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Top 10 tips to help you be more productive while working from home

Working from home

In the past month everything has changed – including the way we work. People across the world have been asked to self-isolate at home and with this comes the added pressure of managing both the complexity of home working and sharing a crowded space. The expectations are the same, but the environment is not. This is not an easy transition to make, and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of top tips and tricks to help you stay productive while working from home.


Stick with a routine

1) Stick with a routine

Without the morning commute, you’ll likely be tempted to roll out of bed at the last possible minute and commence work in your pyjamas. However, sticking to a morning routine has proven psychological benefits. You don’t have to put on full business attire, but you should at the very least get up as normal, shower, and dress for a casual workday. It will make the transition from bed to computer less jarring and will help get your mind in work mode. As a bonus, it could also save you from a potentially awkward encounter if you’re unexpectedly called into a meeting via skype…


Home office

2) Designate a working space

Find a space that is quiet, comfortable, well-lit and free from distractions. This should also be a spot that you can leave when you’re off the clock – that means you should probably get off the couch and definitely get out of bed! Replicating your real workspace will help you tap into a work mindset, so you should aim to have at least a desk with everything laid out ready for you to start the day.


have the right tools

3) Have the right tools

To boost your productivity, make sure you have the right tools that will enable you to do your job and stay connected with your colleagues. Some necessities include a comfy office chair, a desk, keyboard and fast, reliable internet connection. On top of this, make sure you have the tools specific to do your job - such as files and remote access to relevant programs.


Establish boundaries

4) Establish boundaries

OK, you might want to give up negotiations with your cat, but it will be important to set some boundaries with the other members of your household. At home there will be new distractions but it’s important that you can work for allotted periods of time without being disturbed. It may be helpful to schedule in some office hours and if you have young children especially, they will need clear rules about what they can and cannot do in that time.


Have a plan

5) Have a plan

One of the great things about working from home is the flexibility, but whilst you don’t have to start work at 9:00am sharp and finish at 5:00pm, remember you still have the same amount of work to get through each day. Make a plan at the start of every week and prioritise your work accordingly. Self-motivation and discipline will be essential if you’re to get the most out of working from home.


Keep in touch

6) Keep in touch with colleagues and don’t fly solo

Staying connected to your colleagues is an essential part of home working. It’s easy to feel cut adrift if you’re new to working-from-home, and it may take you a couple of days or weeks to adjust fully. To make the transition as seamless as possible, you should check in regularly with your manager and colleagues. Working remotely can also be quite lonely – but it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of the technology that puts colleagues just a video call or instant message away and reach out to them. Set up a video call with a colleague you’re collaborating with or ‘buddy-up’ and have someone you can chat with while you’re on a break.


Take regular breaks

7) Take regular breaks

It’s easy to get lost in your work – particularly when you’re working from home and separated from the usual office distractions. Taking regular, short breaks is proven to help productivity and then when you return to work, you’ll find yourself more focused and ready to take on the next task.


exercise

8) Exercise and stretch regularly

It’s easy to get lost in your work – particularly when you’re working from home and separated from the usual office distractions. Taking regular, short breaks is proven to help productivity and then when you return to work, you’ll find yourself more focused and ready to take on the next task.


self-care

9) Practice self-care

a. Self-isolation is going to be a challenge for most people. As you adjust to this new normal, and to avoid a burnout from overworking, self-care should become a necessity. You should set aside some relaxation time each day – this could be to do something that you enjoy, practice some meditation or simply turning off the news every now and then if you find it’s causing you undue stress.


log off

10) Log off!

We’re already used to blurring the work-home boundaries a little, but now that your workspace and home space is one and the same, you’ll need to seriously consider the boundary that separates them. To ensure your work life doesn’t take over, make sure you log off at about the same time you normally would. Get away from your desk and engage with your family and friends. This period of rest is vital to your mental health and will make sure you’re ready for the next working day.