8 Top Tips for Working from Home


Since 2020 more and more people have made the switch to working from home. Not only does this allow employees to strike a better balance between their work and personal life due to more flexible hours. But it also avoids unnecessary commuting that saves precious time and it can increase productivity, reduce distractions and increase the level of job satisfaction. However, working from home can also become a great challenge for those who have never done remote work, since it involves taking on new responsibilities and demands being able to efficiently self-manage. 

So if this is you, hopefully this post will help you, as I share 8 top tips to be productive while working from home! 

Set Office Hours

Although it may be tempting not to set the alarm clock, if you want to be productive you need to stick to a schedule. Since you will be working with other people and you will have to respond to emails, be present in the corporate chat or answer video calls, it is important that you adjust your workday to your company’s working hours. Setting office hours will also help protect your personal life and prevent teleworking from ending up consuming every minute of your day. 

Set up a Work-Only Space 

To work productively from home, the best thing to do is to separate work and leisure spaces. If you have an office, it will be easier for you to adapt and focus. It is important that you set up this space so that you feel comfortable. Remember that working in a pleasant and orderly environment will increase your productivity. If you can’t turn a room in your home into an office, at least make sure to use a desk. Avoid lying on the sofa and working because your productivity will plummet as your brain will immediately associate this space with leisure and rest, disconnecting from your work. 

Establish a Work Routine

Even if you have a home office, you should follow a routine similar to that which you’d follow if you were going to work. Don’t stay in your pyjamas all day. Getting ready and dressed as if you were going into the office will help your brain prepare to enter 'work mode'. Organise a routine like the one you followed in the office, such as planning short breaks and trying not to eat while sitting in front of the computer. These little breaks are very important because they will allow you to get back to work with even more energy and fresh ideas. Avoid doing housework during the office hours that you have set because you will lose your concentration and work rhythm.

Plan Priority Tasks

Working from home is not the same as being in the office, where project managers usually have tighter control over daily tasks to ensure that nothing important has been left undone. To be productive, you must become your own boss, which means learning to manage your time and self-regulating. Before starting to work, spend at least 10 minutes organising your day. Check what tasks you have pending and organise them according to their priority. Try to be objective and don’t plan out more tasks than you can do, because you will end becoming overwhelmed and frustrated.

Take Advantage of your Peaks in Productivity

Your energy levels, motivation and concentration will change throughout the day. When working remotely, it’s essential to know when these spikes in productivity occur, so that you can plan your schedule based on them. Most people are more productive in the morning, so it’s best to spend those hours on more complex projects that require more focus and energy. You can spend your less productive hours on tasks that are more repetitive or that require less mental effort, such as checking work emails or planning tomorrow’s tasks.

Avoid Technological Distractions

When you work at home no one controls what you do, so you can end up developing unproductive habits. To meet deadlines, you will have to impose strict discipline - avoid checking personal messages, browsing social networks or reading the news during work hours. Little tricks, like logging out of your accounts, can act as a deterrent and prevent you from logging in automatically. You can also use applications to block access to social networks while you’re working. And if you want to go one step further, there are applications like Strict Workflow that allow you to create a blacklist of websites that you won’t be able to access during the period of time that you specify.

Use Time Management Tools

If you’ve never worked from home, the first few days you may have a hard time staying focused on a task, or you may find yourself being less productive than you thought. In that case, time management applications can become your allies. Productivity applications, such as RescueTime or Harverst, will help you monitor the amount of time you dedicate to each task, so you can detect the black holes where the minutes seem to disappear into. You can also use timers like TomatoTimer to schedule blocks of time of maximum concentration with rest breaks.

Stay in Touch with your Co-Workers 

To work from home effectively, you must keep yourself informed about all the changes occurring in the company that may affect your projects. This means that you must keep in constant communication not only with your boss or the project co-ordinators, but with your closest co-workers as well. This contact will help you to better perform your duties, as well as to alleviate the loneliness and feeling of disconnection that you could end up experiencing when working from home.

Staying Productive with Children at Home

If you have children, working from home can be twice as challenging, as we all know they can be noisy and easily bored. Consider a daily schedule, realistic and adjusted to your needs. Remember that it’s better to work fewer hours, but without interruptions to get the most out of them, rather than getting frustrated because you need to stop what you’re doing to continuously look after your children.

A good option is to wake up earlier to take advantage of those hours when your children may still be sleeping. If they are already in school, you could consider signing them up to a breakfast and after school club, so that they can be enjoying themselves, and you can work more. Of course if needs be, technology and video games can also become your allies. Don’t feel guilty for allowing your children to use them while you work. If you live with other people, including siblings, parents or flatmates, it’s important that they respect your work schedule and don’t constantly interrupt you. Keep in mind that your brain takes an average of 23 minutes to re-focus and work at peak capacity after a distraction.

So just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re available at home. Remember that working from home can be an excellent opportunity to develop new professional skills that could be very useful in the future, as well as demonstrating your commitment, worth and dedication to your company.

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This article has been written and provided by Liberty Insurance.

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