How to stay productive when working from home

Without a team around to keep you motivated when working from home, you need to do what you can to stay engaged and deliver your best work. So what steps can you take to be your most productive self when working out of office?

1. Set up a work station

We all know how hard it is to get out of bed, especially on a chilly morning. So what happens when there’s no pressure of being up to catch your 7am train? – your office is located in the comfort of your own home, after all. This shouldn’t be an excuse to lay in bed all day and complete work from there. You need an ergonomically sound workspace to gear you towards your most productive and focused work. Our number one tip is to set up a distinct working area. If you need help with this, you can read our article on how to set up your work from home station. It is also ideal if this space is separate from your other living areas. You preferably want to be working somewhere quiet that can afford you a sense of privacy. Hearing chatter from your housemates or children while on a conference call is not ideal. 

2. Avoid distractions

The key to staying focused and productive is to avoid distractions. That means staying away from the TV! It can be tempting to work from the comfort of your lounge room, but is this really the best place to be checking off your tasks and sending out important emails? Not really. A communal living space is rife with distractions – from the comfy couch calling your name (especially during that pesky 3 o’clock slump, when all you want to do is nap), to your housemates looking to chat. The best thing for you to do is stick to your work station. You should also let others at home know of your working hours, and ask them to be respectful of this. Remember, it’s not a day off, you are still at work – it just looks a little different to your regular office.

3. Get ready for the day as usual

To get in to the working mindset, you should prepare for the day as usual. This means following your normal routine, i.e. getting dressed as usual, eating breakfast, and making a cup of coffee. It can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, but if you make the effort to get ready as normal, you will find it much easier to slide into that working headspace. This will ultimately gear you towards productivity. Also, it’s pretty awkward if you show up to a Zoom call in your Hello Kitty pyjamas. You should maintain a sense of professionalism, even at home. 

4. Maintain your wellbeing

Positive mental wellbeing breeds productivity. Avoid burning out by taking breaks and exercising regularly. You need to be able to clear your mind and recharge if you are to perform your best. Just like you would take steps to stay fit in the workplace, you should also be prioritising your health while working from home. Take a lunch break (away from your desk!), and schedule in a workout where you can. A study has revealed that a 30 minute walk at lunchtime positively affects work performance by improving enthusiasm and relaxation. Schedule this in to your day to ensure you remain focused and motivated. Read our article for more tips on maintaining your wellbeing when working from home

5. Develop a schedule

Set yourself up for success by developing a schedule and sticking to it. Never underestimate the power it can have in boosting your productivity. You want to keep things as structured as possible, so sticking to your regular working hours is a great idea. You are already in that routine, which makes it much easier to get in to gear when working from home. It’s also smart to write out a to-do list in order to stay top of all your pressing tasks. This will help to keep you on track as well as help you to be your most productive and engaged self.

If you’re looking for a tech or digital role with flexible working arrangements, check out our job search for roles in your field. Or, check out our working through COVID-19 guide here.