Even if you’re familiar with working from home from time to time, you may not have anticipated doing so for months on end due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And with many having to come to terms with family also being present with limited time out of the house, it’s easy to feel a lack of productivity and focus.
So how can you best minimize distractions, maintain focus and reconcile your professional and private life while working from home? Here are our top 5 tips.
1. Create your own workspace
Having your own space is important to help stay focused. We recommend purchasing a back-friendly desk chair so that you can work comfortably without straining your neck or your back. Many employers will offer employees the chance to expense necessary items like a chair or computer monitor.
Also, make sure to work on a clean and tidy table if you don’t have an at home desk and only have the most important documents, like your work phone, something to drink, and a notebook. Other things like books or even table decor may distract you.
2. Consider suitable clothing
Getting up and staying in your pyjamas is both tempting and timesaving. This may work for some, but it prevents many from mentally creating a professional, productive working atmosphere, as they feel somewhere that they are not really at work. It is therefore advisable to dress as you would at work, or at least the way you would when you leave your home.
3. Structure your day
It is important to remember that while working from home, it is your sole responsibility to complete your tasks successfully and efficiently. We recommend that you start your work at the same time each day, set a fixed time window for your lunch to help break up the day. Following a routine as normal to your regular day in the office is key for remaining productive.
Between these time slots, you should lay out specific times for specific tasks. For example, focus mainly on calls and meetings in the morning and emails and research in the afternoon. This way you can do all your tasks in a structured manner and feel productive, satisfied and relaxed at the end of the day.
4. Make time for breaks
Regular breaks are important so that your brain can rest and your batteries can recharge. Use the lunch break for example, for a short walk in the sun to refuel with vitamin D, a phone call with friends or just a chance to make and enjoy a delicious lunch while stepping away from your computer.
Even between breaks, it’s important to stay moving, whether that just means stretching your legs and going to the kitchen for a cup of coffee or walking outside to get a breath of fresh air.
5. Focus on work-life balance
It’s important that you clearly separate your working hours from your free time. However, it is just as important that your private and professional environments and those that surround it, are aware when it is time to work and when you are free.
It is therefore suggested to speak openly with your family and friends about your schedule and consider making them aware of the times you will have to take important phone calls or video calls in order not to be disturbed. Then you have more time for your family and friends during breaks or after work hours.
Read more of our career advice here.