How to make working from home more productive29 Nov 2022
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new norm emerged: working from home. It became globally ubiquitous in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Although most stay-at-home mandates have been lifted, many employees are still working completely remotely or following a hybrid schedule whereby they come into the office or worksite a couple of days a week.
Even though remote working has been the standard (to a degree) for over two years now, plenty of folks still struggle to regulate their productivity outside of the workplace. If you’re one of those people, read on to learn about some strategies you can use to ensure you work efficiently and effectively in the comfort of your own home.
Create and stick to a daily routine
The issue the majority of WFH employees face is following a routine at home. At an office, you have other coworkers and supervisors on-site to keep you in check but managing yourself at home can be a bit of a battle. The best way to combat this is to set a schedule that you follow every single workday. Choose a standard waking up time, lunch hour and time at which you clock off, as you would at the office.
Set up a dedicated workspace
You might be tempted to bring your laptop into your bed or take it with you on the couch — don’t! Select a space in your home to use exclusively as a workspace. Make sure you have a good surface (usually a desk) for all the equipment you need and enough space for other materials such as files and stationery. Remove all other gadgets and items (such as TVs or gaming consoles) that could distract you.
Find ways to motivate yourself
Most people respond well to positive reinforcement and the best way to do this is to reward yourself. Decide on some type of bonus — whether that’s a tasty snack or an episode of your favourite show — that you can reward yourself when you’ve achieved goals and met deadlines. This way, you’ll be more motivated to complete tasks and less likely to waste time on irrelevant projects just because they might seem more fun than work.
Take regular breaks
Giving yourself some time to relax and recuperate throughout your workday is essential for maintaining concentration so that you can perform at your best and prevent burnout. Even if your schedule is hectic, force yourself to step away from your workstation for a little while every few hours. It’s typically recommended to take a five-minute break for every half hour you work, or a 10-minute break for every full hour. Use this time to eat something, have a little walk or do anything else that isn’t work-related. You can use the Pomodoro technique if you struggle to take breaks.