7 Top tips for working more productively from home
Updated: Sep 3
"It's crucial to build a habitat that helps you to concentrate on the task at hand."
In this strange new world of Covid-19 Virus, you may have found yourself plunged into a brand new world. Gone are the days of the bustling office. That world has been put on pause - for the moment at least! We meet a new workplace. One that is not only closer to home, but is the exact definition of it. Welcome, my friends, to remote working.
Now for some, this isn't something new. Some people have been at this table for quite a while now. No sweaty commute or strict company dress code to follow. Fewer office conflicts and a greater sense of freedom. However, for those who enjoyed a communal work environment, this new world is going to come as quite a shock.
There are less imposed workplace structures, increased uncertainty and no distinct structure to the day. Working from the kitchen table all afternoon, only to move to the countertop to start preparing dinner doesn't exactly stimulate the mind as much as a drive into the city might.
So how do you reclaim the sense of workplace purpose that your previous office environment may have served as? Let's take a look!
Create a Work Box
Regardless of whether you set up a home office, or prefer to work from the kitchen table, it's crucial to build a habitat that helps you to concentrate on the task at hand. Sidenote: I do know there are other areas to work within a home, but from what I've seen the kitchen table rules supreme! If you have to "hotdesk" at home (a term given to those who continuously move desks in an office) as dinner time requires the removal of all folders -unless spattered spaghetti bolognese is the look you're going for on your reports!
Then the solution for you is using a portable box that you can keep your items organised in. This will make tidying up much faster and avoid items getting lost. Beware of storing unnecessary items in here; you just want the things that are essential for getting your work completed.
Using a portable box will help keep your items organised by making tidying up much faster.
Move Your Body
Before you start your working day, it is super beneficial for the body to give it an opportunity to move. Rolling out the yoga mat and doing a class on youtube could be the stretch you need to get your day off to a good start. Even going for a brisk walk around the block will get the blood flowing and stimulate your brain for the day ahead.
Before you start your working day, it is super beneficial for the body to give it an opportunity to move.
Bring in Joy
Your workplace should feel personal to you. This stamp of personality isn't always possible in an office environment, but definitely is an option at home! Put a photograph of people you love on the table, a vase of fresh flowers or light a candle. Anything that brings you joy to see will be a welcome addition to the home workspace.
Anything that brings you joy to see will be a welcome addition to the home workspace.
Working all day long in one location can leave the brain feeling tired. Make sure you plan breaks to stretch, chat to friends, or read a book. Having short breaks that differentiate your day from your work and give you pleasure is so important. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to do something fun for you.
Having short breaks that differentiate your day from your work and give you pleasure is so important
Catch Up with Colleagues
The traditional office space provides a social environment where multiple breaks are taken naturally throughout the day, in the form of chats by the water cooler, delivering documents and general interaction with other colleagues which in turn punctuate the typical working day. These interactions are limited at home (-mainly if you have been self-isolating or live by yourself). If you are missing out on socialising, make it a priority to stay in touch. Most of our social interactions come from the workplace, so loneliness is a particularly prevalent issue during this time.
If you are missing out on socialising, make it a priority to stay in touch.
Marie Kondo recommends organising your physical paperwork into the following categories. Pending, Short Term Storage and Long Term Storage. Keeping your categories simple helps to eliminate confusion and also ensures you only keep the items that are necessary. Keep an eye on printing during this time. While offices have large printers capable of printing huge workloads, more than likely your home desktop printer will have a hard time keeping up with this demand. Do you really need to print that email? Can you address it on-screen without a physical paper trail? This will also benefit the environment by reducing the number of trees cut down unnecessarily, resulting in fewer carbon emissions!
Do you really need to print that email? Can you address it on-screen without a physical paper trail?
Clutter isn't just the paper pile building up on your desk, it also relates to your digital space. Delete unnecessary files, emails and other downloads that may be slowing down the progress of your computer. Resist the urge to create a million sub-folders and think about how you would actually search for a file. What keywords would you type in? By anticipating how “future-you” will search for an item, you will make your life so much easier by saving time.
Clutter isn't just the paper pile building up on your desk, it also relates to your digital space.
We're all in this together and can weather this storm if we prepare and take positive action. Whether that's organising your home for happier and effective remote working, or just being a kind ear for others, who are finding this transition difficult.
I would love to know how you're dealing with this current time at home. If you would like some support on your tidying journey, then how about booking a session today? Did you know that I also offer virtual tidying consultations? Whatever your work-life situation, we can find a coaching option suitable specifically for your needs.
What better time than now to get your home in order?
Stay safe and well.