How to Stay Productive While Working from Home

2 February 2021

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There is so much uncertainty about the future, and with many people having to work remotely, the whole going to the office concept to work has altered too. For many people, this means that the office has moved into their living room!

For some, this will have alleviated some of the commutes to work stresses, but it has created a completely new set of pressure for others. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions on how to stay motivated while working from home.

Designate your workspace

Having a specific workspace is vital. Studies suggest that designating your workspace can keep you focused. Having a place 'to go to' where you work gets you in work mode, which can help alleviate distractions. You should also try and keep your designated workspace tidy; this will help keep you focused, making your day more productive. One place you should try and avoid using as your workspace in your bedroom because your body and mind associate this room with sleep, so it isn't going to help get you in the mood for work if you are in your sleep place!

Get outside

Just as you would if you were at work, give yourself break times. During these times, try and move away from your workspace, get out in the fresh air if you can, help clear your mind, and re-focus.

Create the right atmosphere

While you can't control where you are working right now, you can control the space you have to work in. Just as you would in your office, personalize your area, and bring all the equipment and resources, you will need for your working day into your workspace.

Connecting with Co-workers

Working remotely is challenging, but it is crucial to stay in touch with your co-workers. Coffee chats are a great way of doing this. Just because there's no break room to hang out in, it doesn't mean you can't designate a time when you are on a break and can get in touch with your co-workers for a chat! You will also need to get in touch with your co-workers to share files and workloads. Just because you aren't in the office, it doesn't mean you need to be disconnected from your fellow workers, share files and interact with them to keep your day on schedule. It is easy to send and receive files while you are at home. However, all of the popular email clients have size limits on the files you can email, but there are ways to overcome this and make the process quicker and easier. You can do this by compressing the file into a zipped folder and sending it that way. Your co-worker can unzip files from their end by merely right-clicking the file and choosing to extract all, then follow the instructions. It's a quick and easy process to send zipped folders and to unzip files that are sent.

Set Regular Hours, and Stick to a Schedule

Make sure you get up each morning and get ready for work. Staying in your pajamas isn't going to help you stay productive. So get up, take a shower, shave and get ready for work! It is a good idea to have some boundaries for those around you so that everyone knows you are working and unavailable for playing, etc., during this time. There will be times when you feel unproductive, maybe your kids are home, or there is housework that needs doing. Being at home can make these times feel overwhelming because you haven't got the support or co-workers to keep you on track and in work mode. Train yourself to overcome these times by doing something, don't fall into the habit of thinking, I'll work later or tomorrow, is a habit to avoid. 

Keeping motivated while working from home is essential. Do this by creating a workspace, designating a specific work time, and keeping in touch with your co-workers. Send and receive files as if you were in the office by compressing large files before sending. Your co-worker will unzip files on their end - keeping you all updated and connected.

Aurora Heidrick

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