The Ultimate Guide to Being Productive When Working From Home
- March 29, 2020
March 2020 will be the first month that many people in the UK begin working from home on a scale that has never been witnessed before.
While the coronavirus has disrupted across the UK, you can be just as productive (if not more productive – more on this later) as you usually are.
The initial challenges that making a move to remote working throws up can be easily ironed out. And just as you quickly got into a routine in your current workplace, remote working is no different.
In the last 15 years, the number of people who work from home at least one day a week has increased by 35%. What might feel unusual for you at first is the norm for many, and it is entirely possible for you to settle into a working routine from your home.
In this blog, I will share my top tips to help employees maintain, and even increase, productivity when adapting to working from home for the first time.
1. Recreate Your Desk
While this might not be entirely possible, aim to recreate as much as you possibly can. You can even bring pictures from the wall, your same mug and mouse mat to help you feel in your work ‘zone’. Don’t work from your sofa (or your bed) under any circumstances – keep these as your ‘home’ areas.
2. Keep the Same Hours
This means getting to your desk at the same time, having your lunch and breaks at the same time and leaving at the time you usually do. Shower and get dressed just as you normally would do – and keep the same alarm to get up at your usual time.
3. Contact Your Colleagues and Manager More Than Normal
In the office, you might go nearly a day without speaking to your colleagues or manager if there is no reason for you to do so. Remote working means you are more likely to feel lonely or isolated, and this kills productivity.
Check-in regularly, even if there is no pressing reason to do so. Saying hello now and then via a message or email will help you to feel connected.
4. Connect on Video
Using video technology such as Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp is a must to keep productivity levels high.
It is much easier and faster to share ideas and advice over video calls with your colleagues and your manager than back and forwards via email – so bear this in mind if you come up against a problem you need a solution for.
5. Set Boundaries with Your Household
You need to have space where you can work uninterrupted. Much of the UK is now at home; so, I appreciate you might need to negotiate who works where – good luck with this.
Find a spot in your house to set up your workstation where you will not be distracted (a spare bedroom, less-used living space, conservatory, the loft etc.) and set boundaries with your family or housemates.
Explain that during the hours of 8-5, or 9-6 you are ‘at work’ and stick to it. Allow for family time before, at lunchtime and after work just like you would typically do.
6. Avoid Distractions
It should go without saying, but many people get tempted by their home comforts when they work from home. Don’t turn on the TV to keep up with the news, or your favourite music – it will only serve as a distraction.
However, scientific studies have found that a little bit of background noise can increase your productivity. There are many YouTube channels which focus on music for concentration or tune in to a relaxing radio station at a low level; both are workable ideas.
7. Embrace the Change
Finally, what I would like to say to those embarking on home working for the first time is – relish this opportunity!
While some people go into remote working concerned about productivity levels, this is actually a real chance for you to increase productivity and produce some of your best work. There is a good chance your home set-up will be quieter than your typical office, and you are likely to feel relaxed and safe at home – a great situation for your creativity and productivity to flourish!
The current situation in the UK for businesses is changing continually – has your working situation changed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?
If so, and you’re looking for a change of employment – we can help.
We are looking for candidates right now for a variety of commercial roles across the North West. Contact us today on 01772 259 121 or using our contact form here.
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