6 tips for productivity whilst working from home
Going from a dynamic, lively office to remote working can be tough. With the majority of businesses now working from home, we thought it would be helpful to some of you if we share how the Bright team is staying productive during this time.
1. Set up a workspace
Set up a workspace so you feel you’re at the ‘office’. It helps you to be more productive and enables you to differentiate home life from work life, even when stuck in the same location. Keep your work area as separate from your living area as possible – avoid that sofa as tempting as it may be!
2. Create a workday routine
Your to-do tasks might change but sticking to a routine each day will help create a normal workday and helps with motivation too. As great as it may sound, try not to roll out of bed 10 minutes before you’re due to start and stay in your PJs. Wake up at your usual time, get ready for the day, then start your work. Using your usual commute time as time to go for a walk can help to wake yourself up and build motivation too.
It can be hard to switch off your laptop if you know you don’t need to commute home - try to stick to your normal working day. Unless something is urgent, don’t feel tempted to check emails after ‘office hours’.
3. Changing your status
Many of us are using tools such as Microsoft Teams to quickly and easily keep in touch. These can really help us to be productive, but they can also get in the way of work when we had just got into the flow of things. Changing your status to ‘busy’ or ‘do not disturb’ can help reduce distraction and on some platforms you can even mute notifications altogether.
A regular team call or catch up with colleagues can mean that we receive less queries throughout the day and are therefore more productive. It also helps to reduce stress levels and keeps our work relationships as strong as ever.
4. Exercise, exercise, exercise
Exercise makes us happy, feel more motivated and focused to be able to do our work. We all know it’s true…“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” (bonus points if you know the film quote!)
We are moving less whilst working from home, no longer commuting to work or moving around our offices. The Bright team has found that doing small amounts of exercise each day really helps our productivity levels.
Have a walk before starting work, as it makes a natural break from getting out of bed and just sitting at a work chair. I call my morning walk my ‘commute to work’, taking a travel cup of coffee with me so I still feel as if I’m travelling to work.
There are also plenty of home workouts available to get you moving. You could even do one in your lunch break to help break up the day and increase your productivity for the afternoon. Anything from yoga to a HITT workout provides a good mental and physical break from work.
If you’re not a morning person, or you haven’t already had your exercise, take a walk when you finish work and then when you come back home it will feel like you’ve properly finished your day of work and have the same feeling as coming home from the office.
5. Have a break and grab some fresh air
When creating a daily routine, it’s easy to try and be too productive and forget to include breaks. Breaks actually help make us more productive overall and they also do wonders for our mental health. A 5-10 minute break every now and again helps us to clear our head and gives us a chance to think about something other than work.
Many of us will actually be easier to contact at the moment, we are at the same location each day and sitting in front of a computer. This means that it can quickly become too much when we are bombarded by different messages - phone calls, text messages, virtual calls and instant messages. A break from your phone and desk often helps us to escape this and to calm us down. Sit next to an open window, on a balcony or garden – hopefully you can get some sunshine too.
Remember that being calmer, happier and less stressed really does help with overall productivity levels too.
6. Keep communicating
Although you can’t pop over to your colleagues’ desks to brainstorm ideas, it’s important to remember to check in regularly with your team. It keeps you accountable and focused on work.
Whether you communicate by a team conference call or instant messaging, share what tasks you have been doing and discuss how projects are coming along so that everyone’s in the loop. Communicating is key to make sure all the work is getting done and highlights if anyone needs any assistance.
At Bright our final video call of the week is solely to keep morale high and wish everyone a good weekend. There’s always laughter and the team finish the week on high spirits. We find that this kind of casual communication is key for maintaining our work relationships with each other.