eat balanced meals that include protein, fat and carbohydrates to stay energised. You should eat your lunch away from your work space and make sure that you are fully logged out of your computer. It’s also hugely important to get outside for some air on your lunch break. Whether it’s for a walk with the dog, a jog or run, or even a trip to the supermarket for supplies, getting out in the fresh air is crucial for your mental health and job performance.
6. Stick to Normal Working Hours
Sticking to a time schedule can be difficult when working from home. However, having set times and tasks will give your day structure and will help to keep you stimulated throughout the day. Avoid waking up late, taking longer lunches or putting off tasks that will need to be completed later in the day spilling over into your free time.
7. Complete Those Training Modules You’ve Been Putting Off
We’re all guilty of it, dismissing reminders to complete training modules, putting off our progression plans and forgetting about our goals. If you have some extra time to spare, begin working on your progression plan, development opportunities and goals. Break each one into steps and add these steps to your calendar and work on them bit by bit.
8. Avoid Checking Your Phone and Social Media Accounts
We know, the temptation is much stronger when you’re working from home but try to avoid being on your personal phone to check your notifications or messages. Switch your phone on to “do not disturb” mode and only check it when you are taking a break.
9. Make Plans for When Work is Finished
Now is the time to cook new things, discover new music, watch movie classics, dive into a good book, declutter your home or complete a fitness challenge such as Couch to 5K. Try to include at least one of these activities for your evenings.
10. Finish Work on Time
Begin wrapping up your work in preparation to finish at your usual closing time. Once that time has come the evening is yours to enjoy. Switch off the computer and switch off your mind. Move from your work space into your sitting room and give yourself a few moments to adjust.
Remember to look after yourself and your mental health while working at home. Check in with your colleagues regularly and stay connected. Take regular breaks and make sure to get some fresh air.