Working from home has its perks. The freedom of choosing your working hours and the ability to work from your favorite couch makes it a desirable experience. No more traffic. No worries about commuting to work. Though, there is a flipside of this.
It can be hard to work from home as there is no one monitoring your activities and of course there are a lot of distractions. You can often get caught up in different unproductive activities such as scrolling Facebook timeline, binge-watching cat videos or stalking friends on social media for no reason. So we have compiled a few tips to help you have more productive work from home experience.
Have a Workspace
When working from home, it is essential to designate an area in your home solely for work. It can be anything, a corner of your kitchen table, your favorite couch in the lounge or even your bed, if it helps you stay productive.
Albeit, we strongly recommend you to create a mini workspace when working from home. Get a desk with enough space to accommodate your laptop and necessary documents. It must have a closet so you can keep important and confidential documents safe from unauthorized access or at bay from your cat’s paws.
Invest in a Good Chair
The average person spends over 6 hours a day sitting at his/her desk, something humans were never meant to do. At times, you may find yourself working in a really bizarre posture which is not good for your health in the long run.
To have productive work from home experience without compromising on your health, you need to invest in a good ergonomic chair. You can also buy a standing desk if that’s your style. Good posture, when working from home, will not only reduce your health risks but also help you focus and increase your productivity.
Sit Beside a Window
Dim and artificial lights make us feel sleepy and more stressed. Findings of a research study proposed that natural light has a significant impact on the elevation of cortisol levels in the human body contrary to artificial and dim lights.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that stimulates our mood, energy, and behavior. Decreased cortisol levels at work may cause lethargy, irregular mood swings and sleepiness, hence, tremendously affecting our productivity.
Try sitting near a window to maximize your exposure to natural light, and make sure you have a good desk lamp to help prevent eye strain. If your room doesn’t have a window, try moving your work somewhere else. If that sounds inconvenient, at least try working from a luminous place and avoid dim lights.
Adjust the Temperature
Too hot or too cold? It’s not just your comfort at stake – it’s your productivity as well. A study from Cornell University found that employees made significantly more mistakes when their office temperature levels were not ideal.
Granted, the definition of ideal temperature may vary from person to person. Albeit, you don’t need to worry about how others feel when you’re working from home. So, our recommendation here is to set the room temperature to your preferred level in order to boost your productivity when working from home remotely.
Plan Your Week
Working from home is like fighting with a double-edged sword, you can either be super productive or end up accomplishing nothing at the end of the day. Working from home makes you your own boss. There is no one to correct your mistakes or poke you when you’re being unproductive, except for yourself.
So, it is better to plan your weekly tasks before kicking things off. There are different tools such as WeekPlan, that can help you in aligning your tasks with respect to the OKRs and goals set by your company. Through these tools, you can track your progress and direction you’re headed. These tools can help you streamline task priorities and focus on HITs (High Impact Tasks) to use your time more productively.
Add a Little Life to Work
If you have a green thumb, consider keeping plants at your desk. Researchers at the University of Exeter found that keeping plants in a workplace increased the creativity of employees by 45%, productivity enhanced by 38% and health improved by 47%.
Adding life to work not necessarily mean plants and greens. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a Naturalist. It can be anything. You can put some action figures on your work desk, car collectibles or even your Bobblehead collection. You can also decorate your work desk with stickers. It can literally be anything you fancy.
Take a Break
When it comes to work, different people have varying work patterns. Some people prefer to work continuously till the day end whereas others have the attention span of a goldfish. Work from home setting differs from your standard 9 to 5. There’s no beating the clock to avoid rush hour when getting back home.
Sitting stale in one place and working continuously induces mental fatigue, causes stress and negatively affects productivity. It is highly recommended to break your work hours in small slots and add breaks in between.
Utilize the break to listen to your favorite song, watch a video, have a chit chat with a friend, do some simple household chores, stretch your body or have a power nap. Keep yourself on track with the Pomodoro Technique, which punctuates 25-minute bursts of intense activity with 5-minute breaks.
Customize Your Workplace
White on white on white? BORING! Try repainting your workspace. Be a little creative. Try adding some graffiti to your walls if that fits your taste. Colors can significantly impact your mood and help you elevate productivity. Blue-green is soothing, while yellow stimulates creativity and mental activity. Go with any combination you like. It all depends on your choice and preference.
Use a Whiteboard
One of the hardest parts of working from home is maintaining focus in the face of so many distractions. Having a whiteboard to your workspace gives you a large visual space to create your to-do list. Sure, a Microsoft Word document serves the same purpose, but, a whiteboard doesn’t get buried under the pile of apps opened on your workstation and browser windows. Plus, nothing beats the classic.
As lovely as working from home may sound, it gets stale in time. Work is work. Be it from home or an office. It is alright to take a breather. It is OK to have an off-day, even if you are working from home. Go out with friends. Play some video games. Read a book. Do something that’s not work-related. Even a short conversation with your barista can brighten your day.
Have you been working from home lately? If yes then how’s your work from home experience going so far? Are you struggling to keep up with the pace of work and worried about your productivity going down? Try the tips prescribed in this article and let us know in the comments if they worked for you.
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