Top Tips for Working From Home: 6 Ways to Stay Productive
on Wed, May 13, 20
With the lockdown life becoming the new normal, many of us are probably now well accustomed to working from home. However, for some of us, the fact that we’ve been in lockdown well over a month now may mean that we’re starting to lose our patience with the whole WFH thing. Unfortunately, though, it’s likely that this whole situation may be going on for a bit longer, so for many of us it might be time to start looking at how we can improve our work-from-home routine to ensure that we actually get things done. So, today we’re going to go back to basics on working from home, with six simple ways that you can stay productive and try and retain some normality.
Set Up a Work Space
Having a dedicated area for your work is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay productive. If you have a spare room in your house, consider putting a desk in there and making it your home office, or if this isn’t an option, set up a dedicated area in your house that will become your office space. If you have room, invest in a desk and comfortable chair to create your work area, or if you’re short on space, clearing some room at your kitchen table will work well too. Don’t be tempted to work from your sofa or your bedroom either - these should stay as relaxation spaces and if you’re sat on the sofa it may mean that you’re tempted to switch the telly on while you’re working. Not a good habit if you want to be productive!
Get Up and Dressed
While working from home may mean you’re tempted to spend the day in loungewear or pyjamas, it’s not a habit you want to get into! We’re not saying to get up and put on full work attire, but getting properly dressed for the day is going to put you in ‘work mode.’ This will put you in the right frame of mind to start work, and it will also help to create a little more normality. Plus, you don’t want to be caught out when your boss springs a conference call on you.
Stick to Your Routine
If you’re lucky enough to have flexible working hours, it might be tempting for you to sneak an extra hour or two in bed in the mornings, but if this isn’t what you normally do, try and avoid it if you can. Start finish work at the same time as you would usually, and take your lunch and coffee breaks at the same time you would in the office. Keeping your usual work routine will again help keep some normality and will again hopefully click your brain into ‘work mode’ each morning. Plus, if you have been tweaking your new work from home routine, it’ll be more difficult to get back to your old one when things eventually go back to normal.
Put Your Phone Down
The fact we don’t have our bosses breathing down our necks all day may mean we’re tempted to check our phones more than we usually would. However, a quick scroll of Facebook for five minutes will very quickly turn into hours of watching pointless videos and taking quizzes to find out which sandwich you’re most like. If that sounds like you, make a point of putting your phone in another room while you’re working, and only allow yourself to check it when you would normally. If you need to have your phone nearby for work itself, switch off your social media notifications so you’re not tempted to pick it up the second it pings. This generally will require a bit of willpower, but if you know you’ll be easily tempted, you can download apps that are specifically designed to limit your social media usage, so it may be worth looking into!
Staying put at your desk all day is one way to ensure that you stay productive, but it’s not exactly the most healthy way to go about things. Make sure you stay active and get up every now and again to stretch your legs and to give your eyes a break from the computer screen, even if it’s just walking to the kitchen to get a coffee. You may even find you’ve got a bit of extra time where you’re not commuting, so you could always use this opportunity to head out for a quick walk to get some fresh air.
Keep in Touch with Your Colleagues
Just because you’re not in the office it doesn’t mean you have to completely isolate yourself. If you’re used to the usual office banter there’s no reason why you can’t keep that going - just on a virtual front! No doubt your work WhatsApp group will still be pinging away, so make sure you keep connected and join in the discussions. Normally hit the pub on a Friday after work? Get your work friends on a video call and have a few pints together instead.
We hope this has given you some ideas on how you can make working from home that bit easier. Remember, the key points are to create a dedicated space, minimise distractions and stay connected. While none of us can say for sure how much longer lockdown will go on for, the more we take steps to keep busy and stay productive, the easier things will be, and with a bit of luck, we’ll be back to normal in no time.
Written by Amy Jackson - 2nd May 2020
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