10 tips for working from home productively
- Monday, March 16, 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has captivated everyone worldwide. In order to prevent further spread of the virus, the majority of countries have advised their citizens to work from home. In the Netherlands, this was made clear during the press conference on Thursday 12 March by Prime Minister Rutte and a spokesman for RIVM.
Various forms of prevention have not only been applied to the Netherlands, countries such as France, Italy, and Germany are also busy with a prevention policy. Therefore, it is expected that many more people will be working from home in the upcoming weeks. Are you working from home or are you curious about how you can work from home productively? Below you will find 10 tips on how to increase your productivity while working from home.
1. Stick to your morning routine
Lying in bed a bit longer sounds tempting, but working from home should not be seen as a vacation. By following your regular morning routine, you increase productivity and improve your energy level. So, set your alarm and get up at the same time as usual. Jump into the shower, get dressed and start your day with a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast. Since you have no travel time, you may even have some time left for other activities after your morning routine. Take advantage of this extra time! You could spend it with your family, take some time for yourself or do a few household tasks.
2. Create a workplace at home
Working from home is, as expected, different from working in the office space you are used to. Having a fixed workplace makes working from home a lot easier. Not everyone has a lot of space at home, nevertheless, make sure to create a fixed workplace. Do you want to transform a room into an ideal workplace? Then SKEPP can quickly supply you with the ideal office furniture! You can think of an adjustable desk, an ergonomic office chair, and a practical drawer unit. With this furniture, you are set to make a suitable workplace at home.
3. Write a to-do list
Make a daily to-do list with tasks you want to pick up that day. Just make sure it is a realistic list. Start with the highest priorities, but do not delay large projects either. Are you a morning person and therefore more productive in the morning? Start with the most important tasks. In general, your concentration will weaken during the day and therefore the end of the day is the perfect moment to finish minor tasks or those you can do on autopilot.
4. Work in blocks of up to one hour
It is unrealistic to think that you can stay concentrated all day. Do not force yourself to keep working non-stop, as this is counterproductive and does not benefit the quality of your work. Research has shown that we cannot focus on one task for more than an hour. Therefore, we recommend breaking the day up into several blocks. Take a short break between each block. This allows you to work concentrated on all tasks and remain focused during the day.
5. Starting early means quitting earlier
It is normal that each office has its own working hours. Do you want to start earlier while working from home? Then you can take this hour to enjoy a longer break or finish work an hour earlier in the afternoon. Do not forget: this remains an important point to consult with your manager or boss. If everyone decides to work at different times, it could get difficult to consult with colleagues. Nevertheless, does everybody agree to work at different times? Then you can enjoy quitting a bit earlier.
6. Make rules with your partner or housemates
Working from home together with your partner or housemate sounds cozy, right? However, this can be a major pitfall for working efficiently. Thus, it is important to set some ground rules or agreements that make sure you do not distract each other too much. For example, you could agree to wear headphones while working so that you will not get distracted. Do you have children? If possible, discuss with your partner how you can handle this most effectively. If you are going to work half-days, you can alternate with each other.
7. Pause at fixed times and set alarms
At work, we all have set times for coffee and lunch breaks. Stick to these set times while working from home as well. Take your lunch break at a set time and make sure to get away from your laptop during this break. You can even go for a short walk after you have eaten your lunch. Taking a short walk will clear your mind so that you can continue working productively when you get back home. Nevertheless, keep the health regulations in mind when you want to go for a walk.
8. Keep communicating with colleagues
Working from home is a suitable (albeit temporary) solution for many jobs. It is important that you keep communicating with your colleagues. Make sure that your team knows what you are working on and discuss certain subjects when necessary. Consult with your colleagues as you would normally do.
The physical distance is no excuse to not do this, and there are many examples of how to tackle the distance. For example, work with an internal chat, call each other or send an email. In this way, everyone remains informed and everyone can continue to carry out his or her work. After all, we do not know how long we have to continue working from home due to the coronavirus.
9. Align expectations
Working from home creates a lot of responsibility for employees. This requires a lot of trust from the employer. To meet each other’s expectations, it is advisable to discuss what you expect from each other on a daily basis. Which activities have priority? It is important to discuss the to-do list that you make for yourself, as mentioned above, to create trust between both parties and make sure that nobody gets wrong expectations.
10. Ready? Close your laptop
Now that you are working from home, you have to avoid working too long. It is tempting to continue working since you are already at home. However, it is important that you take some time for relaxation in the evening. Is your workday over? Then close your laptop and put it away till the next morning.
Structure, routine, and planning are the key to success
Do you have to work from home for a longer period because of the coronavirus? Then adding structure to the days is indispensable. It will help you stay productive, energized and motivated. It may happen that there is a day when you get less work done, but make sure to keep the routine. Work in blocks, take breaks at fixed times and finish your to-do lists.
The key to success is structure, routine, and planning. Do you already have a suitable workplace in your house to work productively from? If there is still some missing office furniture, we are here to help you! SKEPP will think along with you for the suitable furniture and can even deliver it to your home.