Did you know that people who work from home are more productive than those working in a conventional office environment? That’s what the research says, anyway.
The reality, for many of us, is quite different.
You may love the lack of commute, the convenience of a kitchen, and the lack of office distractions, but great working from home performance doesn’t happen automatically. Once the novelty wears off, it can be hard to stay focused and do what you need to do.
If you’re struggling to be productive, there are some simple ways to improve your working from home performance.
Try some of the following tips to get you back on track.
7 Ways To Improve Your Working From Home Performance
1. Create A Routine
It might be a nice change to be able to crawl out of bed later, eat breakfast while you check emails, and have a nap in the middle of the day, but an inconsistent work routine is likely to impact your working from home performance.
Routine is crucial to help you be productive. Sticking to a schedule assists your mind to get into and out of work mode and ensures you prioritise your time correctly.
The pre-working from home alarm clock, shower, change of clothes, morning commute and coffee stop were all an integral sequence of events that prepared your mind and body to focus. Without them, you may feel a little lost.
Try a “getting ready for work” routine to prep you for the day, even if your desk is just a few steps away. Set an alarm, get dressed, shower, put on some fresh clothes, have brekky, and see if this helps you get into the right mindset.
2. Optimize Your Schedule
A routine is important, but it doesn’t have to be the same 9-5 routine you did before working from home. Everyone has different productivity cycles. Some work better in the early mornings, while others find it easy to focus between 2 and 8.
If your work hours are flexible, take advantage of it by tailoring your schedule to your productivity cycle. You also don’t have to stick to the Monday to Friday parameters if you find you can get a block of work done on the weekend.
3. Minimize Distractions
Distractions are the enemy of good working from home performance, and your home certainly has plenty on offer – from the unfolded piles of laundry and the dog (or kids) begging you to go for a walk to your cosy bed or the latest streaming series.
Sometimes, you’ll need pure willpower to turn away from these temptations, but there are ways to set yourself up for success. If you don’t need it for work, turn your phone off or put it in a room at the other end of the house.
Use focus music on YouTube to block out noise distractions, and implement one of the many focus apps on your computer to prevent yourself from getting stuck in an endless (and pointless) Facebook or Google scroll.
4. Make Yourself Comfortable
You don’t want to be too comfy when working from home, but you don’t want to be in pain or discomfort either. Make sure you have the right equipment for work, such as an ergonomic chair.
Neck and back pain, headaches, and RSI are not conducive to working from home performance, so ensure your screen is at eye level, your feet are flat on the ground, your back is straight, and you have an ergonomic chair and mouse/wrist support.
5. Set Boundaries
Don’t have the luxury of working from home in an empty house? Chat with your family or housemates about your availability and expectations during work time.
Find a quiet space and set up a system to communicate when you cannot be interrupted.
On the flip side, make sure you set up work boundaries, too. It’s easy to feel like you’re always on when working at home, checking emails before bed and doing projects on days off – but this will only be detrimental to your long-term productivity. Stick to your chosen hours.
6. Get Some Fresh Air
Can’t remember the last time you left the house? If your working from home performance starts to sputter, you may need some time out.
Try to take breaks away from your screen. Do some exercise, walk around the block, have lunch outside, and give yourself some downtime.
7. Clear The Clutter
A cluttered desk really does equal a cluttered mind. Even if your workspace is a corner of the kitchen table, do your best to keep it clean and uncluttered. This will help you stay more organised and on task. Only keep your work items there and get rid of anything else that has magically migrated into your space.
Improve Your Working From Home Performance By Outsourcing Tasks
There are only so many hours in the day, and you are just one human being. If you are doing your best to be productive but still struggling to get through your to-do list, it might be time to outsource.
By getting a trusted professional to take care of things like bookkeeping and accounting, customer service, social media posting or general admin, you’ll find the time and space to improve your productivity and level up your business.