Making the decision to leave the office and work from home has been taken out of our hands in recent weeks but regardless of the field in which you work, it is essential to create a work environment at home to maximise your production and keep motivation.
Here are some top productivity tips:
Have a plan
This may seem like basics but it's important to set an alarm, get up, dress for work and have a plan of what you want to achieve that day.
Create a dedicated and comfortable workspace
It is ideal to have a room where you can isolate yourself, close the door and avoid being distracted.
It will give you an appropriate place to make video calls with your clients and colleagues whilst avoiding noise and personal distractions.
Also, with a dedicated space, you will have what you need around you: be it your laptop, mouse, headphones, notebooks, daily equipment etc. This also reduces stress as you will not be running around the house 5 mins before that all-important conference call.
Decongest your workspace
Opt for a minimalist approach by removing unnecessary objects, piles of books, old notes, dirty cups and plates, magazines - anything that will distract you!
Create a space to relax and take breaks
It is vital to take breaks during your working day. For these moments of rest, use a space with a sofa/comfortable seat or if the sun is shining and your lucky enough to have an outdoor space get out for fresh air, stretch and keep moving.
Add visual stimulants
If possible, position your desk near a window so you can easily rest your eyes and give your brain a break. Visual stimulants such as posters, pictures or paintings can help inspire and motivate you when working from home.
Listen to Music!
Music makes us happy :) It can greatly influence your state of mind, so be sure to connect your Spotify and get some feel-good music on.
Adding plants to your desk can greatly improve your work environment at home. A bit of natural green is aesthetically pleasing.
When working from home, there are some pitfalls you ought to avoid:
Working in bed
This never ends well. From taking serious calls unprepared to dozing off during that important conference call the list is endless. Get up.
Working with the wrong clothes
One of the advantages of working from home is that one is not obliged to undergo the sometimes heavy dress code of companies. However, you must avoid falling into the trap of staying in your pyjamas all day. Admittedly, it's comfortable, but again, it doesn't help you get into the spirit of having “work” and “personal” moments.
Ignoring your best motivation hours
When working from home, there are usually hours when you tend to be highly motivated, and ignoring this will affect your productivity.
To succeed, identify the hours in your day when you are regularly motivated, and when you usually have no will to work. (e.g. after eating, after watching the news etc). Plan your actions accordingly.
Forgetting to take breaks
It is possible to easily avoid taking a break, and this isn't good for your health or concentration.
While working at the office, you can easily find colleagues who would persuade you to go for a coffee break. At home, you would be alone, so consider take a break and chill out.
Social networks are key distractions and tend to stand as a major pitfall when working from home. If your type of work is not directly related to social networks, try to stay away from them during the time you are focused on your work.
Stay safe and keep your business moving forward.