How do you increase productivity when working from home?
This is a questions that’s been asked by the majority of people who work from home. Whilst escaping the conventional office environment is often seen as a positive, there are some drawbacks that need to be considered. For starters, your home is likely to be rife with distractions. Be it your family or just that latest Netflix series that keeps calling your name, there will always be something readily available to draw you away from your work.
If you want to be a productivity machine, you need to take crucial steps to ensuring your home is set up as a proper working environment.
Create your own working space
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room in your home, set this up as your home office. It’s important to have your own space to work from, where you can be uninterrupted and have everything you need to get your head down and get to work. If you don’t have a spare room of any kind, see if you can set up an area in your bedroom, or any other room that has some spare space and a bit of privacy. Try to keep this area separate from TVs or any other distractions, and make it an area solely for the purpose of working.
Get up and ready as normal
No matter how tempting it may be, lounging around in bed for a while will do nothing for your productivity. Nor will staying in nightwear all day, either. You might be free from the restraints of conventional office hours, but that doesn’t mean you should take liberties with yourself! Set an alarm and get up early. Get showered, dressed and set yourself up for a day of successful work. If you wake up early, you can make a head-start on the competition. While most people are still commuting to the office, you can be at your desk and working already.
Keep your workspace tidy
Organisation is key in any workplace, and even more so when you’re working from home. You and you alone is responsible for where everything is kept, as well as being in charge of your own workload. So, make sure all important documents are filed correctly, your task list is on hand, and your work space is clear form clutter. When you’ve got your head into a project and are making good progress, the last thing you’d want it to be slowed by having to search through piles of stationery and papers to find something you need. Have a weekly clear-out so you can stay on top of everything you need.
Create the perfect playlist
If you like to listen to music when you’re hard at work, then the perfect playlist can be the difference between a ‘good’ and a ‘great’ day. Whether you’re listening through earphones or speakers, keep the volume to a reasonable level (so you can still concentrate), and match music to the particular task you’re working on. For example, monotonous tasks such as data entry will go quicker if you’re listening to upbeat and fast music. If you need to be creative, mellow tunes will help to get the idea juices flowing. Make playlists for different kinds of task, or have one big one that covers all of your favourite music to keep your motivation high.
Take breaks when you need
One huge positive of working from home is you’re not limited by the number of breaks you can have. You do, of course, need some self-control. Whilst a break every 10-15 minutes isn’t going to do anything for your productivity, short breaks between tasks will help you to stay motivated, and keep your mind clear and on track. The HSE suggests a 5-10 minute break for every 50-60 minutes you’re at your work station. So make sure you don’t work yourself into the ground, and take breaks when you feel you need to!
Make your home office comfortable
You’re going to spend a lot of time in your office. In the conventional workplace, you’re limited to what the company deems as appropriate. However, as you’re at home, you can make changes as you please! If you have the room, a sofa or comfortable chair may help you shake up the way you work from time to time. Paint the walls a colour that will help in concentration. Replace old carpets with new wood or vinyl flooring to give it a more contemporary style. Whatever you want, make changes to your home office to make sure you’re happy and comfortable in your workplace.
Productivity when working from home is imperative to your overall success. Don’t take it for granted, and you’ll soon reap the rewards!