How to Work From Home Productively18th September 2015 | George Atkins
Working remotely from home is seen by many as the pinnacle of self-employment, being able to practically fall out of bed and be at the “office”. The novelty of working in your dressing gown and being able to snack constantly all day long will almost certainly appeal to many of you. However, even the most ardent fan of working remotely will admit that remaining motivated and focused throughout the day, whilst being presented with a litany of distractions, is very difficult. Luckily for home workers though, we have assembled a list of useful productivity tips which should (as the name suggests) help you to be more productive throughout the day and achieve your daily work goals with ease!
Treat Your Home like an Office
Now we’re not saying you should treat your whole home like one big office (there should be some delineation between work and leisure areas), but try and set up at least one room as your workspace; this way, you will be more productive throughout the day, with that area being treated as a working space with strictly no distractions or leisure activities allowed. Keeping that space organised and tidy is also important; you wouldn’t leave your office space looking like a bomb had gone off on the desk, so try not to do the same at home! Being self-disciplined is crucial when working remotely from home, so convincing yourself that you are going to work, even if you are only walking down the hall, is vital to ensure a productive day.
Turn Off All Distractions
“I can get loads of work done from my sofa, whilst watching ‘Loose Women!” Said no one, ever. This links back to efficiently delegating yourself a work space at home, free from distractions which will enable you to be more productive. Working in bed with the TV blaring out does not exactly create the best environment for productivity; with nobody around to tell you what to do, the temptation to resign to the lounge and assess financial reports whilst watching ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ may be considerable, but try not to be swayed and leave such distractions for your lunch break or after the working day has finished. The Internet is an even greater procrastination device, so try and keep away from social media, Youtube and related media sites that are not relevant to your work, which will ensure you have a more productive day.
Being physically and mentally prepared for a day working remotely from home boils down to abiding by several, seemingly-innocuous factors, with dress code being near the top of that list. The urge to spend all day in your pants attempting to work through spreadsheets might be great, but unless you utilise a daily routine and if you want to have a productive day, then you won’t work as well at home. It’s certainly not necessary to “suit up” completely every day, but smart-casual is what you should aim for; if it helps, you can leave your shoes off as well!
Remember to Take Breaks
Much like being at traditional office, your concentration will almost certainly dip after a prolonged computer session, with workers encouraged to take small breaks every 90 minutes, which will enable you to have a productive day; working from home should be no different! Taking a break gives the mind a rest and going for a walk, for instance, increases blood flow to different areas of the body, leaving you feeling re-energised and ready for more work. Sitting in any room for several hours each day is bound to take its strain on your eyes and will fry your brain, so remember to go outside for a few minutes fairly regularly; you’ll be surprised how quickly it helps “recharge your batteries”.
Create a Daily Schedule
Having a schedule to work through each day is an important part of each productive day, and the same goes for working from home. Try and get into a routine of planning out your daily tasks first thing in the morning, something which will hopefully keep you motivated whilst working remotely. Setting allocated break times will also keep you focused on your work, which will break up your day so all your tasks don’t simply merge into one block; something which might seem daunting otherwise. Try and follow the same steps as you would at the regular office; check emails and correspondence first thing, work on the most pressing/ important tasks first and moving on to comparatively more trivial tasks after lunch. By doing this you will have a more productive day and complete all your daily tasks comfortably.