The pandemic has forever changed the way that we live and work. While many businesses have adopted the new hybrid model, allowing employees to have a flexible working arrangement, splitting their time between being in the office and working from home, it’s time to celebrate the technological advancement that allows us to work productively and safely from the comfort of our home. It’s certain that remote work is here to stay, it offers freedom and convenience and is a huge improvement to work/life balance for many.
International Work from Home Day is May 17, a day that celebrates the joys and struggles of remote work. Take a look at our top tips, if you’re one of the many people who struggle to maintain productivity and positivity on the days you’re working from home to help boost your day.
Here are our top tips for maintaining productivity and positivity while you're working from home
1. Keep a clear schedule
The most important aspect of working from home is to manage your time effectively to stay productive. It is essential to set a clear schedule for yourself – and stick to it. Set clear guidelines around your work, and stick as close as possible to your ‘normal’ work hours. Use time-tracking apps and weekly planners to keep yourself on track. If you want to succeed in a hybrid work environment, you must determine which tasks need more collaboration and which can be easily accomplished from home.
2. Maintain your morning routine
Part of maintaining a work-life balance is to keep boundaries around your work day. Get yourself in a ‘work’ mindset by maintaining your usual morning routine. Do everything that you would normally do – make a coffee, go for a walk outside, shower, and eat a healthy breakfast before you sit down at your desk. Keep a steady routine and use your “extra” non-commuting time to brainstorm ideas that will help to achieve your daily goals.
3. Set boundaries
When you’re working from home, it’s critical to establish start and finish timings for your workday. This can help you to keep the line between business and personal time clear. Establishing and sticking to boundaries around your workday can help you stay balanced, focused, and productive. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try to keep an open and positive mindset while being flexible.
4. Set up a dedicated home office
Not everyone has a spare room in their home that they can convert into a home office. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of doing your work from the comfort of the couch. But it is important to set up a dedicated, ergonomically sound workspace to make it easier to transition between home and office to keep you in the zone. This will create a physical boundary around your workday, and also protect your body from injuries related to poor ergonomics. Set it up as you would a normal office desk, by investing in a good monitor screen and external keyboard.
5. Put away distractions
It can be all too easy to get distracted by your phone or get lost in the kitchen snacks when there is no one to keep you accountable. Keep yourself in check by putting your phone in a separate room or turning off notifications, and prepare your snacks before you start the day. Treat your home office as you would your regular office.
6. Take regular breaks
It’s easy to delve into your tasks when you’re working from home away from the interruptions and distractions that take place in the workplace. To avoid burnout and fatigue, plan regular break times and do something that makes you feel refreshed and energised. Go for a short walk outside or get on your yoga mat. Research recommends taking a 5-minute break every 60-90 minutes, as well as a 30-60 minute lunch break. Establishing boundaries while working from home can make you more productive and prevent you from burning out.
7. Stay social and connected
According to Gartner’s research, teams who collaborate are nearly three times more likely to attain high levels of team innovation than teams that do not. Set aside time every week for employees to have a 30-minute conversation with managers, co-workers, or peers if they can’t be together in the office during workweeks. Hold virtual brainstorming sessions, encouraging employees to work together to overcome challenges, trust each other, and communicate effectively. Working remotely can be socially isolating, and it is important to stay connected with your colleagues to stay motivated and maintain good mental health.
8. Reward yourself
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the day. Working from home can be challenging, so make sure you reward yourself the same way you would at the end of a normal workday. Call a friend or go for a walk to bookmark the end of your day and signify to yourself that the working day is over.
9. Keep a record for tax season
Finally, don’t forget that with tax season coming up it is important that you keep a record of your expenditure so that your end of financial year is a breeze. It can be confusing to know what items you can claim, and what items you can’t. That’s why we have compiled an easy guide to the tax season 2022. Click here to read it!
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