There’s no denying the global pandemic has changed the way we think about work. A few short years ago, working from home was a luxury typically afforded to those in senior management positions (or employees in very specialized roles). However, since businesses were forced to adapt to the new measures put in place by governments, remote working has become more popular than ever before.
In fact, 74% of professionals expect remote work as a standard offering from employers, making WFH (work from home) arrangements essentially a prerequisite for attracting and retaining top talent.
However, if you are one of the many millions of people that currently find themselves working remotely, you may have already experienced some difficulties adjusting to your new WFH arrangement. After all, it’s not an easy transition, as plenty of people out there rely (or even prefer) on the structure that an office job brings, including scheduled starting hours, breaks, and finishing hours.
While remote work may sound like the ultimate freedom, the truth is that it can seriously hamper your productivity and even impact your personal life if you cannot strike a healthy balance and take control of your time. With this in mind, we bring you four quick tips for boosting productivity while you WFH. Let’s get into it.
According to Statista, flexibility in how you spend your time is the number one benefit of working from home (67% of respondents). However, if you genuinely want to maximize the benefits, you need to take full control of your work schedule each and every day.
First things first, it’s essential that you maintain a productive morning routine that is the same (or at least similar) each morning. Set your alarm and go about your normal habits as if you were heading into the office. The idea here is to get yourself geared up for the day ahead. That means taking a shower, eating breakfast, and getting dressed as you normally would. While it may be tempting to stay in your pajamas when WFH, plenty of experts advocate the importance of dressing up for work since it “helps you feel more productive because it signals to you that you’re in work mode.”
Once you are dressed, take some time to list your main priorities for the day and set a working schedule, including your main working hours, breaks, and when you intend to finish.
Keep your personal/home life in mind here. Since you have the flexibility to choose your hours a little more, careful planning may give you more free time in the evenings to spend with your loved ones, watching sports, or partaking in a hobby.
Following on from the last point, breaks are of the utmost importance. There’s a reason why there are laws governing how long employers can make you work before they must give you a break. With this in mind, remember to be kind to yourself by giving yourself plenty of rest breaks throughout the day.
Although, remember to spend your breaks wisely. It’s easy to open up YouTube or watch your favorite series on Netflix, but this just means more screen time. If you can, take a walk out in nature, exercise, or take a moment to recenter yourself with some mindfulness meditation. These ideas will help you regain your focus and boost your productivity when you return to the task at hand.
You can’t work at your best if your eyes are hurting, and anybody who has stared at a screen for long periods will understand how much screen time can strain your eyes. Of course, this is made even worse when working at night time, since the glare from the stark bright screen in contrast to the dark can cause even more damage (not to mention the impact it can have on your sleeping pattern).
For this reason, try to install and get familiar with dark mode functions across all of your devices. For example, chrome dark mode will help to minimize the light generated from all of the web pages you visit, which can be a life saver for your eyes. You can use similar settings/apps on your mobile devices, too, such as tablets and smartphones.
One of the main challenges of working from home is separating your work life and your home life. This is even more difficult if you work in the same space you relax in, such as your bedroom. In an ideal world, you should set up a separate room where you can work so you can design it as a “productive zone.” This means minimizing distraction, ensuring there is plenty of light, and of course, a solid internet connection. That said, if you don’t have a house big enough to warrant a dedicated WFH room, there are plenty of ways to get creative that can help you get the most out of small spaces.
While the working from home revolution is firmly underway, it’s important to acknowledge that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows once you finally escape the demands of the office. WFH requires a fair amount of self-discipline in order to master, which means establishing a clear working schedule so you can take control of your day. Moreover, you need to create an environment conducive to productivity so that you can perform your tasks to the best of your ability, despite working remotely.