• Lorraine Buckley

Working from Home & Productivity

People either love working from home or completely hate it! I have heard multiple people share one opinion or the other. The lockdowns are more or less relaxed around most of the world at this point, but endless companies are keeping the work from home option flowing.

It has become a new norm, and it's going nowhere.

Employees have reported increased productivity working from home, with nearly 78% stating that working at home a few days per month increased work performance, and 30% get more done in less time. While it can be a challenge to get into the work from home flow, it just takes a little preparation to get it right.

Below are some of our tips to create the best work from home environment that you can.

Take action to avoid distractions.

It is hard to ignore the smart TV, desire to cook, the pile of laundry in the other room, and the urge to make a quick phone call to your friend who is also sitting at home on their laptop. Try to eliminate such distractions before you start your day, like placing your phone in the other room, turning off the TV, and complete pending housework that you know will irritate you throughout the working day.

A dedicated workspace is a must!

You don't need the luxury of a home office, but you do need to create your work zone. If your workspace is your kitchen table, for example, ensure to clear it off the night before and remove any clutter. Having all your notebooks, pens, and all other stationery set up nicely will be sure to inspire motivation and increase productivity. Noise cancellation headphones are a great purchase. You can play relaxing coffee shop music to help you relax and focus.

Stick to a routine.

Everyone hates morning office commutes, but the positive side to that is that by the time you arrive at work, you're almost fully alert and ready to start the day. It is hard to push yourself to get out of bed when working from home, and pressing snooze continuously can be tempting. This can have the reverse effect that you are desiring. When you wake up, you need to get up immediately or feel more tired than you were initially. Never wear pyjamas when working at home. While a full face of makeup might feel unnecessary, it is important to get dressed and steer away from the idea of being lazy. This can have a knock-on effect and negatively impact our productivity levels. Get dressed, have a coffee, and if you can - get a quick workout in!

Plan Ahead.

Remaining focused can be challenging when you're not in a "work environment" with colleagues, meetings, company logos everywhere, team discussions, etc. Try to recognise when you are most productive. Some people know they are morning people and get vast chunks of projects completely early on in the day. For others, they might like to complete more straightforward tasks early on, as they feel more alert and tuned in later in the evening after lunch and several coffees. Noticing when you tend to get more done will help you plan effectively.

Don't stay in your seat all day.

Consider taking small breaks and doing mini workout videos or stretching. It's not healthy to sit at a desk all day, so try to ensure that every so often you're moving around. Your mental health will thank you too!

Separate your home life and work life.

It is easy to get distracted throughout the day and end up working after hours. I mean, why not when your work desk is less than a metre away? It is essential to separate your personal and work life, so you don't end up frustrated. Try to stick within the time slots for tasks that you have set yourself. When your day is over, make a conscious effort to either pack your work supplies away or just walk away and don't return.

Catch up with your favourite colleagues.

We are social creatures, and working from home kind of takes that away from us. Being in an office means you will have brief chats with work friends between tasks. Although you'll have meetings throughout the day with colleagues, why not have a few 10-minute casual Zoom chats with your work buddies? Put the catch-ups in your diary in advance, so you don't steer away from important tasks and procrastinate. That way, you won't feel bad as you've prescheduled informal catch-ups.

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