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Productivity tips for working at home

17/03/20

Working from home can be hugely liberating. You’ve got a lot more autonomy without a manager sat next to you. It’s a short commute from your bed to the laptop which means an extra half an hour in bed and less money spent on fuel.

But, working remotely is a double-edge sword. Sure, you get to recline in the comfort of your own living room, even your own bed if the mood takes you. You can tackle the pile of washing or hoover the carpets. But with all these distractions, it can be challenging to focus on your work. Suddenly, walking the dog in the pouring rain or washing up piles of plates will seem a lot more appealing than your boss’s to-do list. Staying productive at home will need a little extra effort. 

If you’ve never worked from home before, it can take some time getting used to some new challenges in a different environment. Here are some top tips to help you stay productive working from home:

Location

Have a dedicated and comfortable space for working from home. This means getting off the sofa and lying in bed is a definite no. Ideally you should be sat up-right in a quiet room. Think about turning a space into a study or office where all the things you need are accessible and laid out. Turn off the TV so that you’re limiting distractions. Learn to concentrate and give work your full attention.

Have a defined working schedule

When working from home you should keep your day structured and planned out. When you’re in the office, your day can often be influenced by those working around you. With any luck, working from home will eliminate some of those issues. To help stay focused, keep your working diary up to date with all your deadlines, tasks and priorities for each day. Be objective focused and make sure your activity is leading to defined outcomes.

Know when to switch off

If you’re not careful, working from home could consume your personal life. It’s vital that you switch off at the end of the day and leave work, in the same way you would if you left the office at 5:30 pm and turned the radio up in the car on the way home. It’s cathartic; it’s necessary. Take the time to distance yourself from work to ensure you sleep well at night and relax.

Keep in touch with the team

Working from home can be lonely. It doesn’t suit everybody but, in the current climate, it might be necessary for our safety. Check-in regularly with your colleagues on the phone, Skype or Facetime. Talking regularly with your colleagues will help keep everyone informed on the status of your work and how you’re getting on. If you’re struggling for ideas, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call a colleague to brainstorm ideas.

Start your day early

Start your day thirty minutes before your normal working day and let your line manager know you’ve started working. This will demonstrate the benefits of working from home and secondly it will show your commitment to getting things done. When you’re working from home, your colleagues and Line Manager can’t see you, so any recognisable actions you can do will go a long way to keep in people’s minds.

Take a break

It’s lunchtime and you don’t need to make small talk with people at your desk or wait for the office microwave to become free. Move away from your computer, sit down and enjoy your lunch Put your feet up and relax. It’s your break after all and taking time away from your screen is vital to improve concentration and productivity. In fact, regular short breaks have been proven to be more beneficial than one long one. Make sure you remain hydrated at all times and have nutritional snacks on hand to help sustain concentration levels. Blueberries, avocado, nuts and flax seeds are all amazing foods that will help boost your concentration and focus.

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