Working from home can affect productivity and performance negatively. Office workers that have made the transition to work from home arrangements typically experience a dip in productivity, reduced performance, and impaired communication. Even with the challenges inherent in work from home arrangements, however, it is still possible to maintain the required level of performance and quality. Here are some tips on how you can continue to maintain efficiency and productivity even when working from your home.
Maintain regular working hours
There’s a reason why workers in corporate settings begin working at the same time every day and work for the same number of hours. Maintaining a consistent and regular schedule is one of the most effective ways to ensure efficiency. Even when working from home, it is advisable to begin work at the same time and to maintain regular hours.
The good news is that you don’t have to force yourself to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. if you don’t want to. Working from home allows for more flexibility with regard to setting up your work schedule, so you could start work as early or as late as you want. You could, therefore, tailor your workday to conform to your peak periods of productivity.
Separate ‘me’ time from ‘work’ time
The importance of taking regular breaks cannot be overstated. No matter how much work you have to do and how many milestones you have to accomplish, it is vital to give yourself sufficient time off from work.
It is especially important to separate your ‘me’ time from ‘work’ time. When swamped with work and deadlines creeping up, many people tend to take short breaks in between longer spiels at work. While taking occasional breaks can be helpful, they can’t take the place of prolonged periods of downtime. Always set plans for extended breaks away from work. This will give you ample opportunity to recharge so you can go back to work with a fresh burst of energy.
Establish a consistent workflow
One way to ensure your ability to work at optimum efficiency is to establish a consistent workflow. When working at home, there is a tendency to ‘wing it’ and tackle each task as it comes. Some people even take on different tasks with little regard for order and procedure, leaving the more difficult and unpalatable tasks for last.
Unfortunately, this often leads to sloppy work and poor results. Working with a consistent workflow will help ensure consistent results and help you avoid missteps and mistakes. When setting up a workflow, keep the following in mind:
- Deal with priority tasks first.
- Try to establish a routine according to your natural cycles. This may involve working on more difficult tasks during the time of day when you have the most energy.
- Remember to plan occasional breaks.
Maintain a professional decorum
Finally, consider maintaining a professional decorum even when working from home by yourself. Although you could work in your pajamas every day if you wish, dressing up in at least casual office clothing might give you a sense of purpose. At the very least, it may help you transition more easily from ‘lounging’ to ‘work’ mode. It is also advisable to maintain personal hygiene and keep up your grooming for obvious reasons. Besides, taking a shower, shaving, and brushing your teeth may help you get a good start to your workday.
These are only a few steps that you could implement to make it easier for you to work from home. By maintaining the same level of focus and professionalism that you would apply in an office job, you can ensure productivity and efficiency when working from home.