With working from home on the rise, it is more important than ever to maintain your productivity whilst working. Simple things like ensuring you are comfortable, taking regular breaks, and keeping a firm divide between work and home life are essential in keeping your productivity and quality of work on par, or above the standard, you might have had in the office. With that said, here are five simple tips to help improve your productivity.
Keeping comfortable is one of the most important things to consider when working at home. Offices often have ergonomic chairs, and desks designed to be the correct height for working, which can be a far cry from sitting at your kitchen table! Even though a proper office chair can be expensive, it is often worth investing in a chair that at least is the right height for your desk or workspace, to prevent back pain and eye strain, both of which can cause your productivity to drop dramatically.
Taking regular breaks
When you are in the office, often you don’t even notice yourself taking a break from your screen. Getting up for a quick chat with a colleague, or doing the office coffee run both give much-needed breaks from your work. When you are working from home, it is very easy to sit in the same position for hours, but taking a break means you can come back with a fresh set of eyes.
Making sure to keep home life separate
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of answering a quick work email outside of working hours or making a call to your children’s school during work time, but very soon the divide between home and work can start to blur. This can be a disaster for your productivity; with no clear time to relax, you can soon burn out and start to resent the time you spend working – your own home can begin to feel like a prison! Make sure to try and stick to your normal working hours as much as possible, and, if you can, close the door on your office space at night.
If you have the budget you can also get a backyard studio or prefab accessory dwelling unit to have proper office space at home. This will ensure that you won’t feel distracted as you will only have office-related tools around you.
Get into a routine
Working from the office brings a set routine most days – getting up, getting ready, the commute, and then a morning of work followed by a lunch break. When you work from home, making sure to get into a routine can be really helpful in improving your productivity. With no colleagues there to help you keep an eye on the time, mornings and afternoons can merge into one, and the project you had planned to spend an hour working on can quickly run over into the next day. Setting regular alarms, and booking in quick meetings with colleagues can really help you to find endpoints for tasks, and stop you from spiralling into disorganisation. Making plans to meet a friend on your lunch break, or to walk your dog can also really help with keeping in a good routine.
This might go without saying, but we have all heard of homeworkers wearing a shirt with their pyjama bottoms! Taking the time in the morning to get dressed as if you were going to the office can massively help you to feel more professional, and can really get you in a good mindset for the day ahead. If you are working in your pyjamas, there is no firm divide between work and bed, and your productivity could suffer. The same goes for working from your bed – while it might seem like an amazing perk of working from home, sitting in your bed all day does nothing for your productivity. It’s important to get up and about, even if this means working at a desk in your room or going to work at your kitchen table.
Working at home seems to be here to stay, and for many people, this opens whole new opportunities. Where before a commute might have been too expensive to a workplace that could potentially improve your career prospects, with work from home, the workplace comes to you. It’s important to remember there can be downsides to working from home, especially the risk of a drop in productivity, but following the tips above, you can be sure to keep your productivity levels high, and your work from home enjoyable.