As we move to remote working the key to work from home success is to create an environment that allows you to focus on the tasks at hand. Here are some tips:
1. Select a space based on your need
The home office serves a great purpose, but it isn’t for everybody all the time. You may find being curled up on the sofa one day and at the dining table the next more productive depending on the project.
Whether you work in a home office, kitchen or living room, if there’s “stuff” around that reminds you of your household chores, your eyes will go there and you’ll get distracted. Whenever you work from home, create a clutter-free zone. This will help you stay focused on your workload.
3. Get ready for the day.
Get ready as you would if you were going into the office. Set a morning ritual of getting dressed (no pyjamas!), making your morning cup of coffee and doing whatever else you need to get in the right mindset. You may also want to note down your to-achieve list for the day. You increase your chances of being productive when you set an intention and write it down.
4. Turn on the lights.
Natural light through the windows can be great, but it can also cause glare on your computer screen. If windows work to your benefit and the view isn’t distracting, great. If not, pull the blinds and flip on the light switch. Table lamps and floor lamps provide targeted task light if your space has insufficient overhead lighting.
5. Create a home office ambiance
One of the benefits of working from home is being able to create a personalised work area in a way you may not be able to at the office. It’s all about creating a comfortable yet productive space that is perfectly suited to your individual working style.
6. Set your schedule.
Each morning you must plan out your daily schedule. Establish your start time, midday break periods and what time you’ll finish for the day. This will keep you on track with your workload.
7. Make it harder to mess around on social media.
Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. At work, though, this convenience can be the detriment of your productivity.
To counteract your social networks’ ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts . You might even consider working primarily in a private or, if you’re using Chrome, an “Incognito” browser window. This ensures you stay signed out of all your accounts and each web search you conduct doesn’t autocomplete the word you’re typing. It’s a guarantee that you won’t be tempted into taking too many social breaks during the day.
8. Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you
Of course, you might be working from home but still have “company.” Make sure any children and spouses respect your space during work hours.
9. Log off!
One of the most important aspects of a healthy work-from-home routine is creating boundaries. Log off for the day—and not just from your laptop. Consider developing a phrase you say to yourself at the end of the day, to signal your mind that it’s time to stop thinking about work.
"The key to work-from-home success is to create an environment that allows you to focus on the tasks at hand."