One of the greatest ramifications of Covid-19 was the worldwide shift to remote working. Many organisations have maintained this style of work or have opted for a hybrid blend of office and home working, so it is crucial for people to know how to work from home effectively.
The purpose of this article is to equip you with some useful tips for productivity and motivation when you are required to work from home.
1. Get Dressed
Whilst this may seem strange, what you are wearing can have a large impact on how you feel throughout the day. If you remain in your pyjamas all day, you are likely to never really feel like you are at work, and as a result will be easily distracted and less productive. Whereas, if you get up and get dressed as if you were going into an office, you are putting yourself in that mindset of going to work and will find it easier to focus on your tasks. This is a very simple but effective way to increase concentration and motivation whilst working from home.
2. Have a Clear Structure
Structure your day as you would in an office environment. Ensure you have a clear schedule that arranges your tasks into defined time slots. This enables you to fully focus on each task and equally ensures you do take breaks and don’t run the risk of over-working. For instance, give yourself the same hour for lunch at 1:00 as you would do if you were working in the office. This gives you a sense of normality and routine which in turns helps boost that sense of it being an ordinary working day.
3. Have a Defined Work Space
Being able to distinguish between your work life and your home life is especially difficult when working remotely. However, a great way to strengthen that distinction is to have a designated space for work. Make sure this is in a different room to where you relax or sleep or else you run the risk of blurring that boundary and reducing productivity. This also means that when it is time to stop working you can go to those other rooms and be able to properly relax because you have that division between working and resting. Furthermore, your work space should also include all the necessary equipment required for peak performance. For example, a strong internet connection or a comfortable chair. These things may seem insignificant but will have a great influence on how motivated you feel to work.
4. Get Out the House
Being in one space all day can become draining and cause you to lose focus. This is a common issue when working from home. Therefore, it can greatly boost productivity to actually leave the house at some point during the day. For instance, going for a quick walk round the block during your lunch break. The change of scenery can let you re-focus on work once you return home, and even help inspire new ideas as you explore a different environment.
5. Mute Distractions
When working from home it is particularly easy to slip into the grasp of common homelife distractions. Family members having a conversation in another room or social media notifications appearing on your phone screen can all lure you away from the work you need to get done. However, proactively disengaging and avoiding these distractions is possible. By muting social media notifications and explaining to household members when they need to be respectful, you can separate yourself from these interferences.
6. Be Organised
This might seem obvious but many people working from home fall into the trap of just waking up and getting to work without any real planning or preparation. Whereas, if you construct a clear to-do list for that day prior to starting work, you are better set to focus on completing those tasks and thus be far more productive.
7. Maintain a Work/Home Distinction
This feeds through all the previous points but that is because it is the most significant. Essential to productivity whilst working remotely is the ability to separate your work life from your home life, and this goes both ways. Whilst it is easier to give in to distraction when working in your own home, it is equally easy to work longer than you should and risk burning out. However, by applying all these tips you should find yourself successfully differentiating between your work life and personal life even in the single environment of your home.
What are the benefits of working from home?
It is also worth considering the advantages that come from remote working.
Ultimately there are some undeniable disadvantages to working from home, such as lack of motivation, blurred home and work life, and distractions. However it can also save on time, and money, and by following the tips laid out earlier it is possible to retain high levels of productivity.
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I have 10 years experience of working in careers guidance and am director of CGC. We publish career infographics for schools and colleges