Since Covid-19 hit the UK, more and more of us have been working from home. It’s safe to say it’s been a huge adjustment from the usual 9-5 office routine and has brought many challenges: staying positive, separating work and home life, keeping connected with colleagues to name a few.
Working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds, so we’ve put together a list of top tips to help you stay motivated and productive when at home!
Choose a dedicated workspace
One of the most important aspects of working from home is where you choose to work. It’s a good idea to set up a dedicated working space that’s practical, has enough space and allows you to work safely and productively.
Naturally we gravitate towards a living room or bedroom as these are places of comfort, but it’s best to avoid places we spend time outside of work. Keeping your work and home spaces separate means you’ll be less likely to merge the two. Dining rooms are a good choice if you don't have a study.
Try work from a flat surface, whether it be a desk or a table, sit on a backed chair for support and use a mouse and keyboard to prevent slouching over your laptop.
Stick to a routine
Ordinarily in the office, it's a typical 9-5 day and we have set hours for working, breaks and lunchtime. However when you work from home, it’s easy to lose track of your schedule. While you have the luxury of not having to rush out of the house to commute to an office, it can be very easy to fall into an unsteady routine.
Making a schedule will help you keep a structured day and make sure you’re giving yourself breaks. Although each day may differ depending on meetings or appointments, having a routine is a good idea to keep you as productive as possible when working at home.
Take regular breaks
We think that by working from home, we will be able to get more done because we're not surrounded by our colleages. Therefore, sometimes we end up over-committing and working too much, which also kills productivity.
Although taking breaks might seem counterproductive, research has shown that taking short breaks can actually increase productivity and creativity levels.
Set up regular check-ins with your team, whether they be work-related or not! Dedicating time to meet with members of your team means you can share updates, check in on eachother and discuss future goals.
Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.
Make a point of chat with colleagues, team members, or clients each day over video. Although calling can be great, video calling means you can see one another and interact more. It's surprising how good it can feel to see another person, especially if you live alone and haven't had much human interation for the past few months.
Since you’ll be cooped up indoors to work, many of us often forget that there’s an outside world out there.
Open some windows to let sunlight in and take some time throughout your day to go outside, even if it's just for five minutes while the kettle is boiling.
Find when you're most productive
Not everyone is most productive at the same time; for some it'll be 8am and for others it'll be 2pm. Working from home gives you the flexibility of choosing which tasks to do at a time that suits you best. Unless you have a strict timeline in place, use this to your advantage.
Use your most productive hours to complete the most demanding tasks and use your less productive hours to do easier work that doesn't demand as much concentration.
Take advantage of the working from home perks!
Try plan ahead
If you can, it's a good idea to plan what your work day will look like before it starts. This way, you can prepare for your day and work out your routine so you are organised and get everything done.
Plus, if you've planned ahead, you'll be less likely to get distracted doing other tasks.