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Do’s and Don’ts of Working From Home Productively

We all now know what it’s like working from home, being interrupted in meetings or desperately trying to stay focused! When working from home, it can be difficult to separate your professional and personal life, making it difficult to be productive when working and to properly relax when you’re not working. It is completely normal to feel as though you cannot focus when working from home, or on the contrary, that you are just working flat out and no longer seem to have a personal life. Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts when working from home. Check them out to see if you can adapt the way you work!

DO: Keep to a schedule and set deadlines. 

If you have only recently started working from home, and previously were working in an office, it is best to stick to the same hours at home. That said, if you know that you are more focused and creative in the morning, you could start at 7 a.m. (depending on whether your work involves meetings with others- it’s best to stick to 9 to 5 for these). But make sure that you pick a time and stick to this schedule every day. Stay strict to your schedule- and work when you plan to- and don’t when you don’t plan to! 

DON’T (for example) start baking a cake in the middle of your office hours and then work late into the night! This random schedule is not beneficial for your mental health or productive. In fact, even if you work the same hours, you will probably end up getting less done than you would have if you’d just waited to bake the cake after work! 

A good way to keep to your schedule is to share it with your coworkers and your family so that everyone knows when you should be working, and when you shouldn’t, and you can be held accountable to those times. Clear communication helps your team know when you are available. 

DO: Get dressed as normal

Getting dressed properly in the morning can trick your mind into thinking that you’re going somewhere! Clearly, there is no point wearing a suit (unless that’s what you want to do- then go for it!), but something presentable and comfy is best to get your brain in gear for the day ahead. 

DON’T wear pyjamas! You should also try to stick to your normal routine, so if you normally shower, or eat, before work, then try to keep doing this. With the extra time that many of us will have lost from our daily commute, you could even incorporate some beneficial activities such as light exercise or reading into your morning routine as this will also help to boost your productivity. 

DO: Set up a home office 

If it is possible to do so, you should try to designate an area of your home for working, preferably with a desk and chair and everything that you need! Then you should try and stick to working in that area at all times. Having a consistent workspace can help you be more productive and efficient.

DON’T have an awkward setup. Have you checked that your desk is set up correctly? Make sure that your setup is ergonomic to prevent unwanted back pain. 

DO: Take a break

If you were working in an office, you would have spontaneous mini-breaks such as making drinks or a conversation with your coworker, which can actually be helpful for productivity. It has been proven that we are unable to properly concentrate for longer than 30 minutes, and therefore taking a few minutes break every now and again will in hindsight be effective for productivity.

Eat lunch at the same time every day. It can be easy to miss lunch when you are busy working, but it is important to keep you energised and focused. You could try setting an alarm for lunch if you are prone to forgetting. 

Adapting your daily routine to fit working remotely can be helpful, but once you have decided on your daily and weekly schedules, stick to them! By applying the tips above you can easily improve your productivity and work-life balance. Good luck! 


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