Since the global pandemic, there has been a clear change in the attitude towards working remotely and particularly – working from home. As you’d imagine, this has raised several challenges with productivity for many people, especially as the home is often filled with distractions.
If you’re starting a remote role or beginning to work from home, you may want tips on how you can be more productive when you work from home.
In this article, we explore how you can make working from home more enjoyable and simultaneously make yourself more productive.
How to Improve Productivity When You Work From Home
When you’re starting to work from home, many of the same productivity tips that apply in the office also apply in the home. That said, it’s important to find what works for you, what suits your personal working style and steps you can take to improve productivity.
Maintain regular working hours
One of the most common challenges that remote workers experience is building a healthy work/life balance. A large part of this is working set hours. While it might be tempting to wake up an hour early to clock off earlier or answer a quick email after you’re meant to have finished, it’s important to have boundaries of productive time and time to unwind. This is particularly important for people that find they need routine or structure.
Build a dedicated workspace
When you’re working from home, it’s a great idea to have a space dedicated for working. While you might be just as productive working from your living room, you want to make sure that you have a way of disconnecting when you’re finished with work. If you have a spare bedroom or office space, use it! When you’re working from home, it’s important to cultivate a mindset of ‘when I’m in this space, I’m meant to be working’.
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Organise your workspace
A great way of staying productive when you work from home is by properly organising your home workspace. You want to make sure that you’re comfortable and have everything you need easily accessible. If you need a second monitor or a more comfortable office chair, speak to your employer – they should be able to arrange this for you. Likewise, if you have different tools or devices that you regularly use, make sure they’re within reach.
Take regular breaks
Depending on how you like to work, research suggests that regular breaks can often be incredibly beneficial for productivity. While random breaks are usually damaging to productivity, a technique such as ‘Pomodoro’ can actually increase how productive you are.
Pomodoro is the concept of working in short bursts and taking small breaks once you’re finished. For some people, this can increase concentration and break down complex tasks into bite-sized chunks. This usually results in more focused and useful work.
To adopt this method, you can use the following tips:
- Choose an achievable goal
- Work on the task for 25 minutes
- Take a 5-minute break
- Repeat this process until the larger goal is finished
- Take a longer break of 10 – 15 minutes
By working like this, you’re maintaining maximum focus for each 25-minute period and combining these periods of work to complete a larger goal, rather than trying to tackle it in one go and losing concentration.
Set expectations with people
If you want to be more productive, it’s also important to remember that people around you can be distractions. If you’re working from home with other people around you – such as family or roommates – set boundaries with these people. There’s no problem with saying ‘I’m not going to be available between this time and this time’. This reduces the potential for distractions and creates a more productive atmosphere.
Regularly communicate with colleagues
When you’re working from home, it’s important to take the time to speak with colleagues – both on a professional and personal level. This is a great opportunity to take a break, get a second opinion on work topics and generally become more inspired or focused. Platforms such as Slack, Whatsapp or even video conferencing can help you keep in touch, even if you’re working from home.
How Can a Positive Work/Life Balance Impact Productivity?
Having a healthy work/life balance is a great step towards improving both your life and career. If you can take the time to separate the two, you can ensure that neither overpowers the other. A successful career can translate to a happier life, while being more positive in life directly impacts the success you have in your career.
A big part of working from home is creating a pleasurable, separate working environment. The happier you are when you’re working, the more likely you are to be productive.
It’s just as important to make sure that you don’t feel trapped in the same space. If you’re sat at your desk all day and then spend your evening at the same computer, you’ll struggle to switch off. This is where you can experience challenges with productivity.