The events of the last year have resulted in a seismic shift in the way we work. Most of us have found ourselves asking the question; is productive working from home possible? If so, what are the best tips? Studies show that a substantial majority of businesses are planning on continuing the increase in remote working. Could this be society’s future ideal?
As someone who deals with chronic health issues, the 9-to-5 working model hasn’t been a viable way of working for several years. I know that I am far from alone in this position. So, I wanted to produce a post that would cover the best ideas and tips that have helped me along the way and made productive working from home entirely feasible.
This point may seem like an unnecessary tip for productive working from home, but it turns out to be a crucial one. Whilst it’s an appealing prospect to stay in a dressing gown or pyjamas, in my experience, it leads to a less effective working day.
Getting dressed signals that it’s time to start work. If you’d typically wear makeup to go into the office, apply some for home working too. Don’t underestimate the psychology of power dressing, no matter how toned down in this case.
One pitfall of remote working is that it’s all too easy to find yourself daydreaming and staring into space for periods throughout the day. For productive working from home, challenge yourself to finish tasks within a specific time frame. For example, if the time is 3 in the afternoon, set yourself the task to solely power work on a piece for 30 minutes. Glance at the time throughout this period to keep on track.
I enjoy aiming to complete a 600-word blog post in 90 minutes flat. It’s best to hyper-focus on the task at hand and edit later.
Create a Sensory Environment
Looking back to the times when I entered a physical workplace, I always wondered if everyone else found it as challenging to work effectively. There was ever too much noise and chatter, making it hard to focus and anxiety-inducing. The office was often either too cold or hot and stuffy. I never worked in an office space that smelt great, either. All in all, it was somewhat intolerable.
One of the joys of working from home is that you can tailor your environment. If you want to sit supported by velvet cushions, with a cat to keep you company, you can. I also like to surround myself with plants and make regular hot water bottles. I keep the air fresh by regularly opening the window and sometimes spritz perfume for tonic. Success and Self-Care have some brilliant tips for minimising distractions.
Separate Lunch and Snack Time
One of the growing trends that I always loathed about working in an office was that most colleagues chose to eat their lunch at their desk. Leaving your desk for the full lunch period was often seen as a negative routine. I’m so thankful that I no longer have to deal with this corporate saga.
For productive working from home, designate time for lunch and snacks away from your workspace. You have access to a kitchen, which means you don’t have to depend on processed foods. Make a healthy, visually appealing lunch that will keep you going for hours.
Pack It Away
Working from home can pose a problem; when does the workday truly end? How do you relax in an environment that you now associate with work? Establishing physical and mental boundaries can be a challenge.
If you’re one of the many who don’t have a home office, tuck your laptop and work materials into a drawer, keeping it shut until the next working day begins. I’m a great believer in out of sight, out of mind. Productive working from home doesn’t have to be complicated; in fact, once conquered, you’ll wonder how you ever worked otherwise.