Are you struggling to be productive while you work from home? We empathize with you. This article provides five tips that can help you. We also included a bonus tip at the end that may provide just what you need.
- Find the Right Location
Set up a designated location that is comfortable for executing your work. Ideally, it is generally recommended that this includes a desk, chair, adequate lighting and somewhere with minimal or no distractions. According to The Muse, “If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home.”
- Dress Up not Down
While you may decide not to wear your Monday meeting suit, on the other hand, keeping on your pajamas is also not recommended. One study done credited to Researchers at Northwestern University found that our clothing can affect our state of mind and the way we function mentally. The researchers found that our clothing can even affect attentiveness and carefulness while working. This is today known as “enclothed cognition [*].” Try changing into something more formal when you start your day. You may be surprised at the way you function as a result.
- Get Acquainted with Relevant Technology
You should become acquainted with the basic uses of popular video conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom Cloud Meetings and the like. You may ask your employer if they can provide training in order to make you equipped. There are also many resources on the internet you can access that will teach you how to utilise these applications. Also keep up to date with any technologies your firm is using in order to facilitate working from home so that you do not get left behind.
- Take Breaks
One must remember to take breaks while working remotely in order to prevent over-working and burn-out. Research shows that working without taking breaks does not save time but actually wastes time due to lower levels of performance. One study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that “prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance” and that “brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task [*].” So remember to take time to have a break on that next big project so that it is delivered on time.
- Set Boundaries with Family and Friends
Notify your family and friends that you have allocated certain times during the day for your work in order to minimize distractions. Also, when preparing your schedule consult with them and set aside time outside of your established work hours for them so that they don’t feel left out.
For many of us the lack of accountability while working from home and our own lack of self-discipline may make working from home a real challenge. We may either struggle to work up to a certain amount of time or we may lose balance in our lives by overworking ourselves. One option to combat this dilemma is to have someone hold you accountable to staying on schedule with your work. According to Passionfruit this “works best with someone who is like-minded and not afraid to challenge you when needed.” You can ask a relative, a close friend or a workmate to check in on you in order to help you keep on track.
We hope this article was of some help to you. Do you have any tips for being productive while working from home? We would love to hear from you, so feel free to share it with us.