Working at home and struggling to maintain productivity?
For the majority of Brits currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those looking to do more home working in the future, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared 10 tips on how you can create an office space that leads to maximum productivity.
1. Make a list to start the day
To help get your day off to a productive start, make sure you write down the tasks you need to complete each day and have this list on display to help keep you in check. It’s advisable to list tasks in order of which you aim to complete them, starting with your most urgent tasks and finishing with smaller tasks that aren’t as time-sensitive. At the end of the day, tick off completed tasks and start a list for the next day, adding in any remaining tasks you didn’t have time to do.
2. Ensure easy access to paperless files
Having shared access to your company’s files and documents is vital to ensure work can carry on as normal. Having a Google Drive or a VPN server, where everything is stored for staff at the touch of a button, is the best way to ensure this, and helps make the transition into remote working (and back again when the time comes) as straightforward as possible.
3. Make some space for regular breaks
Taking the time away from your computer to have regular breaks throughout your working day is a great way to maintain concentration, focus and productivity. It can be as easy as stepping away to make a cup of tea, or getting outside for some fresh air if you can. Just make sure you’re taking regular breaks, and not spending long periods of time in front of your computer.
4. Enjoy healthy snacks, but keep your desk clear
Healthy foods and snacks have a huge benefit on your overall health and brain function. In fact, the World Health Organisation found that the right foods can increase brain power, motivation, and overall productivity by up to 20%1, and recommends snacking on foods such as berries, nuts, avocados and dark chocolate. So make sure you have a few of these to hand throughout your working day to boost your productivity and keep hunger at bay, but be sure to clear them away so you’re not left with a cluttered desk.
5. Appropriate desk space
Ensuring you have an appropriate desk space is another way to ensure your day is as productive as possible. Working at a desk or table gives you ample space to set up your computer and other equipment you may need, and provides you with a dedicated space in your home where you will be mentally prepared to settle down and work. If you don’t have a dedicated desk space, find out how to create a home office in any room in your home here.
6. Work under proper lighting
Avoid harsh lighting if possible, as this can cause eye strain and headaches which can result in a loss of productivity. Working in natural light can help ensure better productivity levels, but if you do not have access to a window or door then invest in a desk lamp instead.
7. Keep your home office fresh
Creating the right working environment and the right temperature is just as important as having the right equipment to work with. A positive working environment can help you feel happier and more productive while working from home, so try opening a window or door frequently if you can, or use an essential oil diffuser or candles for a pleasant aroma.
8. Listen to music
Music is a huge part of many people’s working day and listening to something you enjoy can really boost productivity. In fact, a Workthere study found that nearly seven in ten (66%) UK workers think listening to music at work is a must, and a further quarter (25%) said that they listened to music at work to increase productivity2. You can listen to your favourite playlist either from your computer or smartphone, or set up speakers in your home office instead.
9. Utilise tech to stay in touch with colleagues
Coronavirus is likely to have a fundamental long-term impact on the way we work, with more people continuing to work from home even after lockdown restrictions are lifted. It is therefore vital to maintain communication with your colleagues. Using software such as Skype Business, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts will ensure staff who are at home can remain in contact with colleagues and attend virtual meetings to ensure they stay up to date with work.
10. Add greenery to your home office
Incorporating plants or flowers into your home office space is a luxury you may not ordinarily have had in the office, but it comes with a number of benefits. Plants and flowers can help lift your mood whilst working, but they also naturally filter more high-quality air into your working environment, which has a positive impact on your physical wellbeing and productivity.
Cal Lee, Global Head of Workthere, comments: “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become the new norm for most UK workers up and down the country, and employers and employees alike are continuing to consider it as a permanent working option in the future. It can be difficult to maintain productivity while working away from the office, but these tips will hopefully help UK workers stay on track while working in these difficult times.”