Working from the comfort of your home can be great thing, you save money and time on transportation, meals, traffic drama and avoid the super hot summer days. The benefits are positive, however challenges emerge for maintaining productivity levels.
How do you not get distracted by your favourite show on Netflix? Or a neighbour stopping by unannounced? The kids come back from school? We’ll get you more productive with these 5 tips for making it work.
1. Act like you’re still heading to the office
Homes give us a cozy and relaxed feeling, great for feeling home but not for work. Your mental state will always think you should be comforted since you’re at home; maybe watch some TV, or cook a meal and so on. To be productive, you need to switch to ‘work’ mode. Simply identify what needs to get done, add it to your task list and ensure you finish them. Wake up, have a shower, make your morning coffee, and most importantly get out your pajamas and get dressed like you’re heading to work.
2. Invest in creating an office atmosphere
If you decide to work on your bed, that is a big 0 productivity method, as comfy as it is, you will end up trying to nap or daze off. Designate a space in your home for your work area, usually it’s best to avoid bedrooms or areas where family meet, because mixing personal and work space, can negatively affect your relaxation habits at home. Buying a great chair and desk is always a good choice, since you spend most of your time in front of the computer. Don’t try to be stingy when it comes to investing in the right office furniture for your home office, it makes a huge difference for your comfort and productivity.
3. Stick to your day-to-day schedule
The most productive killer is interruptions, and when at home, we can imagine the frequency; whether neighbours, family, friends or any source. Create and share your schedule, enforce it on anyone likely to interrupt, raise your ‘Do not disturb’ sign, and shut your door. Don’t go to non-work appointments in the middle of your day, unless it’s vital, like a doctors appointment, it is best to schedule appointments early in the day or late after working hours.
Stay in touch with your colleagues, just because you’re not in the office and can’t have quick chats or coffee breaks with them, doesn’t mean you should reduce communication with them. Stay connected, know what’s happening in the office, open channels for feedback and ensure contacting them frequently. Some good tools; emails, instant messaging apps, video or phone calls. Having a daily standup meeting is always healthy, make sure to join it from home using such tools. Using cloud services ensures you have all the data anywhere and in real-time, so you can easily share files or mutually work on them.
5. Take breaks
Yes, you heard it right. Research has shown that the most productive workers will focus for 52 minutes, then disengage for 17 minutes. Rest periods declutters your mind and gets you refreshed and prepared to work productively again. Make sure your schedule includes break sessions, even for 5 minutes every once in a while if you’re packed with work.