In this Blog Post
As more of us now work from home or our organisation begins to move to more of a hybrid working model, we thought we'd put together some top tips for remaining productive. Many of these tips became more relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lessons we all learnt during that time help us to shape these tips.
If you have never worked from home before it can come as a bit of a culture shock. Working from home sounds great, but when you are responsible for your own motivation and productivity, it's easy for things to slip.
Here are some top tips for working from home:
Adopt the mindset that you are still at work. You are still at work, but not having your regular commute to work each day, no matter how short it usually is, can leave you in the mindset that you are not actually going to work.
Set your alarm for the same time. carry out your usual routine before going to work. Even get dressed in the normal clothes you wear for work.
Keep a clear to-do list. Make sure you know what you need to complete and by when. Get started as soon as you can after your normal routine and start getting things done.
It might be a good idea to schedule your day (book slots into a diary of when you intend to get things done) to keep you on track.
It may be that you have to re-prioritise your tasks to make some you are working on things that you don't need access to the office for.
Minimise distractions. If you don't have a radio or TV at work then don't turn them on at home. These will easily become a distraction. You will quickly find yourself watching terrible daytime TV or waiting for your favourite track to come on rather than getting on with your work.
If you do miss the noise then pop the TV on in the background, but set it to a channel that you normally wouldn't watch or have no interest in. This is about creating noise not another distraction.
Set up a place to work. Clear a desk or set yourself up on your kitchen table. It doesn't really matter where but make sure you're comfortable and have everything to hand. Slouching on the sofa with your laptop is going to make you feel really lethargic really quickly.
Switch off distractions. Close down tabs with social media and anything else that you wouldn't use at work. You are going to need to be more disciplined than usual with this. Remember, try not to do anything that you normally wouldn't do in the office.
It's OK to get out of the house. If you find home doesn't work for you, then get out of the house and go to a coffee shop, park or anywhere else. Yes OK, we said earlier that you shouldn't do anything you wouldn't do at the office. But, if it makes you more productive then do it.
Stay connected with your manager and team. Use your normal communication tools to stay in touch. Check-in every day or a few times a day via video conference. Don't chat about working from home though, keep the conversation on task.
Don't forget to take breaks. You would normally take breaks at work so do so at home. Take your normal routine breaks such as coffee and lunch. Stick to your normal schedule.
Have a finish time. We always mention this in our time management course, have a finish time and stick to it. It's so easy to overrun when you don't see everyone else leaving the office. If you don't you could quickly burn out.
Utilise any spare time for personal development. Sometimes if you are not at the office you may not be able to do all of the things you normally do. Use the time for personal development by reading or taking an online training course. We've just launched a range of online training courses that you may find interesting.
We hope these tips help.
We've updated many of our training courses to take into account the idea of working from home, remote working and hybrid models. You will find individual tips and ideas in our Time Management Course for maintaining productivity while working from home. If you are a leader or manager, our Managing Remote Teams Training Course provides lots of guidance for leading and motivating your remote team workers.