5 ways to boost productivity when working from home
10th November 2020
Following the Government’s recent announcement regarding the second national lockdown, it’s likely that the majority of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future.
At first, getting away from the office might have been a welcome change - afterall, it was only supposed to be for a couple of months. But now that working from home is becoming the new normal, we’ve listed some of our top tips that can help to boost your productivity.
Before we get started, it’s worth checking out this useful blog post for our suggestions on how to create the perfect home office.
#1 - Create a routine
One of the main benefits of working from home is that you no longer need to commute to the office. However, just because you’re not going in to work doesn’t mean you have to roll out of bed five minutes before you log on. In fact, getting up at a set time every weekday and getting dressed can help you mentally prepare for the day ahead.
It’s equally important to work within set times. Whether you prefer a traditional nine-to-five routine or need to tailor your day to fit around other commitments, a defined work schedule will allow you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
#2 - Keep in touch
At this stage, working from home is nothing new for most of us. So it’s likely that you and your team will have already put measures in place to ensure regular communication.
Whilst it’s important to formalise team meetings, briefings and project updates, don’t forget to regularly check-in on your colleagues on an informal basis. Chatting casually with your team can help to keep morale up and prevent social isolation.
#3 - Seperate work from personal time
Hands up if you’re guilty of promising yourself “just one more email and that’s it, I’ll log off”.
When you’re in the flow it can be difficult knowing when to end your work day. It’s important to remember in the pre-COVID world, the majority of us finished work and then simply travelled home.
The power of the morning or evening commute shouldn’t be underestimated. Naturally, both scenarios are important as they allow you to physically get from one place to another. But there’s also psychological benefits to a commute.
Commuting enables us to build transitions in and out of work. In other words, it gives the workday a definitive start and finish time. When working from home, try to add something to your day that signals work is over.
Here are some examples to help you get started:
Go for a walk
Complete a home workout
Cook your dinner
Read a chapter of a book
Listen to a podcast
#4 - Plan your day
Whether you’re in the middle of an email or adding the final touches to a marketing campaign, there’s nothing more frustrating than getting broken off when you’re in the flow.
Not only is it disruptive, but constantly having to break off to attend to minor issues can slowly start to eat up your entire day. And before you know it, you log-off feeling like you’ve not achieved anything.
There are a range of methods you can use to try and overcome this. One of the most popular tactics is to designate set times throughout the day for meetings, calls and emails. Some people prefer to set this time aside in the morning, and others prefer to tackle these tasks in the evening. Once you’ve found a system that works for you let your team know your availability, so that they can plan accordingly.
#5 - Take breaks
The importance of taking breaks when you’re working is well documented. Many studies indicate that the majority of us work best when taking short breaks in-between periods of intense activity.
Remember there’s no one-size fits all approach to taking a break. So it’s difficult to pinpoint how long you should be taking a break for. For best results, we recommend switching up the length of your breaks based on what you’re working on.
Let’s put this into practice. If you’re in the middle of an admin task like replying to a bunch of emails, try to take short 5 minutes breaks frequently. If you’re working on something more intensive, a 15 minute break can make all the difference and help you recharge your batteries.
We hope that this blog helps you improve your productivity when working from home. If you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share, let us know on Twitter!
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