With the latest updates on Covid-19 advising individuals across the UK to stay at home, remote working has become necessary for a vast number of organisations. This means that many employees are adapting to the learning curve that is working from home. Yes, working remotely has its perks, such as managing your own time and wearing your comfy clothes however, there are some challenges that come along with it to stay focused. Here are our top tips on staying productive whilst working from home.
1. Set up a designated workspace
Pretending you’re in the office is one of the first ways to be productive while working from home. In saying this, we do not mean you must put on a shirt and tie to sit in your living room but setting up a space where you can separate your home life from your work life. Even if it is a desk in the corner of your bedroom or the dining room table, create a space where you can go to eliminate distractions. When setting up this space, think of the logistics- will I be distracted by family members here? Does this chair give me good posture? Try to find a space which you will find it easiest to work.
2. Stick to a working routine
When working from home it can be easy to fall out of your normal routine and therefore especially hard to get back into it when the time comes to venture back to your place of work. Wake up and start work when you normally would, and try to keep your working structure in place. This will help you to be as productive as you would be in the office. Set times aside to do things, such as household chores – this will also help you to structure your day and set goals for yourself.
3. Don’t be afraid to take a break
One of the main reasons people lose productivity is the lack of breaks you allow yourself to have throughout the day. Adopting a similar structure to your normal working day ensures you are taking the necessary breaks you need to keep on top of your workload. If you find yourself losing motivation, take a break and go for a walk or even call a friend for a quick chat – when you get back to work you will have a clearer mind and be ready to re-start where you left off. Think of the short breaks you may have taken with a colleague on the way to the kettle in work – regard this as the same.
4. Remove the distractions
Social media is one of the easiest ways to procrastinate however, there are some simple ways to get around this. Turn notifications off so your phone isn’t flashing up in the corner of your eye, remove social media accounts from your bookmarks bar and try using apps that limit your screen time, such as Forest. This is a useful app which allows you to set time limitations on your phone so you are less tempted to jump on and check those socials. And if social media isn’t your weakness, try to remove anything from your workspace which you find distracting, this could be anything from books and games to your television.
5. Make a plan
Make time in the morning to prioritise your workload, set key goals for the upcoming day and identify a set time for each task, to ensure you don't lose motivation throughout the day. It’s important to set targets and reward yourself for finishing a task to keep yourself motivated and encourage a positive mindset.
6. Stay connected
There’s nothing worse than feeling disconnected from your coworkers and you may find that communication isn’t so easy when you’re not sitting across a desk from one another. Why don't you try real-time chat platforms like Microsoft Teams, set virtual meetings with your colleagues and have regular check-ins with your team to ensure you keep up to date with everyone's progress? It will help you to keep motivated, remembering that you are a part of a team all with the same end-goal.
7. Log off at the end of the day!
Make sure that at the end of the day you save your progress, close your emails and switch your computer off, ensuring you are fully out of work mode. Since you aren’t physically separated from your work essentials like you are when you leave the office for the day, it can be hard to disconnect. A successful day of work allows you to relax in the evenings, unwind with a book, explore new releases on the TV or just catch up with meaningful family time.
Read on for our 5 reasons why soft skills are ever more important in the workplace.