The global pandemic of COVID-19 has forced several businesses to introduce work-from-home policies in order to stop or at least slow down the spread of the virus. Millions of people all over the world had to completely alter their lifestyle in the span of just a few days.
The introduction of the work-from-home policy was a big change, not only for employees but also for employers. As experts from Yeastar point out, “companies are scrambling to adjust their network and communications system so as to keep a distributed workforce connected and maintain business continuity in the short or long term.”
Does working from home affect your productivity?
While remote work has, without a doubt, numerous benefits for both parties, there is one major thing that many employers are starting to notice – it can make people less effective. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; after all, employees are in the comfort of their own homes, where there is always something to do, especially if they have kids.
If you are starting to notice that your productivity is starting to become affected, don’t worry. There are several ways in which you can improve it while working from home. Keep reading to find out more.
Set up a dedicated workspace
If you have been working from home before, you know that separating your work and home life can be quite challenging, especially if other family members are staying at home as well due to the pandemic. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can make it easier, one of them being creating a separate space that you will use for work only.
For those who have a spare room that they can use as an office, this is a simple task. Unfortunately, we know from experience that in most homes, there’s no such space. Don’t worry – there are several ways in which you can create your own workspace, such as:
- setting up a chair and a folding table in a quiet spot
- closing your bedroom door and using a small desk and a chair
- using a dining table, clear it of everything and leave only your work items, inform your family members that the said space is off-limits
- using your basement if you can
- putting in your headphones on and facing the window (if you don’t have little kids you need to care for)
Once you have your designated working space, you can think about ways in which you can improve it. For instance, investing in a comfortable office chair, adding plants, photo frames, or other things that bring you joy, using quality LED lights instead of cheap light bulbs, or keeping a water bottle close for hydration.
Create a transition between morning and evening
When working from home, it’s easy to forget about making a clear transition between morning and evening. After all, there are many things that you do before work that prepare you for the long day ahead of you, and in the evening to end your day. Try establishing morning and evening routines that can help you in making the transition.
For instance, maybe you have a favorite morning show that you watched before heading out the door to leave for work? Perhaps you like listening to podcasts on your way to the office or reading books? Do the same thing at home! You could even take a walk to emulate a morning commute and get some fresh air. For the evening, try adding some relaxing activities – read a few chapters of a book, or play a video game. Freelancers like professional translators have been using these tactics for years, providing structure to their days without going to an office.
Take regular breaks
While it might seem like working for eight hours straight is the best way to show just how productive you can be when working from home, nothing could be further from the truth. When you work this much without letting your brain relax every once in a while, your productivity lowers. Sure, you might have done more tasks, but how many of them are done correctly? Remember – the brain is like any other muscle in your body. It needs to rest.
A social media company performed an experiment by tracking the habits of their most productive employees. What they found is that these people usually worked intently for 52 minutes, and then took a 17-minute break. Remember, you can easily take a break from your desk – it can be something as simple as staring out the window, reading the newspaper, or going for a walk —anything to give your brain a moment to briefly recuperate and your eyes a break from looking at screens.
The bottom line
The unexpected Covid19 outbreak forced thousands of businesses to change the way they function and introduce work-from-home policies. While there’s no denying that there are many benefits to it, such as slowing down the spread of the virus, for many people working from the comfort of their home is more of a curse than a blessing, especially when it comes to productivity.
However, as we have illustrated above, there are many ways in which you can make yourself more productive, and therefore work more effectively. The ideas are just the tip of the iceberg as there are too many to discuss in one article. Not all of these strategies will work for you, which is why the best thing you can do is to pick a few, try them out, and observe how they affect you. Good luck!
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