Working from home can be both a joy and a challenge. With the rise of flexible workplaces, which in turn increases productivity for businesses and its employees, individuals are embracing the fact that they have the freedom to work away from the office from time to time. But working from home isn’t a skill that comes naturally to a lot of people, and businesses aren’t equipping their employees with the right tools to ensure they’re still performing at a high level while being away from their office desk.
For those who might find it difficult to work from home and remain productive, here are Vanessa’s top tips on how to stay on track and make the most of being out of the office:
1. Plan ahead – make sure you plan your workday the day before with realistic expectations about how much you can achieve, and draft some time limits to ensure you stay on track. The beauty of working from home is being able to juggle work and life, so it’s fine to throw in a few household chores if you need to, but not while you’re in your productivity sweet spot work-wise. Factor them in during those times that you need to step away from your laptop.
2. Create a comfortable work friendly environment – while working from your bed or couch sounds ideal, it’s crucial to find a spot where you will be productive. For some, working from their dining table works, but for others, it’s not ideal ergonomically and it’s more likely to have distractions. I’d recommend getting a good desk and chair and a space that’s conducive to work.
3. Run your day like a workday – treat your home office like a normal office. Make sure the kids are at school or in daycare, or depending on their ages, have someone watch over them. Working in a focused manner is more efficient and productive, so figure out what’s going to work best for you and your family.
4. Schedule time to move for your brain – make sure you factor in movement throughout your day. Going for a walk or going out to lunch is key to better brain function. The recommended amount of steps to achieve each day is 10,000, which is often a struggle to reach when you’re working from home and not moving around much. You’ll need to work a little harder to make sure it happens. If you need to think about something strategically, don’t sit at your desk and do it, walk around the block so that you can do it more quickly when you get back to your desk – and you’ll feel better physically for it.
5. Work at your pace – if you have a short attention span, work with it not against it. If you have a longer attention span, ensure you’re managing your distractions. If you’re a morning person, crush through harder tasks in the morning when you would normally be commuting and watch your productivity skyrocket. If you’re not a morning person, don’t try to be. If you’re juggling household chores, schedule them in between tasks and count them as your pieces of movement you’re implementing throughout the day. This will be best for your productivity.
Vanessa specialises in helping leaders, individuals and teams to improve their performance by incorporating neuroscience for optimal performance. She’s also a part-time fitness instructor. For more on Next Evolution Performance, click here.