With more people working remotely and having to find ways to balance their work responsibilities with childcare and home life, maximising your time when you’re working is key.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to working from home, from the office equipment you need to making sure you’re as productive as possible while balancing a long to-do list. In order to make the most of your time working from home, you need to stay organised and prepared – here are some tips to help you do just that.
Keep Regular Working Hours
Schedules are important to provide us with clear guidelines of when we are working and when we need to call it a day. Balancing work and personal life can be hard for remote workers, particularly if you don’t have experience of working at home. But a great benefit of remote working is the flexibility it offers, so use that to your advantage. You will know from experience when you’re most productive and when you find it difficult to concentrate, so make better use of that time to tick off high priority tasks.
However, make sure you’re not overworking yourself – stick to your schedule and utilise the time as efficiently as possible to make sure everything gets done, without you needing to work overtime.
Create a Dedicated Space for Working
In an ideal world, everyone working remotely would have their own office with a separate work computer to keep documents secure and avoid the risk of any accidental data breaches. But few of us are lucky enough to have a spare room in our homes just for working, so the next best solution is to ensure you have a dedicated space where you can work comfortably.
Keeping your work environment separate makes completing your day-to-day tasks easier, minimising the risk of you becoming distracted by home responsibilities. But it also gives you the opportunity to switch off when the workday is done, which is better for your mental health.
Schedule Breaks Throughout the Day
Take a look at your company handbook and read up on the business’ policy on breaks, from how long they should be to how often you should be taking them. The policy will vary depending on the hours you work, but make sure that you give yourself adequate breaks away from the screen to rest and give your mind a breather.
Working solidly may seem like the best way to be productive and get more done each day, but there’s only so many hours you can work before you become mentally fatigued. You might be surprised by how much more focused you are after a 15-minute break away from your computer, so make sure you’re taking your allocated time.
Incorporate Movement into Your Day
A healthy routine is vital for your physical and mental wellbeing. And while it might be tempting to move from your desk to the sofa after a hard day of work, make sure you dedicate some time to movement – even if it’s just ten minutes here and there.
From yoga or running to playing football with the kids in the garden, there are numerous ways to fit in a bit of exercise each day which will combat the effects of sitting for long periods and boost your mood. Studies have shown that movement boosts alertness, cognitive responses and your mental health – all key factors in your productivity each day.
Set Ground Rules in Your Work Environment
If you live with a partner, flatmates or other family members, it’s beneficial to set some ground rules with regards to your work time. For example, if your children come home from school when you’re still working, they need to understand what they can and can’t do during that time. And that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can deal with tasks like looking after pets or letting service people into the home.
Remind the people around you that during work hours, you’re not free to do domestic tasks – trying to balance it all can hamper your productivity and leave you feeling burned out.
Remote working is a wonderful way of saving yourself time each day that you would ordinarily be using commuting, and it can do wonders for balancing your career and personal life. But it does take some adjustments to your normal routine and it may take time to perfect it fully. When it comes to staying productive with so many distractions around you, the key is organisation, adhering to rules and making sure you make time to give yourself a rest throughout the day.