Working from home seems like the ideal situation when you’re at the office full time. Who wouldn’t want to be at home lounging on the sofa in their PJ’s while sending a few emails? However, after the WFH honeymoon period is over (approximately 10-14 days from our own personal research) the darker side of remote work begins to show itself. Boredom. Distractions. Loneliness. Reduced productivity. Uncomfortableness. Zoom after Zoom after Zoom…
A quote from Byron Pulsifer sums up the reality of working from home brilliantly:
‘To be able to work at home successfully takes all of the following: motivation, perseverance, work, good habits, no excuses, balance, accountability, and action’
So, we’ve come up with a list of top tips to help people that might be struggling to enjoy all of the benefits of remote working because the negatives seem to be piling up. Following these tips will help you to improve your productivity, health and mood while working from home. Let’s get into it...
Create a routine and stick to it
You might be one of these freaks of nature that can just roll out of bed at whatever time, immediately sign in to a conference call, drop some knowledge bombs and then crack on with your work without so much as even having to look at a to-do list. Or you might be like the rest of us who feel a little bit lost without a strict routine.
The easiest way to combat the loss of routine is, well... to pretend like you still have one. Only you can spend the time that you used to spend travelling to work doing something much more productive and beneficial than sitting in traffic or getting squished on a busy train.
Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time that you would on a normal workday. Most importantly, stop work at the same time that you normally would. Just because you don’t have to pack away your laptop doesn’t mean that you should be tempted to log back in after work hours.
Try spending the time that you used to commute exercising, reading, spending time with the kids, or listening to music with a cup of coffee. It’s a great way to start the day and it’s not something you normally have the time to do. So, make the most of it!
Make a dedicated workspace
If there was only one change that we could suggest to you for improving your working from home life, it would be to create a dedicated work area. It will have a profound effect on your productivity and it will help you to create a clear distinction between what is work and what is not work, which is a line very easily blurred while working from home.
Find a spot at home that is quiet and far away from distractions like the TV and the kitchen. Have everything you need for work right there all in one place. This will stop you from taking a quick trip to grab a pen that turns into a 45-minute snack bender. Locating your working area in a spacious spot with lots of natural light will also help you stay energised throughout the day.
Once your workday is over, leave everything where it is, walk away and shut the door on it. That way your brain can switch off from work and you won’t be reminded of it until you return to that area of your home.
Upgrade your home office
Now that you have a dedicated workspace it's time to start thinking about upgrading your home office equipment. The number one reason to do this is for your health. Sitting on rubbish chairs, on the sofa or in bed is an easy way to develop forward head posture which has several negative consequences including aches & pains, fatigue and respiratory problems. The second reason to do this is that you’ll become more productive. You’ll be able to get more done in less time and ensure that your body has the right support to maintain a good posture and health. You’ll effectively be getting paid more by the hour and be healthier for it, so why not!
Here are three things you should consider investing in to upgrade your home office:
- An adjustable standing office desk
- A comfortable ergonomic office chair
- An adjustable laptop stand
Unlock your potential by getting the right office equipment and have more time to spend on yourself!
Take meaningful breaks
It’s easy to skip lunch or simply stay at the desk all day when you never have to leave the room. However, you must take some time to step away from your work throughout the day to remain productive.
Something that we encourage our staff to do is to follow the 50/10 rule throughout the day. It’s simple, you work effectively for 50 minutes and then take 10 minutes to rest and do whatever you want. It could be a walk around the block, a quick exercise routine, a power nap, making a snack, or scrolling on your phone. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to go again once the 10 minutes is up.
On top of this hourly routine, taking a 30 to 60-minute lunch break where you go outside or leave your work area will help you improve your productivity and mood for the afternoon session. Working solidly from 8-6 isn’t helping anyone as you are guaranteed to get fatigued over time. Take some meaningful time away so you’re ready to work productively while back at your desk.
Stay connected with colleagues
After a few weeks of working from home, many people report feelings of loneliness. Almost half (46%) of all UK remote workers have experienced feelings of loneliness while working from home, with young people feeling the effects more with 74% of people aged 18-38 saying that they have struggled with feelings of isolation. So make a conscious effort to stay connected with your colleagues and friends throughout the day. It could be that you meet your friends for a coffee and a walk before work or you schedule weekly ‘water cooler’ conference calls with your immediate colleagues. It gives you the opportunity to get things off your chest and feel like you are still part of a team.
Create productivity music playlists
While quiet is sometimes exactly what you need to GET SH*T DONE, other times some music is needed to give you an energy boost and to ward off boredom. Try creating a work playlist filled with songs that you know will boost your mood and help you concentrate.
If you haven’t got time to make a playlist then check out our Liberty Office Productivity Playlist. It’s filled with a bunch of instrumental tracks from a range of different genres. Hit shuffle and enjoy!
Take time for a short burst of exercise and stretching throughout the day
Exercising throughout the day has many benefits. It can:
- Boost your mood
- Prevent illness
- Increase energy levels
- Keeps your mind alert
- Stimulate motivation
- Improve your memory
- Help to manage stress levels
All it takes is 10 minutes to get your heart pumping and to feel the benefits of exercise. If you follow the 50/10 model, try to use two to three of your breaks throughout the day for a quick exercise routine to supercharge your energy levels and motivation so you can work harder and get your work done more efficiently.
Here’s a 10-minute routine that you can incorporate into your working days:
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas about how to overcome some of the negative aspects of remote working. To summarise the most important points, you should make a dedicated workspace, upgrade your office equipment, take meaningful breaks, exercise throughout the day to stay energized, and finally make an effort to socialise!
If you have any questions or simply want to know more about what the Liberty Office team do at home to stay productive, get in touch in the comments section and we’ll get back to you asap.