Over the past two years work from home has become a buzzword. Not only for employees working for companies but also for those who are self-employed. Although much of the technologies were available prior to the pandemic, many companies were forced to encourage employees to work remotely.
Today many employees have embraced the idea of working from home and being available for their families. But some question whether employees can be as productive at home as they are in the office. So here are some ways you can increase your productivity while working from home.
- Designate a Workspace
- Clear the Clutter
- Get Comfortable
- Set the Ambience
- Set a Work Schedule
- Use a Calendar
- Prepare for Distractions
- Take Breaks
- Change the Scenery
- Be Flexible
- Monitor Your Performance
Designate a Workspace
The most important part of working from home on a long-term basis is setting up a workspace. The reason for this is to help you be organized. Have everything you need in one place. And help allow you to move into the work mindset when you sit down at your desk.
It will be beneficial if you use a room that has a door you can close. This will help when you need that extra bit of quiet when focusing on critical work while others are in the house.
You want to make sure there is ample light and fresh air. Simple yet important for sustained working. Setting up a pleasant and organized work area is key to helping you sustain optimal performance.
Clear the Clutter
If you like me or most people, clutter can drain you. If your workspace looks more like a storage area than a workspace you might find yourself feeling irritated rather than relaxed. Clear the clutter and ensure your work area is neat and clean. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and focus!
If you working at your laptop for hours, a comfortable chair and stable desk are essential. Don’t underestimate what a comfortable workstation can do for your back, neck, and productivity! The more comfortable and at ease you are, the more you can focus on your work. That means you going to be getting more done in less time!
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Set the Mood
Getting into the work mindset while at home can be tough. You might find yourself feeling like you want to walk away from your desk. Break the mood by playing some music or listening to a podcast or video in the background.
Just hearing other people in the background can help you settle down and get into the work mood. Having décor, paintings, or posters on the wall can also change the feel of the room. Try changing the layout or décor and see if it makes you feel better.
Set a Work Schedule
When working from home you might have the tendency to fall out of a strict working schedule. This can be fine from time to time, but as a rule, might reduce your productivity in the long run. Be strict with yourself and commit to being at your desk by a certain time. This routine will also create a sense of certainty that will further enhance your confidence.
Use a Calendar
Our phones and computers have calendars built-in. They are easy to use and can be set to remind you of events, appointments, or just tasks that need to be done.
Using them as a tool can greatly increase your productivity by ensuring you don’t forget things like meetings and important tasks. Because we carry our phones with us, we can be sure we will get reminders and avoid missing those Zoom meetings you love so much!
Prepare for Distractions
Working from home can be a pleasure, but it can also be a hurdle of endless distractions. If you are a parent you know what I’m talking about. It is one of the challenges of blending home life with work productivity.
Taking time to prepare for the day can help reduce the distractions or help you navigate through them a bit better. Have someone you trust to take care of your children when you know you going to have a busy day that needs your full attention.
When you are at home there can be an inclination to keep working relentlessly until you’ve “finished” your work. This might seem honorable but it’s not sustainable. Know when to walk away and give yourself some space to breathe. Also taking time to spend with family at the appropriate times will also help avoid you alienating them and ensure you maintain balance in your life.
Change the Scenery
One of the biggest drawbacks of working from home for some can be the monotony of never leaving home. This became evident during strict Covid lockdowns and frustrated many people.
If you feeling a bit of cabin fever, it might be a good idea to pack your laptop and leave home to work at a local coffee shop or friend. The change might just be what you need to get your edge back.
Often working from home means you have interruptions as we’ve already mentioned. This is just part of the territory of working from home. So instead of getting stressed out about it, be flexible.
If you lose an hour in the day to deal with issues at home, then add an hour in later in the day, or start earlier tomorrow. We can’t stop things from happening around us, but we can respond to them proactively. So be flexible and adapt your schedule as required, make it okay and you will save yourself a ton of stress.
Monitor Your Performance
Being productive is important. And one way to monitor your productivity is by noting the time you work and what you have achieved every day. In this way, you can gauge whether you are getting things done.
Assess your performance on a week-to-week basis and see how you are doing. Assess what you have achieved and see how you can improve. Often it’s small improvements that can make the biggest difference.
Working from home can be both challenging and positive. The key is really being organized, having a designated work area, setting your hours, knowing when to take a break and when to buckle down. Distractions will happen, kids will demand your attention and yes sometimes you’ll have to drop your work to deal with a crisis.
The ultimate strategy is being prepared for the uncertainty and working in a way that facilitates the highest performance. So, try to let go a little and embrace a flexible work style and you’ll feel more positive, less stressed out, and enjoy working while knowing you are a room away from your family…
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