Working from home is something that more of us have experienced over the last few years. The pandemic and resulting lockdowns and restrictions meant that many people worked from home for the first time, and growing redundancies meant that a lot of people took a chance and started their own home businesses.
As the world has returned to normal, a lot of people have gone back to the office but for many the days of working in a dull office 9-5 are long gone. Working from home is incredibly popular and most employers and businesses find that home working, even some of the time, increases productivity, reduces stress and fatigue, boosts creativity, increases employee retention, and helps them to save money on office costs.
Homeworking is here to stay, and it can be a great way to boost productivity. But if you are struggling to stay on track, and often find that you are easily distracted and get more done in the office, here are some of the best ways to get more done.
One of the biggest changes, when you start working from home, is how you collaborate with colleagues, and people from outside of your business, when you can’t sit down for face-to-face meetings, or pop over to their office for a quick update.
Many people make the mistake of either avoiding collaboration, or overcomplicating things with constant video calls and emails. They struggle to find the tools that they need to share ideas and updates quickly.
Using online sticky notes can be a way to keep in touch with collaborators without the need for lengthy meetings or complicated processes.
If you work as part of a team, there are bound to be occasional group video chats or conference calls. They are an easy way to share information and maintain a feeling of teamwork. But you’ll always get more out of these meetings if you contribute, share ideas, and answer questions. Sit quietly and you’ll start to resent them. Contribute and you’ll enjoy the process and come out keen to get back to work.
Stick to a Schedule
Sticking to a schedule when it comes to starting and finishing work, taking breaks, and eating lunch, will help you to feel as though you are at work. You’ll take it more seriously, get more done, and find it easier to avoid distractions.
Dress for the Office
Now that the novelty of working from home is behind us, we need to ditch the loungewear and get back into office attire. Sure, you might want to make a few changes to be more comfortable but getting dressed for work can help you to get into the right frame of mind and help you to separate work time from home time in your mind. This will help you to work more productively but it can also make it easier to switch off and relax at the end of your day.
Create a Distraction-Free Home Office
If you are only working from home some of the time, you might not think that you need an office. But our homes are filled with distractions, and no one ever works their best when they are slumped on the sofa surrounded by family life or reminders of chores that need to be tackled.
If you don’t have a room that can be converted into an office, create a space in another room. But try to avoid areas like your lounge, where you spend your rest time.
Get the Sound Right
Some people prefer working from home because it’s quiet when everyone else is out. Others find it hard to find a quiet space at home. Some people even find that they miss the sounds of the office, and struggle to focus in total silence. There’s no right answer here, you just need to find something that works for you. Try working with the radio on if it’s too quiet.
Lay Down Ground Rules
It’s a good idea to sit down with your family and explain that when you are working from home, you are at work. You won’t be able to stop to do chores, cook dinner, or play with the kids. Of course, you might have more flexibility, and that’s great, but when you need to focus, you are at work, and you can’t be distracted.
Working from home can improve your health and wellbeing, your relationships, and your work performance. But it is worth looking at some ways to improve productivity, especially if you are in a bit of a slump.