Working from home seems like the dream. You can get up when you want, work in your pyjamas, take as many breaks as you like and do your work in your own time. In theory, it sounds fantastic, but in practice, it is rarely as idyllic as it seems.
Although some thrive in a home-working environment, many people struggle to muster up the necessary motivation required to be sufficiently productive. When you’re not subject to the rules and deadlines of the office and the watchful eye of management, what’s there to keep you working as hard as you should be?
Whether you’re a permanent home worker, or temporarily telecommuting in light of the coronavirus pandemic, you may find it a struggle to be productive when working from home. If this sounds like you, the following tips are designed to help you work as effectively as possible, while still enjoying the freedom and flexibility that home working can offer.
Establish some rules
One of the main reasons it is so hard to work well from home is that the boundary between your home life and your work life is blurred. When you have to commute to an office, you instantly snap into work mode the minute you sit down at your desk. But when you are compiling spreadsheets from underneath your duvet, it’s a little more challenging to get into the right mindset. Make an effort to establish a workday routine. Set a scheduled time that you must wake up and start work each day, and an absolute cut off point to stop working in the afternoon. Although it may seem like an effort to put clothes on, changing out of your pyjamas will put you in the right frame of mind to get the job done.
Create the right environment
If you’re lying in bed with your laptop on your knees, it’s no wonder you can’t be productive. The quality of your work environment is crucial to your productivity, so make sure you set the scene before you start work. Sit at a desk or the kitchen table, and make sure your surface is neat and tidy. An organised workspace creates an organised mind and will enable you to think more clearly as well as find everything you need for work. Remove all distractions like phones or the TV on in the background, and if you live with other people, make sure they respect the fact that you have to work.
Talk to your employer
One of the reasons you might find it hard to work effectively from home is that your employer has not set you up to do so. Regular communication with your manager and other members of your team is likely essential, so make sure you have the tools to do so effectively. Are your communications systems up to the task? Do you need more guidance in completing your work or organising your schedule? Talk to your employer and make sure you have everything you need. If you don’t have an effective communications tool to interact with other members of the team, then you will fall at the first hurdle. You may need to suggest to your boss that they invest in a better system. Many companies, such as Unified Communications Provider Gamma, offer solutions to improve the communications processes within various businesses. This may be just what your company needs.