How to be Productive When Working From Home

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With the severity of the Corona Virus increasing on a global scale and its impact now changing the way many businesses operate, working from home is now the government’s recommendation where possible.

In many roles across multiple industries, working from home is unheard of and finding yourself at home with a laptop instead of being in your normal work environment can be a total culture shock.

The concept of working from home might sound appealing but the reality is often much harder, with routines out of the window and distractions aplenty. So, we’ve put together a simple guide to being productive when working from your home.

Routine: Sticking to your normal routine as much as possible is essential if you are going to be productive. This means getting up and starting work at the same time as normal, as well as taking breaks as you would in the office. This also includes getting dressed and not working in your pyjamas. Getting dressed will immediately change your mindset and set you up for a productive day.

Prioritise: Make a list of the jobs you need to do in a day and prioritise them in order of importance; and no, doing the washing or tidying your bedroom do not count as jobs on that to-do list! It’s good to prioritise jobs whether you’re working at home or at your normal place of work but when you’re relying on yourself for motivation it’s even more tempting to put off the big jobs or the one’s you dislike the most which are often the most important. Be as disciplined with yourself as possible to ensure you stay on track.

Setting: While it can be tempting to work from your bed or the sofa, this is counter productive and will blur the lines between work and relaxation in the long run. Instead, try and set yourself up a dedicated workstation that you can base yourself from. If you don’t have a desk it might just be at the kitchen table, adapt it to what’s available to you. Make sure the room is light, airy and that you have something comfortable to sit on.

Food: Working from home means having unlimited access to a stocked fridge and for some people this serves as a major temptation and distraction. The key is to apply the same structure and routine to your mealtimes as you would at your place of work. It might even be worthwhile preparing your lunch the night before as usual so that you keep that sense of normality and don’t find yourself snacking all day and feeling lethargic as a result.

Breaks: Taking scheduled breaks are equally as important whether you’re in your place of work or based from home. It gives you a chance to get away from the screen, reset and return with a fresh approach. Where possible it’s advisable to get some fresh air, go for a walk and stretch so that you feel refreshed when you get back to your workstation.

Distractions: It’s likely that during the outbreak you’ll have other people in the house when you're trying to work. This could be a partner or housemate, children or both, all of which can be hugely distracting. Try and get everyone into a similar routine and take it in turns to look after children if relevant. Some people are able to use these distractions to their advantage by working in short, productive spurts. If having children in the house and working is totally impossible, work out of hours on the tasks that are not time bound when they are asleep.

If working from home is totally new for you it will naturally take time to adjust so don’t be disheartened. Stay positive and remember that everyone is in the same boat. You never know, you might thrive in your new environment! 

Let's hope that in no time everyone will be back at work so make the most of it and keep washing those hands!