Working from home is becoming increasingly common with the increase in flexible and remote working, and it can be a huge benefit; you don’t have to worry about train delays, being squashed up like sardines in the heat, there’s no office drama and can you drop off and pick up the children from school. However, working from home can also have its challenges when it comes to productivity.
Check out Delphinium’s top tips on maximising productivity when working from home:
1. Keep your morning routine.
Simply getting up, showered and getting dressed for the day will make you much more productive than if you were to sit working in your pyjamas. Your body associates your pyjamas and daytime TV as a time for relaxing. Whereas, keeping that morning routine as if you were going into the office tells your brain that you are going to work, and it will help to kick-start your body ready for a productive working day.
Once you are ready, begin working immediately, don’t sit and have that extra cup of tea or coffee. Those few moments of sitting down and relaxing will start to undo all the good work of your morning routine. If you’re saving time by not having to commute to the office, by starting at the same time you would normally leave the house you could potentially finish your working day a couple of hours earlier than you normally would (depending on the length of your commute).
2. Create a functional and dedicated workspace.
Make sure to carve out a dedicated space for your office. The kitchen table or the sofa are not practical working environments. Not only does your brain associate these areas with relaxation; they are full of distractions such as the TV, children, pets and partners, as well as household chores calling to you.
You may not have a spare room, but you need a working area away from the household hustle and bustle as much as possible to maintain focus; even when the house is empty. Create a space where you want to work that is as quiet as possible and has plenty of daylight. Get a comfy chair, a nice desk, surround yourself with beautiful pictures and things that motivate you.
Your working environment is crucial to creating good working habits and success.
3. Set your working hours and stick to them.
One of the many benefits of working from home is working your own, flexible hours. However, it’s extremely easy to push back your start time, finish early or allow yourself to be interrupted. Setting fixed working hours (whatever they might be), will help you and your family adapt to you working at home. Some people prefer to work 9.30am-2.30pm and then again 8.30am-10pm to allow them to drop off and collect the children from school, have family time and finish those last emails before bed. It’s entirely up to you which hours you choose, but you must stick to them. When selecting your hours to ensure you are taking into account when you are at your most productive.
4. Reduce potential distractions.
One of the biggest killers of productivity is social media and when working from home people are much more likely to access their personal accounts and become drawn into the various platforms. Put your personal phones away or if you must have them out, turn off your social media notifications and only check them during dedicated break times.
The setting boundaries with friends and family is vital. Explain to your family and friends that your work is just like any other job and you need to be left alone during work hours. Hang a sign on your office door, or even the back of your chair, saying ‘Do Not Disturb’ and be disciplined at sticking to it. Once your day’s work is complete, flip it around and turn off the computer, enjoy your home and family life.
If you want to use the opportunity to get a few bits done around the home throughout the day, use dedicated breaks times and ensure that you are only carrying out tasks that take a few minutes such as hanging out the washing, putting the washing machine or unloading the dishwasher. Doing small tasks like these are also an excellent way to ensure that you are getting up away from your desk and moving around at break times.
5. Plan your day.
If you know you are going to be working from home in advance, plan your work to ensure that you get everything done, that needs to be done in the office, beforehand and plan to do the work from home that can easily and efficiently be completed without having access to people or equipment in the office.
As you would every day, create an achievable to-do list and plan to complete your most complex work or work that requires the most concentration when you are at your most productive. This kind of plan will help keep you focused, driven and on track, if you feel the urge to procrastinate, get distracted or if you ‘just don’t feel like it’. Using lists and planning out your day are common practice in the traditional working environment and should be in the home one…because they work!
If you would like to discuss how Delphinium can support you and your team to become more productive when working from home and/or in the office contact us and we will be happy to arrange a free no obligation consultation.
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