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Improving productivity when working from home

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This guide outlines strategies for improving productivity while you are working from home or remotely.

Working from home is a great way to benefit from convenience, simplicity, and flexibility. However, it can also have an impact on productivity. By and large, people actually tend to be more productive when working from home, as recent studies have shown. However, this is a generalization, and productivity levels can vary from one person to another.

If you work from home but struggle with productivity as a result, there are various steps you can take. The right measures can help to ensure you benefit from maximum productivity even when you work from home, which means you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Improving productivity when working from home

From choosing the right office to looking into workflow automation solutions, there are various factors that can play a part in productivity. We will look more closely at some of these in this guide.  There are various steps you can take in order to improve productivity while you are working from home. Some of the key steps to take include:

Think carefully about your office location

One thing you need to do is to ensure you set up a home office from which to work. You need to have a dedicated work area if you want to be productive, and this needs to be in the right location within your home. It is important to find a room that does not have people passing through it all the time and is not used regularly by your household. This needs to be a room that is as far from the main rooms of your home as possible.

Create a working routine

It is also important to create a proper working daily routine – essentially, you are going to the office but without the hassle of being stuck in traffic beforehand. So, you should still set your alarm to get up at a specific time, get dressed and have breakfast as you would if you were going out to work, and then head to your home office. Make sure you take a lunch break and then finish work at a reasonable time, just as you would at a normal office.

Steer clear of online distractions

One problem that many home workers have is steering clear of online distractions. If you are at the computer for most of the day, it can be really tempting to take a quick look on social media, check the news, or browse Amazon. Before you know it, hours have flown by and you still haven’t come anywhere near getting through your work. It is vital that you steer clear of online distractions until your official working day is finished.

Pretend you are at the office

When you are working from home, you essentially have to pretend you are at an external office and act as you would in this situation. Basically, you are at the office, and the fact that this is located in your own home should not result in you slacking on work.

Take breaks throughout the day

It’s common in remote work to focus on an activity and not notice the time pass, sometimes even forgetting to have lunch. Take 10 to 15 minute breaks for yourself throughout the day for improving productivity, and get up, walk around the house or have a snack. Your productivity and your health will thank you.

Know when to close the day

Do not extend the workday at home. Tiredness will build up throughout the week and your productivity will drop. A tip for improving productivity is to schedule an appointment for when you should be done, such as a class at the gym, taking an online course, or watching a series.

Never work in pajamas

When working in your pajamas, you will unconsciously associate the home office with moments of relaxation and rest. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to wear a tie or a scarpin at home, but dress in a way that doesn’t look sloppy when participating in team calls for improving productivity.

Include team meetings in your routine

Home office work can be quite lonely, so it’s important to include in your agenda a full-team videoconference meeting at least once a week for improving productivity. This is when expectations will be aligned, goals will be defined and, above all, ideas will be shared.

Human beings are social and collaborative work is a source of motivation, which is why the home office is even more challenging for productivity. In addition to team meetings, make yourself available to colleagues and always ask for help when you need it.

Work in a quiet, distraction-free environment

The place where you work should have as few distractions as possible, including television, street sounds, construction noise, and family activities. Talk to your husband or wife and their children about their work schedule and ask them not to go into your chosen room during this time. This way you avoid interruptions and can stay focused on an activity for longer.

Keep the desk or table clean

Don’t let paperwork pile up on the table, as visual clutter impairs attention. Keep only what you need: your notebook, pen, pad of paper and a bottle of water.

Remember ergonomics

If that back pain hits at the end of the day, the warning light is on. Being in a home office also involves worrying about ergonomics, that is, the relationship between the workspace and your physical health. In practice, you need to pay attention to your posture and the chair, table and notebook.

Chair: In addition to being comfortable, the chair should allow you to keep your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. The furniture also needs to support your back and forearms.
Table: The ideal height for a work table varies between men and women. For them, the table must be 65 cm. For them, the height should be 70 cm.
Computer: To work with visual comfort, your computer should be between 45 cm and 70 cm away from your eyes. To find the right height, keep the top of the monitor aligned horizontally with your eyes. Avoid tilting your head down when typing.

Do one task at a time

The key to home office productivity is setting priorities to do one task at a time. It is necessary to separate the moments of solving family and work issues, in addition to defining what is urgent and what can be done at another time. This way you avoid falling into the myth of multitasking.

Avoid multitasking

Doing multiple things at once is a myth: your brain just shifts focus from one task to another, which turns out to be more tiring than the activity itself. Also, trying to multitask is another stressor that harms your mental health.

Make expectations clear

Like you, your colleagues are concerned about maintaining productivity in the home office. That’s why it’s important to make it clear to them, especially if you are the manager, what is expected of them and vice versa. This way, noise in communication is avoided and the work environment, even remote, becomes more peaceful and productive.

About Andrea Toulsen

andreat@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

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