How to boost productivity when working from home
With the current global health disaster the world is facing, working from home will gain momentum and might even become the norm for some companies. While there are many benefits to working from the comfort of your own home, it can also become a challenge to stay focused and productive. Distractions such as chores, the TV, family members, social media etc. can be an obstacle to a productive workday.
It is therefore important that you create an environment and plan of action that will help you stay on track with your workload. To help you, we have created a list of the best ways to boost your productivity when working from home:
Comfortable Home Office Furniture
The first, and most crucial step, is to ensure that you have a comfortable and functional home office set-up. While working at the dining room table or on the couch might seem comfortable at first, you will soon experience back pain and muscle strain due to an incorrect posture and lack of elbow support. This will directly result in a decline in productivity as you will feel the need to move more often or experience ongoing discomfort while working.
Reduce noise and distractions
If possible, try to set up your home office in a room where you are able to limit noise and distractions such as the TV, kitchen and living room. This will help you to stay focused on the task at hand and to avoid procrastination. If you have to work close to these areas, try using noise canceling headphones and adding a divider/screen or cabinet in front of your desk to create a barrier between yourself and the distracting area. You can also set up facing a wall, or with your back facing the distracting areas.
The last important step in setting up is to ensure that you have enough, and the right type of plug points available for your equipment, such as the laptop, screen, printer etc. If you are connecting via Wifi, also ensure that you have a strong enough signal in the desired area for your home office.
Create a work schedule
One of the best ways to ensure that you stay on track is to create a work schedule. You can start with a broader calendar that outlines your various deadlines and important projects. This can then be broken up into daily tasks that you need to complete. By doing so, you are able to stay productive by focusing only on the tasks for the day, and ensuring that you complete each of them. A daily plan of action will, therefore, lead to better focus, increased productivity and will enable you to reach deadlines and complete larger projects more easily.
While sporting your sweatpants or pj’s at home might be the fun thing to do, they say “you are what you wear” for a reason. Dressing too comfortably at home will make you feel lazy and demotivated which will negatively impact your productivity. You don’t have to wear your heels or a tie, but take a shower, dress presentable and brush your hair. It will make you feel positive, confident and ready to seize the day.
Keep the same routine
It is easy to fall out of your normal routine when working from home. Sleeping in, taking random breaks and working at different times each day can become the norm. But doing so will negatively impact your focus, creativity and productivity. It will also lead to procrastination and poorer work performance. It is therefore crucial that you stick to the same routine you would have when working from the office. This means waking up at the same time, working during normal office hours, and taking breaks at the same time, and for the same length you would have at the office.
As there are no more physical boundaries between your work/office and your home, maintaining a healthy work-life balance will become increasingly important. Ensure that you clock-off at the same time you usually would, and do so effectively by packing away all work related items. This means logging off your computer, packing your laptop into its bag, closing your diary and cleaning your desk. Your brain will have to get a clear signal that your work is done for the day in order to switch off and start relaxing. Taking this simple action will enable you to reduce stress levels and to maintain a healthy work-life balance.