Since the pandemic took hold of our lives, millions of people have been forced into a new way of working, with the proportion of people working from home more than doubling in 2020 from the previous year. For some, the thought of rolling out of bed and into the ‘office’ has been a welcome change of pace from the stuffy daily commute and office culture. For others, this period of adjustment has been a real challenge, with home and work lives having been blended together.
Whilst everyone will have found their own methods to remain productive whilst working from home, we’ve come up with three unique ideas that could help you to work more effectively away from the office.
Faking the commute
In a recent survey of remote workers, 54% of respondents identified “no commute” as the biggest benefit of working remotely. A further 35% of people cited “saving money” as the best thing about home working, which is inextricably linked to taking away the need to travel to work.
Whilst workers clearly aren’t missing the busy trains and rush hour traffic jams, creating your own ‘commute’ could be an effective way to prepare yourself for work in the morning and switch off in the evening. Whether it be a short walk around the block, or even just sitting in the garden with a book, replicating your usual commute can bookend the working day and allow you to better separate your work and personal time.
One of the main drawbacks to working exclusively from home is the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues and peers that would usually happen on a daily basis.
With restrictions easing across the world and restaurants opening back up for business, getting into the habit of regularly meeting up with a friend from your own company or another can help alleviate some of the negative impacts remote working can have on your mental health. These, most notably, include feelings of loneliness or isolation, with research revealing that 20% of remote workers cited loneliness as the most difficult thing about working from home.
Not only will regular lunch meetings help to reduce feelings of isolation, they can also help to break up the monotony of being at home throughout the entire working day.
Organising your calendar
Whilst you are probably accustomed to keeping on top of your work calendar whilst in the office, it is just as important, if not more, to manage your calendar whilst at home to ensure you have a sound work-life balance.
It is easy when working from home to open the laptop back up after you’ve finished for the day, just because it’s there. In this way, it can help to schedule work hours into your calendar, notifying your colleagues when you will be away from the laptop. Not only does this set boundaries for your peers when looking to schedule meetings, it also helps you to distinguish between work and personal time.
Organising your work hours in your digital calendar can also help you to fall into some sort of routine by knowing exactly when you will start and finish, which can also help to improve productivity.
To sum up
Whether you’ve managed to take this period of adjustment in your stride, or it’s provided some unforeseen difficulties, it is important to find some coping strategies that work for you during this time. Adding just one or two of these simple lifestyle changes into your daily routine could facilitate positive changes to your productivity, and ultimately your mindset, when working from home.