Working from home has both benefits and drawbacks. It can seem great at the beginning, but without giving structure to your working day, the amount of work on your plate can continue to grow and grow.
Whether your company advocates hot desking or allows you to work from home, there comes a time when almost every employee has to do it. Some companies encourage it, so it can allow them to take on more staff whilst not having to relocate and increase their office space.
A recent survey by Printerland.co.uk revealed that a whopping 90% of British workers who work remotely get distracted from their work on a regular basis, with 7% of staff getting distracted over 15 times a day.
To avoid falling into the same trap, here are a few pointers on how to be productive when you’re working from home.
Get in a daily routine
Even if you’re sick of the office environment, by giving yourself a proper working structure away from the office, it’s going to work absolute wonders for your productivity.
Workers can be at fault of starting their working day out of the office a little too late in the morning. This can be a nightmare for colleagues trying to communicate with you from afar. By starting your day at the normal business opening hours, you’re going to give yourself more time to get through your different tasks during the day.
Straying away from a normal routine can have a detrimental effect on your mindset and time keeping abilities. Give yourself a start and end time for your working day, so it gives you time to prioritise and schedule your tasks.
Some of your tasks may require the input of one of your co-workers, so if you’ve decided to start work late on in the day, it can be impossible to communicate with them. To ensure that you can all work together as part of a team, make sure that your working hours from home mirror the working hours of your office.
Dress for the job
Being dressed for the job is equally important when working remotely as in the office.
It’s clear that you’re not expected to whack on a suit and tie when you’re working from home, but by getting yourself dressed in the morning, you’re going to reflect the professional outlook you have in the office, at home.
According to Printerland’s survey, just over a third of workers lack the motivation to get themselves dressed when working from home. You may not think this, but working in your pyjamas can be perceived as a laid-back attitude to work.
Dress codes are a symbol of a professional environment, so start your working day by getting yourself in a professional mindset, and get dressed for the day ahead.
Create an office away from the office
In a similar vein to dressing professionally when working remotely, by incorporating facets of your office into your remote working environment, you’ll help you take your mind off the numerous distractions you have within your home.
Firstly, instead of working from either your bed or sofa, purchase a chair that will allow you to sit up straight as it will improve your focus. By sitting away from an area where you either sleep or relax, it will help you differentiate between your personal space and your work space.
If your home has a spare room, then this would be the ideal area for a work station. Recreate the layout of your desk in the office at home so you can familiarise yourself with an environment where you are most productive.
Block out all distractions
The internet arguably poses the biggest threat to remote workers productivity.
Nowadays it’s essential that you’re connected to the internet at all times so you can communicate via email to your colleagues, access Dropbox and use websites as resources. This however means that social media sites and other distractions are just one click away, and it can be very hard to refuse them sometimes.
To help you limit your internet usage, use a restriction app or chrome extension such as Strict Workflow, so you can put a block on the websites that distract you most for an indefinite amount of time.
By taking these tips on board, you’re going to be able to seamlessly transition from an office worker to a remote worker. However, it’s very important to stick to the rules you set out as it can be easy to fall back into bad habits when there’s nobody keeping an eye on you. Deadlines will always remain as important as ever, so if you’re unable to work productively at home then you’re at risk of putting your job in an untenable position.