How to ensure home working is productive
An increasing number of people in the UK are now choosing to work from home. Thanks to advances in modern technology, it’s possible for people to stay connected to their work and colleagues regardless of location and it’s much easier for individuals to fit their career around their family life and other commitments.
However, while the advantages of home working are many, a lot of people struggle to hit the same levels of productivity as they would in the office, particularly when they first become a home worker. Here are a few top tips for how to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
The right surroundings
It can be surprisingly difficult to get into the right frame of mind when you start working from home. For many people it simply doesn’t feel like they are at work and this can make it hard to focus and avoid distractions.
The best way to overcome this problem is by establishing part of your home that is only used for work. Ideally, this will be a separate room that can be converted into a home office, which is made to look and feel like a working environment. Investing in the correct furniture, such as a good desk and chair, will boost your productivity and focus by ensuring you’re comfortable.
If you lack the space for a home office, try converting a corner of a room where you’re unlikely to be disturbed into a specialised work area.
Nothing drains productivity like a slow and unreliable broadband connection. The web is arguably the single most important element of home working, as it’s what keeps you in touch with colleagues and connected to your company.
A poor quality internet connection can really slow you down and in some cases it can make home working nigh-on impossible. As a result, investing in a high-speed broadband service is more than worthwhile if you’re keen to become a home worker.
However, in some parts of the UK and particularly rural areas, a high quality connection can be hard to come by. In this case, the best alternative is satellite broadband, which is ideally suited to bringing high speed internet to the countryside as it only requires the installation of a small satellite dish and modem to function.
It might sound simple, but creating a to-do list each day can really help to boost productivity. It’s always useful to map out what needs to be done over the day and having a list will give you something to refer to and minimise the chances of anything being forgotten.
No matter where you’re working, it’s important to take regular breaks. Getting up and stepping away from the computer for a minute or two every hour or so will give your mind a quick chance to refresh and can help to reduce the risk of health problems such as eye strain and back pain.
It’s also key to ensure you eat and drink throughout the day as hunger or thirst can really damage your concentration and you should try to take your full lunch break whenever possible.
One drawback of home working is the fact you may be more prone to distraction, particularly if family or pets are around. Again, having your own separate working space is the best way to combat this and it’s worthwhile to explain to the family that you’re working and should only be disturbed if it’s important.