5 Tips for Improving Productivity While Working from Home
If someone told you a year ago that you would be able to work from the comfort of your home (in your PJs, if you wish!) for months on end, it might have sounded like an extraordinary company perk. While remote working certainly has its pluses, it also comes with a unique set of challenges that can take some time to adjust to. Millennials, in particular, are struggling to get their work done at home during the global pandemic, with 40 percent saying they feel less productive while working remotely. Clearly, at-home workers are in need of a little guidance and support, so today, I’m going to share some helpful tips for boosting your productivity while working from home. Let’s get started!
1. Set a schedule
When you go into an office every day, you generally stick to a routine with fairly consistent start and end times. When working from home, however, those lines can easily get blurred, as nobody is paying attention to your schedule except you! While it might be tempting to sleep in until 10am, maintaining routine and structure while working from home is key. Having clear guidelines for when to start work, when to take breaks, and when to end your workday, will help you stay productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
2. Get dressed
Working from home means you can live in your pajamas and rock your bonnet 24/7, right? It may work for some, while others will may want to get dressed up. Even if you won’t see anyone all day except your dog, getting ready for the day as if you were going into work can help boost your brain’s productivity and attention. In one study, researchers found that participants who wore a white lab coat performed better in “attention tests,” suggesting that clothes can affect the wearer’s behavior. While I’m not suggesting you wear a lab coat while creating spreadsheets, taking a shower and putting on fresh clothes will help you feel more motivated, accomplished, and ready to take on the day.
3. Take in nature
Working from home means spending tons of time on Zoom calls, which can lead to Zoom fatigue—is that a thing? Well, it is now! In other words, being in your house all day while participating in numerous video calls can make you feel a bit sluggish, dazed, and downright unproductive. An easy way to help ease that woozy feeling is by working in a place where you have a view of nature. Studies show that having a view of nature, or even a picture of scenery on your wall, can improve your mood, productivity, and ability to focus. If you don’t have a workspace with a view of nature, you can take mini-breaks throughout the day to get up, go to a window or step outside, and take in the view for a minute or two. Better yet, take a short walk outside to stretch your legs and breath in the fresh air.
4. Practice self-care
Chances are, working from home means a much more sedentary lifestyle, skipped meals, and new kinds of stress. In order to maintain productivity, taking good care of yourself is a must. You can practice self-care by taking a full hour lunch, taking a break to exercise or go for a walk, not taking on more work than you can handle, making time to eat healthy meals, stopping work at a set time, and allowing yourself to unplug and relax when done for the day. If you don’t take care of yourself, your mental and physical health can begin to suffer, which will not only lead to being less productive, but could affect your well-being in a number of negative ways over time.
5. Create boundaries
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to staying productive while working from home is finding ways to limit distractions. First things first, be sure that you have an established workspace so that your family members know to limit interruptions when you’re in your home office. If you have children, they likely view you being home all the time as an opportunity to play and ask you for things. It’s important to kindly set clear rules with your kids about what they can and cannot do while you’re working. Additionally, be sure you don’t take on extra chores and responsibilities around the house just because you’re home more. Being at home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free, so ensure that you and your family members are still dividing up tasks fairly.
Discover what works for you
Applying the above tips will not only boost your productivity, but will support your overall wellness. Working from home presents a set of unique challenges and distractions and it can take some time to fall into a balanced rhythm, so be kind and patient with yourself as you find what works for you.