Workbench: 10 Tips for Working from Home
With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, we thought it would be useful to look at how to be productive if you find yourself working from home…
1. Create a workspace
With plenty of distractions at home, particularly if your children are around, it can be hard to be productive. Not everyone has the luxury of a home office, but most people have a dining table or spare room. It’s important to create a space that is specifically for work. Pick an area within your home that allows you to focus and get stuff done. Make this area a no-go zone for kids and anyone else that distracts you.
2. Get organised
Plan exactly what needs to be done the evening before and make it your goal to complete those tasks the next day. Try using a planner or task management app such as Trello, Monday.com or Asana to stay on top of your tasks.
3. Be strict with yourself
From Netflix, browsing online, sorting out the washing or playing with your kids – there’s plenty of ways to waste time during what should be your working day. Being strict with yourself and sticking to your plan is the only way to get things done.
4. Maintain your normal working hours
The standard 9-5 work schedule can easily go out the window when you’re working from home, but it’s important to mimic your normal working hours as much as you can. Wake up at the same time and work within the same hours as you normally would to maintain as much normality and productivity as possible.
5. Give yourself regular breaks
Just as you would take a break when you’re at work, you should mimic these breaks at home, too. Take a tea break at the same time and eat lunch when you normally would. It’s all about training your brain and body to continue its normal routine and be as productive as possible.
6. Get dressed
If you’re not used to working from home, you may be excited by the prospect of lounging around in PJ’s all day. However, this can be seriously destructive. Studies have shown that getting showered and dressed changes your state and means you’re more likely to be efficient during the day.
7. Get outdoors
Even with the current Coronavirus forcing people to stay at home, it’s a good idea to get out and get some fresh air (providing you don’t come into contact with anyone infected). A brisk walk in fresh air can help you feel refreshed to continue the rest of your work. It can also be a good way to divide your working day with your personal time if you’re fed up of being couped up.
8. Prep your lunches
When you’re normally at work, chances are you take lunch or grab something on-the-go. But when you’re at home, you may find yourself leaving lunch until the last minute because your fridge is easily accessible. This is a sure-fire way to waste time during the middle of the day. Instead, make your meals in advance so that come lunchtime, they’re ready to eat and you can go straight back to work.
If part of your normal routine includes hitting the gym but now you’re unable to go, you may feel less energised, stressed or have less mental clarity – which might affect your work. Try and get a workout done at home or get outdoors to burn off some steam. There’s plenty of YouTube videos out there that require no equipment.
10. Analyse your performance
While the aim is to mimic your normal ‘at work’ day, chances are things will naturally be different when working from home. At the end of each working day, assess what you’ve done and whether you could have done better. Is there a certain time of the day when you’re at your most or least productive? Analyse your efforts and results so that you improve the next day and find what works well for you.
Good luck everyone and please stay safe out there.