In these uncertain times, so many of us have found ourselves working from home. If you’re working from home and feeling a little bit like a duck out of water, here are some helpful tips to get you through each working day and help you plan your time effectively at home.
First things first! It’s very tempting to work in your PJs but it really isn’t great for motivation. Just because you’re in self-isolation it doesn’t mean you have to sit in your scruffs! There’s the term ‘dress for success’ and we’re not saying get suited and booted, but at least dress in something that’s relatively smart and comfortable. After all, you never know when the boss might want to make an impromptu video call!
2. Create a home office
As comfy as it is, setting up on the sofa with your laptop on your knee isn’t a great idea. After a while your posture will suffer and it will cause aches and pains. It’s best to create a dedicated office desk and set your laptop up there. If it’s a permanent thing, you may want your own home office to really get you in work mode. An ergonomically designed chair and a permanent monitor plugged into your laptop is recommended. Desk storage, a little desk plant and some office stationery will spruce your work space right up! A desk organiser is a good one for keeping you on track.
3. Invest in quality technology
There’s nothing worse than taking part in a Skype or Zoom call with sound or connectivity issues from other participants. Obviously sometimes these issues can’t always be foreseen, but to prevent any from potentially happening, why not do a trial chat with a colleague to check sound and connectivity quality? Aside from video calls, make sure your internet speed is good enough to power your laptop and any large downloads you may have to do.
It’s important that you set work hours and try to stick to your usual working pattern. This will prevent you from procrastinating and help you get tasks completed in a timely manner. Of course, everyone works differently and every individual is most productive at different times of the day. So, discover when you are most productive and build your work schedule around your peak productive hours. Best to check with the boss first though!
5. Take regular short breaks
When we’re working from home without the distraction from office colleagues, we tend to spend more time at our screens. This highlights the importance and need to get regular breaks away from our screens. Walk around the garden, make a cup of herbal tea, put a load in the washing machine – any short break is a good one!
6. Update your to-do list each morning
When working remotely, we’re often less visible to our managers, and if you’re a natural self-starter then great, but if you tend to rely on prompts then it’s best to start your day by reviewing work priorities. Make a to-do list and try to stick to it. This can either be on your online calendar or on a piece of paper – whatever works best for you. Bust out your colourful stationery supplies to keep you motivated.
7. Exercise and stretch regularly
We need exercise to make us happy! Exercise naturally boosts endorphins which increases happiness – perfect for productivity. And why stretch? Well stretching regularly will help you maintain great posture and make sure you don’t stiffen up from being in the same position. Exercising in the morning is a good idea as it’s the time of day we have the least distractions and will get productivity working from the get-go!
8. Eat healthy meals
When we’re working from home, we have full, unprecedented access to the kitchen and all its worldly goods! If you’re prone to snacking then it’s a good idea to get healthy snacks in to prevent you reaching for the classic crisps, chocolate and sweets that will only provide short bursts of energy. Choose slow-releasing energy foods instead like porridge, nuts, and fruit – blueberries are great for brain power!
9. Stay off social media
Well, we’re all guilty of this one! Social media can be a big productivity killer, so turn off your notifications if you can. Why not activate a time limit on your phone for each social media app? If you don’t have this function on your phone, then just use your watch and time yourself – easy peasy.
10. Keep the TV turned off
The TV might seem like a good idea for a bit of background noise, but it’s best to avoid having it on whilst working. Even if you’re not directly watching it, it will more than likely take away your focus. Why not listen to music instead? Find a playlist that fits your style, and of course sing along!
We hope these tips have helped and you have a productive time working from home!