Keeping Productive While Working from Home

Posted on the 1 May 2020

Keeping Productive While Working from Home

Bethany Ainsley founded Nuvo Wellbeing in November 2008 with one core mission: to reduce health and social inequalities across the North East through the delivery of dancy and fitness programmes to people of all ages and abilities.

Today, her portfolio encompasses three successful companies all united by a shared purpose to make a difference to people's lives on a daily basis (OptiMe, ActivCare Coaching and Nuvo Wellbeing).

Over the past few weeks many organisations have implemented work-from-home policies due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Employees are now tasked with keeping productive away from their normal resources and routines.

Every job is different and the amount you’re able to achieve will vary between career types, but there are some key strategies to working from home when it comes to getting your tasks done efficiently (not to mention, staying well and healthy while doing so!).

Here are our top tips to working from home:

1. MAINTAIN A ROUTINE 

Just because you’re not commuting or going into an office doesn’t mean you should skip your weekday morning preparations. Wake up at your normal time, shower and get dressed. It may sound trivial, but this helps you mentally prepare for the day ahead and get into the working mindset.

It’s helpful to keep a set schedule. If you usually work nine-to-five, keep doing it at home. It’s easy to lose track of time, so if you don’t maintain a work-life balance, you may find yourself getting easily burnt out.

2. CREATE A WORK SPACE 

Although it’s tempting to stay in bed or head to your sofa, it’s best to set up a desk station. If you don’t have a desk, use your dining room or kitchen table. As well as helping you to feel like you’re at an “office,” this will assist in maintaining good posture, avoid distractions, and leave your work behind at the end of the day.

3. DON’T JUST SIT THERE

Sitting all day isn’t healthy, and working from home could mean that you have fewer reasons to get up from your chair throughout the day. Make sure to stand up regularly to stretch or move around.

If you’ve gained an extra hour from not commuting, it’s a good opportunity to exercise, either by working out at home or going for a walk outside. A lunchtime walk can also help you feel like you’re not stuck inside all day.

4. GET SOME FRESH AIR 

Open your windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible. If you have a garden, make use of it and try working outside to help you stay alert, boost your mood and get some essential Vitamin D.

5. STAY CONNECTED WITH COLLEAGUES 

Make sure you catch up regularly with your team just like you would in the office. Create to-do lists to keep yourself focused and share the status of your lists with your manager so they know that you’re on top of your workload. Besides email and messaging it’s a good idea to set up regular check-ins via phone or video conferencing like Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.

6. TRY NOT TO MULTI-TASK 

This may seem like a convenient time to catch up on tasks around your house, but it’s very easy to get distracted. Try to keep your household chores for ‘out of work’ hours.

The same goes for other at-home distractions. If you prep your lunch or pack healthy snacks ahead of time for the office, do the same at home so you don’t get preoccupied in the kitchen. Chances are you don’t watch TV at work either, so try not to leave it on, even if it’s just background noise.

7. IF YOU HAVE KIDS, PREPARE FOR DISRUPTIONS 

It’s difficult to get work done if you have children at home. Still, it’s not impossible if you have plan ahead and have some flexibility. Here are tips for mastering the work-from-home challenge:

  • Create a fun box: Create a box full of time-consuming fun projects, like crafts, stickers, puzzles, and legos that can be brought out when you work to help buy you some time.
  • Let them help you: If your children are old enough, and there are some simple tasks they can help with, try getting them involved. Even if it’s not something you will use at work, it could be a nice poster to cheer up your colleagues.
  • Explain the situation: It’s a good idea to talk to your children about coronavirus and your workload, especially older ones who can better understand the impact it’ll have on your day-to-day life.

If you would like access to the free OptiMe Productivity Kit for you and your team, sign up to the mailing list on the OptiMe website!

Visit our online Support Hub for advice, guidance and resources on running a business during this challenging time. Alternatively, if you'd like support from a Forum mentor, please contact us on info@entrepreneursforum.net or 0191 500 7780.