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How to Stay Productive When Working From Home

Last week, Twitter told its entire workforce to work from home to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. It seems like each passing day you hear another news story of companies rolling out mandatory working from home policies. 

Now, we’re not quite at the stage of Boris Johnson issuing a nationwide self-isolation lockdown, but given that news of the Coronavirus has gone viral and more than 1,500 people in the UK have tested positive, homeworking is becoming an increasingly sensible option for businesses up and down the country.  

There are a few key tips to productively working from home. Whether it’s your first time opening a laptop or you’re a seasoned veteran, check out these top tips for safely and successfully working from home.  

Keep Up the Routine 

A big part of being productive at work is your mindset. This starts from the moment you wake up, have a shower, get dressed and have your first coffee of the morning. As trivial as this may sound, this all helps you to prepare for the day ahead.  

Just because you’re working at home, it doesn’t mean that routine should go out the window. If you’re used to a nine-to-five, keep up the same routine when working from home. It’s easy to lose track of time if you dawdle in the morning or take a longer lunch – and you’ll get less done in the day too! 

Create a Workspace 

As tempting as it may sound, working from the comfort of your own bed in your pyjamas isn’t the ideal way to be productive. Ask anyone who’s worked from home before and they’ll tell you that you need to have a workspace. 

This could be sat in the study with a comfortable desk and chair, or even in the dining room; just so long as you can create a workspace. Having a place to work that’s quiet and where you can avoid distractions will help to make the transition from office-based to home-based easier.  

Stay Connected with Colleagues 

If you work in a team and rely on your colleagues to complete tasks, you’ll need to stay connected with everyone over the course of the day. Thankfully, there are loads of online collaborative tools for remote working.  

Files can be saved online in shared drives like Google Drive and Microsoft Online for multiple access. And instant messaging platforms like Slack are perfect for real-time communication. Skype and Facetime are great for video conferencing and Trello can help you to coordinate workloads with ease.  

Don’t Get Distracted 

Working at home can be full of distractions. It's easy to put off doing something in favour of doing a load of washing, hoovering the carpet or having a tidy up. It’s easy to convince yourself that now’s a good time to do this, that or the other, or decide to take a little break. 

Would you take the time to do all your little chores if you were in work? Don’t get distracted. Also, another good tip is to avoid the dreaded TV. Whether you’re watching the news or catching up with your favourite soaps, it can be easy to get sucked in. Five minutes here, ten minutes there... it can quickly add up. 

Make Sure Kids Are Entertained 

Anyone with kids at home knows that getting jobs done when they’re playing or want your attention can be a challenge. Having a plan and being flexible can make your life so much easier when working from home.  

You could mix up your hours if your job allows. If nothing else, COVID-19 has allowed more companies to be flexible, especially for employees who have families. Try to squeeze work in when babies or toddlers are down for a nap or schedule calls when they’re occupied.  

You’ll Need Good, Reliable Broadband 

It goes without saying that if you’re working from home, having a dependable broadband connection will help you to work better, faster and more efficiently. If you’re in any doubt about the quality of your service, and you think it could hold you back, switch broadband providers today.  

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Remember: take care of yourself whilst the Coronavirus is spreading. There are a handful of simple guidelines to follow. These are: 

  • Disinfect surfaces around your home and at work (if you’re in the office) 

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds 

  • Eat healthy to build-up your immune system 

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue if you sneeze or cough 

Want to learn more about the Coronavirus? Check out what the NHS is saying here