Ensure your home office is productive
By Vik Naidu
Working from home may seem like the dream job arrangement, but after a few weeks of day-time television and too many trips to the fridge, it’s easy to see just how distracting it can be as a work environment.
While you may not miss the loud conversations of fellow employees and having a calendar filled with meetings, you may find yourself lacking motivation – and gaining weight. While co-working spaces are an option, there’s no denying the convenience of working from home. So how can you productively work from home?
Set apart a designated area
First things first, you need to create a specific working space. Dragging the laptop out and tapping away on the couch or even the bed, only opens the door to the temptation of switching on the TV or even accidentally falling asleep.
While some may be able to transform a spare room into an office, others will need to get a little more creative. Whether it’s a small desk or even a specific chair, setting aside a space that’s purely for work purposes will help you concentrate as soon as you set foot in the area.
Personalise your workspace
You will be spending the majority of your day sitting at your new work space – so make it nice. Keep it clean and tidy so it’s an area you’ll actually want to be. Aside from being a functional working space, make it a pleasant one.
Organise your paperwork so you don’t feel overwhelmed by your own mess. Buy a plant for greenery, stock up on your favourite post-its, and make sure your chair is ergonomic so you don’t get a sore back and shoulders – better yet, try create (or buy) a stand-up desk at home.
Get rid of unwanted distractions
We’re looking at you Instagram. It’s all too easy to grab your smartphone and start trolling through social media multiple times a day, especially since your boss is no longer looking over your shoulder – but before you know it you’ve lost hours of work time.
At the beginning of the day, sign out of your social media accounts, hide the television remote and remove all tempting snacks from the fridge. Don’t look at the washing piled up in the basket or other household chores you’re behind on. Make your work hours all about work.
Take a lunch break
It may seem counterintuitive to take a proper lunch break when your working from home but it will ensure you are more productive over the course of the day. When it’s time for lunch, move away from your designated work area. Whether you go outside or simply move to the couch, it will signal to your brain that it’s time to take a break.
Set a timer for 30 or 60 minutes and take the full break. This is when you can check your personal email or social media accounts. Enjoy a hearty lunch before returning to your desk for a productive afternoon of work.
Keep to a schedule
One of the great benefits of working from home is setting your own hours, however many find they end up working many more hours than required. It becomes way too tempting to check your work emails around the clock, as there’s no sense of disconnection.
That’s why it’s so important to keep to a work schedule – even when you’re at home. Not only will this help you maintain a better work life balance, but your clients will understand when you are available and won’t expect you to answer to their every beck and call. Clock in and clock out – even if that means simply moving to the couch.
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