Many existing employees have transitioned from in office to working from home. This shift was influenced by the restrictions and safety implementations caused by the COVID pandemic. The change in work dynamic may be challenging or overwhelming for many employees. Nonetheless, this guide will assist you in maximizing your productivity whilst working from home.
Maximize Your Productivity whilst Working From Home By:
- Creating a schedule; and sticking to it
- Staying connected to your team and management
- Choose healthier alternatives
- Select an appropriate workspace
Create a schedule; and stick to it
Firstly, it can be a challenge to stay on top of your work when removed from an office environment. This is because there is less supervision and more flexibility in regimen when remote. For some individuals, procrastination is inevitable when the pressure of the work day is removed. Let’s face it, sometimes working from home doesn’t really feel like you’re actually at work. It’s easy to get side- tracked and push off work related duties for home related ones. It’s easy for us to say “I’ll send off that report as soon as I finish this laundry load”. Although one might think that folding laundry only takes a minute; other variances may arise that subtract your time out of your day. This results in decreasing your productivity at work. For instance, you realize you’re out of laundry detergent and now need to run to the store; which takes an additional 30 minutes away from your work day.
Now I’m not saying you can’t do laundry while working from home. I’m saying creating a schedule will assist you in navigating throughout your day, with little to no room for surprises. This will leave you feeling like your day was proactive, versus chaotic.
When creating a schedule, utilizing a daily planner is useful. Here are 47 FREE printable daily planner templates that can help you track and record your responsibilities each day. This will allow you to organize your daily duties; ensure you don’t miss pertinent tasks and avoid any feelings of being overwhelmed.
Keep in mind when creating your schedule to:
- Stay within the parameters of your working hours
- Ensure you include deadlines
- Give yourself consistent breaks
While working from home, make sure to work within your working hours. For example, if your regular in- office hours are 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday; stick to those hours. During your working hours, make it known to family and friends that you’re “at work”. It’s common for people to attempt to connect with you when they know you’re at home. This will allow you to focus on your work and avoid any distractions.
When creating your schedule, make sure to include important deadlines. Ensure to prioritize those duties that are most relevant for the day, and structure your responsibilities in that sequence. Projects or tasks that require urgency and more effort should be scheduled to be completed earlier on in the day. Duties that are less relevant can be prioritized for later on in the day. Either way, you’ll need a strategy to tackle on the workload. Check out these awesome 7 strategies for prioritizing work when everything is important.
Lastly, make sure to grey out time for breaks within your schedule. The frequency and duration your breaks is ultimately up to you; however they should be appropriate. Find the right break schedule for your work style. Some individuals prefer taking more frequent but shorter breaks; whereas others may enjoy a longer break less frequently. Read how to stop taking breaks wrong to be more productive HERE!
Additionally, make sure your breaks have a purpose. Map out and include in your planner what you anticipate on doing during your break. Maximize your breaks by boosting your energy through meditation, walks, socializing or catching up on a funny video before returning to work (its proven to improve performance).
Stay Connected to your team and management
It’s easy to feel disconnected from your team when you’re alone in your home office. That’s why it’s important to consistently communicate with both your colleagues and management team alike throughout the day. Utilize virtual team meetings to your full potential. Whether it’s asking questions or bringing new ideas to the table; be more engaging!
Additionally, encouraging group video chats and fun lunch ideas such as virtual Taco Tuesday with your coworkers is a great way to connect and strengthen team rapport.
In order to create a fluid virtual workspace, companies have adopted various tools to manage and connect with their remote teams. Online platforms such as Slack, Zoom and Google Drive have become increasingly popular throughout the workforce. As everything is essentially transitioning into a cloud based model, these apps allow employees to easily share information throughout the organization with simplicity. If your company has given you access to cloud based systems, use those to your advantage.
Choose Healthier Alternatives
Lunch is a crucial element because it can make or break the rest of your work day. Food actually, has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail our entire afternoon.
It’s easy to cave into unhealthy lunch options in the middle of a busy work day at the office; however now you have the chance to set aside some time to select healthier alternatives, fresh from your kitchen!
Instead of greasy fast food, opt for some foods that will boost your brain and memory:
- Fatty Fish – rich in omega 3s that build brain and nerve cells
- Blueberries – antioxidants relieve stress
- Broccoli – packed with vitamin K linked to better memory
- Dark chocolate – proven mood booster
- Oranges – vitamin C prevents mental decline
- Eggs – B6 and B12 increases mental function
Switch out unhealthy snacking, with healthy snacking throughout the day as well. Supplement your day with nuts, fruits and veggies versus chips, cookies and candy. Drink water, coffee and tea instead of pop, juice or energy drinks.
Select an appropriate workspace
Your environment is a crucial aspect when working from home. It has the potential to encourage performance output, or negatively influence it; should the space not align with your needs. Some tips to stick to when creating a workspace from home are:
- Set aside a work area separate from your home area. Ensure you select a space where you have control over minimizing distractions. For example, away from loud noises or busy rooms; distanced from family, friends or pets.
- Choose a workspace with lots of natural light. Spaces with adequate amount of light improves mood and energy levels. The amount and type of lighting also directly affects concentration, appetite, mood, and many other aspects.
- Lastly, ensure you’re office is fully functional and fit for operations. Complete your space with a quality desk, laptop, ergonomic chair, printer, stationary supplies, and any software or online programs required for your job.
Still need some help setting up your home office? Click HERE to access THE step by step guide to establishing your home workspace.
In conclusion, to maximize your productivity whilst working from home, we need to ensure that we:
- Created a schedule, and are sticking to it
- Stay connected to our work team and management
- Choose healthier alternatives
- Select an appropriate workspace
Creating an organized and efficient workflow by following these tips will allow you to appreciate working from home effortlessly. You’ll begin to notice that throughout your day, you will have minimized procrastination, stress or feeling as if there isn’t enough time in the day. Actually, you may find the opposite to be true once you create a workplan, set boundaries and follow your new work/ home structure diligently.
Have a question in relation to setting up your home office? Click HERE to shoot off an email to the Elite Jobs Team! We love to assist any way we can.