A lot of people are now choosing to work from home, especially as many businesses these days are part or entirely internet-based. With email and phone now the main means of communication, it’s possible to do all your work and catch up with all your clients without having to leave your living room. If you’ve been given the opportunity to shun the office and work in your own space in your own time, then you may have already realised that making sure you make your days are as productive as possible is a difficult task in itself. Here are some ideas to help you to increase your productivity at home.
1. Consciously finish up and tidy your desk at the end of the day
Make a point of leaving your workspace. Most people escape their daily stresses by simply going home, but as you may find it hard to separate work from your personal life, you need to give yourself a similar kind of finality. Tidy up your desk, shut down your computer, pack away your paperwork and rid yourself of all remnants of your working day!
2. Develop relationships using online tools – or simply call clients
If you’re working from home, you may not be as involved in management meetings. You won’t be able to brainstorm ideas with other employees and you won’t be able to utter idle chit-chat with your colleagues as you mull over a cup of coffee. Nominal levels of interaction throughout the day may leave you feeling alienated and a little deflated, especially if you thrive off talking to others. Thankfully, there are plenty of web-based communication tools (such as Skype) which give you the opportunity to catch up with colleagues or clients in real time via video chat. You should always make an effort to go and meet clients whenever you can, too, and should occasionally force yourself to pick up the phone rather than send an email.
3.Take regular breaks from the computer
We’re not supposed to be sitting in front of a screen for hours on end. Get up and make a cup of tea, or have a quick stroll outside for some fresh air – the more breaks you have throughout the day, the clearer your head will feel. You’ll be able to focus much better on the tasks at hand and will feel much more on the ball.
4.Set your working hours and stick to them
One of the major benefits of working at home is that you can pick and choose your hours. However, for the sake of a routine, pick your hours and stick to them. You’ll find you get more done and will be able to manage your time much more efficiently.
5. Get ready for work
You may not believe but, but the novelty of putting on your slippers and lazing about in your dressing gown will soon wear off. You won’t be feeling so sharp if you’re still in your pyjamas when that important client phone call comes through. Catch a shower, grab a proper breakfast and get yourself in the mood for work – you’re bound to feel much more energetic.
6.Keep work and TV separate
It might be tempting to catch up with your favourite soap while you’re hammering out a few emails. You may be able to justify ten minutes on the PlayStation as a ‘well-earned break’. But having the TV or games console in the room will be incredibly distracting and can ruin an otherwise productive routine.
7.Avoid interaction with family, friends and pets
You wouldn’t be distracted by them at work so don’t let your loved ones interrupt your day at home. Keep your door shut and ignore calls from friends and family if needs be – it will be hard to shut them out, but totally worth it in the long term.
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