Being productive working from home has been a challenge, while My whole family is working and schooling together.
Whether you run a business out of your home or you are working remotely, you have more than likely struggled at some point with the distractions that being at home brings.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are working from home. Governments all over the world are suggesting that people work from home where possible, and because of this, many of us who have never done it before are navigating the challenges – with no end in sight.
Sure, there are plenty of benefits to working from home. You can roll out of bed straight into your home office, you have reduced commuting time, you save money on travel costs and food and you can work in your pajamas if you are not on a Zoom call!
It is actually thought that in most situations, working from home can result in greater levels of productivity, with as many as nine in ten people believing that working remotely makes them work smarter and harder. Not only that, it helps people maintain that often-elusive work-life balance.
However, as we mentioned, there are some big distractions. Children never seem to understand that mom or dad needs to work in peace. The dog needs walking. That quick load of laundry needs taking out. Your neighbors think that you can take in all of their parcels. Your friend thinks you are on call for a coffee date all the time. Trying to fend off these interruptions and distractions can be hard work and really compromise your productivity, if not handled properly.
Here, we take a look at some of the things that you can do to maximize your productivity when working from home.
It can be tempting to literally roll out of bed and open up the laptop, telling yourself you will shower and get dressed ‘in a bit’. But before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you are still in your PJ’s. We aren’t saying get dressed in formal office clothes, but get up, shower and put on something that is both comfortable and makes you feel like you can power through the day.
Make sure you have a dedicated workspace if possible
If possible is key here, because if you have suddenly been thrown into the world of remote working thanks to COVID, you may not have space or resources to create a dedicated workspace. You might not have space even if you did plan to work from home – a dedicated space is often for the privileged few, and many people have no choice to work from the kitchen table or balancing their laptop on their lap while sitting on the couch. However, if you are fortunate to be able to create a dedicated workspace, even if it means carving out a corner of the bedroom for your stuff, do it. There are some great tips from justaveragejen for designing and creating the perfect home office space. When you are in this space, you can focus on what you a re doing and not be distracted by external factors.
Remind people you are working
When you do not physically go out to work in the daytime, many people forget that you are still working, and try to make additional demands on your time. It might be that they ask you to do some childcare or petsitting because ‘you are at home all day anyway’, or maybe they want your company and pop in for cups of coffee and a chat. Get tough with them and remind them that between the hours of X and X, you are at work, and unless it is something they would approach you with if you were out at an office, they are not to ask you. It is not being mean, it is making sure you remain professional and get the most out of your workdays so that you can enjoy your free time.
Take regular breaks
When you are working from home it can be tempting not to stop and keep going. As we mentioned above, the lack of travel time can make it easier to find the work-life balance, but this is completely wiped out if you work extra hours just because you can. If you would normally finish work at 5 pm, finish work at 5 pm. Make sure you take your lunchbreak and regular breaks, even if it is just grabbing a quick coffee and breath of fresh air in your back yard.
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