man working from home

How to productively work from home

Written on April 20, 2020 by Jonathon Webley

There are many people for whom working from home is a way of life – lots of companies are clued up on the importance of work/life balance and so they have been allowing employees to work remotely for a while now. However, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced more people to work from home than ever before – and it can be a challenge to be productive.

There is still a belief that working in an office environment is more productive, but this is a little outdated view as coworkers can be a bigger distraction than you think. The social benefits of a workplace are great,  but it can be easy to get distracted from what you need to do by engaging in conversations with your coworkers.

It can be difficult to be productive at home, especially if your partner is working from home too, and you are homeschooling children as well. There is also less pressure felt, as no one from your workplace is watching you (as it were). It can feel like there is no obligation to get things done.

However, in this strange situation, we are currently in, it is more important than ever for us to be productive when working from home. We need to help keep the businesses we are working in ticking over so that we have jobs to return to at the end of this.

The Agile Recruit team has pulled together some of our favourite tips to help you be more productive at home:

#1 Start early

When you go into work normally, you get up at a set time and travel to work – meaning you have time to wake up and feel ready by the time you get to your desk. When you work from home you tend to miss this time out, and may feel a little sluggish. The best thing to do in this case is to start work as soon as you wake up – making progress on it throughout the morning. If you take the time to have breakfast first, believe it or not, you may feel even more sluggish and this can wear away at your motivation.  Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and so we are not suggesting that you skip it – instead, take a break mid-morning and have it then.

#2 Act like you are going to the office

People who work outside of the home tend to have a mental association between their workspace and the work they do, and there is no reason you cannot have this same mental association at home. Make yourself do all of the same things you would do if you were leaving the house to go to work:

  • Set your alarm
  • Shower
  • Get dressed in your normal office attire
  • Make yourself a coffee

Get yourself ready for the day as you would normally do, otherwise, you will find it very easy to just stay in bed!

#3 Structure your day as if you were in the office

When you are working from home, you tend to become your own boss – so you need to make sure you have things in place to ensure you do not lose focus. Set yourself a schedule for the day and segment it into what you will do and when – and make sure you stick to it. Try and keep a similar schedule as to when you are at work as this should help you stay focused and productive.

#4 Use technology to stay connected

There are a vast amount of video communication tools out there that will allow you to keep in touch with the rest of your team – so try starting your working day with a catch-up to check in with your co-workers and remind yourself of how important the work is that you are all doing.

#5 Communicate your working from home expectations to your family

The situation we are all in at the moment means we may be working from home with roommates, parents, siblings, children, and pets! You need to make sure that everyone in the home appreciates that although you are at home, you are in effect at work and so they should respect your space and leave you to focus.

#6 Take breaks

One of the drawbacks of working from home is that you can forget to take breaks, or you skip breaks as it feels strange to be taking a break in your home! You need to take time away from work – go into another room or go outside into the garden. Taking a break every now and again will not only recharge you but will allow you to be more productive as well.

At Agile Recruit we offer a wide range of contract and permanent jobs in the sector of Big Data. If you are looking for a job in this area – whether it be working from home or at a particular location (in the future) please get in touch with our team of experienced consultants.