How well are you adapting to working from home? True, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the shift to remote working. However, working from home is the future. According to Gartner, the demand for remote working will increase by 30% by 2030.
Working from home is challenging, but not undoable. Here are a few tips to boost your productivity when working remotely.
1. Designate a working space
Why is working from home so tricky? Because home does not feel like the office. It is a place you associate with relaxation. Also, it has very many distractions.
So, you need to designate space within your home solely for work. It could be a spare room, which you convert into an office. Or even a corner of your living room, where you can put an office desk and chair.
Your workspace should be quiet enough so you can focus. And you should not do leisure-like activities such as watching movies in your workspace.
2. Maintain the regular office schedule
Maintaining routine helps. Wake up at the same time you did before the lockdown. Shower and dress as if you are going to work. Your body and mind associate your morning routine with work. So, you are more likely to be productive if you maintain that routine.
When going to the office, the morning commute helps you wake up and feel ready to work. At home, you think you still have extra time to prolong your sleep. That leads to morning sluggishness, which will derail your to-do-list for the day. The solution is still to start your day as early as you did when you were working from the office.
3. Let people know that you are home, but you are working.
Interruptions are productivity detriments. When working from home, family and friends are the most significant sources of interruptions.
Let your friends know not to video call during your working hours. Share your schedule with your spouse and kids. Explain why it’s crucial not to interrupt when you are working.
4. Set reasonable breaks between your working hours
You can only concentrate for so long without losing focus; when the brain is fatigued or distracted, productivity decreases. According to this study, productivity increases when you focus for an hour and take a 20-minute break. Numerous other studies support this idea: the brain function optimally when it shifts between periods of focusing and not-focusing.
The point is, you should take breaks between works. You don’t necessarily have to adhere to the one-hour of focus ides. You could stretch to 1.5 or even 2 hours. But working for long hours does not improve performance. A fatigued brain is more likely to make mistakes.
5. Avoid social media
Social media is an excellent avenue for interaction during this social distancing period. However, it is also a work deterrent. Often, you will open Facebook or Instagram during a break to quickly check your messages. However, you will find yourself still browsing through stories, photos, and media, an hour later, when you are supposed to be working.
Fast company has some practical solutions to avoiding social media. The idea is to make opening social networks during work hours inconvenient. Start by logging out of all social networks. Then, remove them from your bookmarks. Better yet, work from an incognito window. That ensures anything you type does not autocomplete.
The extra effort it will take to log in to a social network will discourage your otherwise frequent social media breaks.