According to surveys, seventy per cent of employees work from home at least once a week. Working from home is now no longer a new thing but has become an option available in many types of jobs. Not only it gives employees a chance to have flexible timings, but it also helps employers save on office expenses. Working from home also allows companies to have employees available at all times and save valuable transit time.
While more employees are now opting for work-from-home opportunities, these jobs also have their own set of challenges. Here are the best ways to keep productivity high when working from home.
Follow a schedule
Establishing a daily routine is an essential aspect if you are going to be working from home. It can be easy to get lost in the world of work, go on Instagram and then realise you have spent the last hour browsing. The schedule needn’t be rigid but help you plan things around your work and other daily activities.
Has your work batched up in order of its priority so that you can get to work right away every morning or whatever time of the day you start? Spend time classifying work and researching things on a particular day of the week so that you don’t spend a lot of time each day on this. Work from home in the same manner as you would from an office if you dint have any distractions.
Get ready for work
A work-from-home job is a job just like any other. Wake
up and get ready to tackle the rest of your day. If you work out in the morning before heading to work, then follow the same routine on your work-from-home days. Getting up, having breakfast and getting dressed for the day sets the tone of the rest of the day to be a productive one, whereas lounging around in your PJs all day long could make you less effective than you intend to be. Keep your small rituals going. If you stopped for coffee every day while heading out for work, you could consider making a coffee before starting work.
Start and stop at the designated time and have designated break time
According to a survey, employees who work from home are more likely to miss meals than employees who work from an office environment. This is pretty surprising considering that home is where the food is, right? However, some employees said they ended up overeating when working from home. The best way to deal with this issue is to have designated break times and pre-prepare or prep your food to make mealtime easier.
Starting work simultaneously every day and ending it around the same time every day can also be a great way to keep up the productivity and prevent laziness. While you can always be flexible if your work demands it, try to stick to your predetermined hours. Try to keep the end of your working hours predetermined by planning something afterwards. For example, if you plan to stop working at 4 pm each day, then have an activity scheduled for 4.30 that will have you leaving the house by 4.15. This activity could be a simple walk around the park, library with your kids, or even grocery shopping on certain days.
Designate days for a different type of work
Have designated days for different types of work you have to deal with. This may not be a practical solution if you have to finish various work in a single day. But allotting different days for different types of work within your job can also help you plan better. For example, if you have a particular day for conference calls or to catch up with clients.
Have a designated work-from-home space
This is another crucial factor, especially if you have kids or others living with you. By entering your designated work zone, you signal that you are working and would like to work without interruptions. If you have a ‘home-office’ room, that would be the best place to work, but since it may not always be available, the spot you choose should become your default workspace and have no loud distractions around. Invest in some good quality ergonomic office furniture to make your workspace better.
Build the ambience you need to be most productive
This is something that varies from person to person. While some people can work with music blasting, others find it acceptable to work with cartoons playing in the background, while others may need total silence to concentrate on their tasks. Build the ambience that you know you need to be the most productive so that the time you spend in the office zone of your home is worthwhile. Don’t use your office space to lounge and read stuff on the internet or play games. If you are going to be using social media or playing games, do it in another part of the house to keep the office zone as a work-only zone. Buy some noise-cancelling headphones if you need them.
Turn off notifications on your phone
Turning off notifications from your most-used apps can help you focus on your work instead of getting sucked into the vortex that is social media. Check your phone for social media updates only during your designated break times, and for work-related e-mails or updates, do a half-hourly phone check where you don’t open any social media.
Talk to people
Working from home can get lonely. Talking to people both in the natural and virtual worlds can help. Tell your family about your job, the milestones involved, and your current tasks. This also allows them to understand that you aren’t just sitting around on a laptop all day.
It needn’t always be home.
You can work from a coffee shop, a patio of a restaurant you frequent, the library or even the park if you have portable Wi-Fi. Enjoy your flexibility as much as you can and get out of the house whenever you can.
Take good care of your health, both physical and mental.
Exercise is crucial for people working from home since they don’t get the walking around the office exercise their peers get. Include some form of exercise in your daily life to make up for it. Drink plenty of water and get enough sleep. Also, give your eyes a break every twenty minutes by looking at a green object or to a far-away place. Also, include meditation in your schedule for your mental health.
Remember, when you work from home, it can seem like you aren’t working since you are at home. But you are, and it is totally fine to be tired at the end of the day.