Working from home is no longer a luxury. Many workers have resorted to establishing a home office for many reasons. It could be due to movement restrictions due to COVID19 forcing many businesses to require their workers to work from home or maybe you operate a home-based business. Either way, working from home is exciting and rewarding. In fact, 86% of workers report they are more productive when they work from home.
There is a catch, though. For you to be successful you have to avoid certain pitfalls. The reason is unlike a regular office, working from home is unique. That makes it necessary to manage in a different way. For example, with its flexible nature comes many distractions such as family members, neighbors, visitors, house chores, and many more. That said it is not impossible to have streamlined work-from-home output with the tips below. But first, let us explore some of the places you can locate your home office to get the best out of it.
Where to locate your home office
Working from home should be handled with the same seriousness as your regular office. Ideally, the room you use for your home office should not be used for other purposes. You want a room where after your working hours you can lock it up and have the mental feeling that you are “coming home from work”. You don’t want to set it up in the guest room as it will inevitably disrupt your work schedule.
Sometimes it may not be possible to have a spare room. And that’s ok. You can work from your garage or a backyard shed. As long as you set it well and equip it with the tools you require it will serve you well. Most importantly make sure you locate it in a serene environment with low disruptions such as noise, wind and ensure sufficient lighting.
If all else is not possible, you can use your living room. Getting disrupted in the living room can still happen, but you can minimize that if you are creative enough. For example, you can partition one corner with curtains to reduce distraction from family members.
Tips for the most productive office
1. Stick to a regular schedule
When you work from home there are myriad things that can conspire to slow your productivity. And that is why you need to make a good plan and stick to it. Your plan of action should detail what you will be doing at what time. If you will need to communicate to your boss or your colleague you should indicate when and for how long. Other details include time for reading emails, snack breaks, and opening and closing work time. That said, flexibility which is one of the benefits of working from home should not be lost. However, you should have an irreducible minimum that you should accomplish each day at whatever time.
2. Dress up
Research shows how you dress up at work will affect your productivity, you want to be in clothes that will bring the productive juice out of you. Working in pajama can give you a sense of relaxation and freedom. However, that will also create sluggishness that can slow your productivity. You need to dress up like you are going to the regular office. While you may not be in your best office suit, as a minimum you can jump out of your beddings, take a shower and brush your teeth. That will create a message to your brain to ready itself for the day.
3. Separate personal time from work
Working all day without some personal time is not a mark of high productivity. In fact, doing so you run the risk of burnout. You should have time for work and time for your family. Let your colleagues and clients know when it’s not office time. More important commitment is the key to your success. Even if the time for work has ended every undone work should be rescheduled to another day.
4. Plan for breaks
Regular breaks have been known to boost productivity in work. It is during the break that the brains and muscles will take a rest and come back more energized. You can take a snack, jog, listen to some music interlude, or do chit chat with neighbors. Whatever you do you should stick to your time. For example, you can allocate 30 minutes for your break and stick to it.
5. Stay connected
One of the negative effects of working from home is the isolation from the outside world. That should not happen if you plan well. You can have the time of the week when you can call colleagues at work and get the latest goings-on from the office. And with the availability of so many channels of communication, there is no shortage of ways you can keep connected. Other methods include emails and skype.
6. Avoid social media
Social media is made to help in our social life, make us catch up with our friends, and have fun. Unfortunately, all this can be counterproductive to work. This study found that over 13% of workers’ productivity is lost to social media engagements. And it doesn’t help matters that they are placed in the browser shortcuts for ease of use. To avoid the temptation you can use the incognito browser window if you use chrome or completely log them out when working.
7. Play inspirational music
While playing music has a different effect on different people, studies have shown playing music when working increases productivity in general. However, it also depends on the kind of music and listeners’ preferences. While some get a lot of inspiration from soft slow music others want a completely quiet environment.
8. Change your office venue
Working in one environment can jam your thought process. Furthermore, having the same repetitive process in the same environment can be boring. In any case, working from home doesn’t mean getting stuck at home. Change your venue. Go to the nearest coffee shop, public lounges, and your local social halls. You will discover an amazing boost to your productivity.
9. Start working early
When you work in the regular office you will feel under pressure to be in the office very in the morning. After all, you want to beat the morning traffic. Because you don’t want to be in the wrong books of your boss, do you? The same should happen even when you work from home. Furthermore, your productivity is at its best early in the morning before you are drained by other activities in the house.
10. Use a standing desk
Prolonged periods of sitting in one position is a common feature of working from home. That is unhealthy, you are most likely to suffer from lower back and hip problems. To avoid that you need to invest in a standing desk. This will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing positions.
Working from home can offer the same level of productivity as working in the regular office. However, you will need to take note of the tips we have highlighted above for the best output. You can collaborate with your team members, crank out the best results. You in turn get the flexibility, freedom, and other rewards that come with working from home.
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