How to Improve Productivity at Your Home Office
As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, more and more employees are given the flexibility of working from home. Others telecommute a few days per week. Working in a home office offers perks as well as distractions. Here’s how to improve productivity at the home office.
Perks of Working from Home
Work environments have dramatically shifted amidst the coronavirus era—some permanently. Staff now communicate, connect, and produce via a hybrid model. A small number of employees welcome this change, while most long for the social interactions found next to the water cooler.
Once commuters who currently work from home have gained an extra hour to dedicate to the workday, and many work-related tasks can be accomplished at home without losing quality or productivity. Still, distractions in a home office can detract from an employee’s concentration.
Common distractions include children, a spouse, and neighbors. Those who work from home may find themselves diverted by pets who need care or laundry that must be done. Loved ones do not always grasp that non-emergency disruptions are not permissible in a virtual office.
Although working in a home office provides an employee with flexibility, a negligible commute to the home office and the comfort of working in pajamas, remaining productive demands attention, focus and a few proven tactics, like the ones that follow.
6 Tips to Improve Productivity when Working from Home
1. Design a Functional Space
A home office does not require a grand oak desk and a view of a calming pond in order to be functional. However, design does have an impact on productivity. The first task is to find a quiet space in the home in which to focus attention on work projects.
Select a room with windows. Natural light improves the work environment, boosting mood and overall wellbeing. An employee whose wellbeing is fulfilled tends to be more engaged and performs better. Plus, daylight reduces eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness. Add plants for an optimal workspace.
2. Create a Schedule
Devices constantly send notifications; the neighbors call, and dishes pile up in the sink. While certain distractions require attention, it is important to prioritize responsibilities when working from a home office. One way to achieve this is to create a schedule for daily tasks.
Define blocks of time in which to check in with a manager and socialize with colleagues. In a virtual office, casual chats with coworkers are missing, making it important to be intentional about making up for the loss. Also schedule times to call loved ones and walk the dog.
An ideal work-from-home schedule starts at the same time each day. Rather than be tempted to do yardwork, stick to a pre-determined schedule—similar to working in the office. Without a familiar work schedule, sleeping in or performing housework diminishes productivity.
3. Turn Off Devices
An important part of staying focused is turning off devices. Social media notifications and online ads constantly appear. Work-related stress can cause an employee to distract himself by responding to devices. Instead, resist the urge and remain disciplined in order to stay productive.
4. Hang Do Not Disturb Signs
Especially in a household full of children, an employee working from home must establish clear boundaries. Visual cues that indicate availability are useful. Hang a sign on the office door that lets housemates know available times as well as specific time frames to not interrupt.
5. Schedule Breaks
Breaks from work activities offer relief and encourage improved engagement upon return to tasks. Keep items, like apps, books, or exercise equipment, within reach. However, ensure these favorites are stored out of sight so as not to be drawn to them during working hours.
Exercise equipment, including a treadmill or resistance bands, kept in the home office will facilitate short breaks. Bursts of physical activity re-energizes employees mentally and physically and helps them return to work activities with renewed focus. Exercise also reduces stress levels.
Brief blocks of physical activity during work hours boosts work performance, enhances creativity, allows employees to learn quicker, sharpens memory and improves concentration. Employees who schedule exercise into their workday also manage their time better and experience greater work satisfaction.
6. Prepare Meals in Advance
Balanced meals enhance cognitive performance, supplying an individual with the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to function throughout the workday. But meals and snacks can be distracting when attempting to figure out what to eat, how to prepare it and when.
Instead of unintentionally losing time during the workday to figure out what to eat, prepare meals and snacks in advance. Graze on foods, like almonds, protein bars and fruits, throughout the day to prevent a drop in blood sugar, and, consequently, a reduction in work performance.
Optimum work performance is readily achieved in part by consuming nutrients that foster the production of dopamine, which plays a key role in motivation and engagement. Healthy foods are beneficial for not only the physical body but the creative mind.
Once the current health crisis ends, employees will have the option to return to the office. Some staff will jump at the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues. When they return, however, the physical office may need to be redesigned to accommodate new coronavirus health safety guidelines.
Work with an Office Mover
Chicago Office Movers is prepared to provide the moving services for office renovation and remodeling to facilitate an upcoming project. Prior to the office renovation, our moving crews will carefully relocate furniture and equipment. We pack and label boxes and disassemble appliances and equipment.
Once the office renovation or update is complete, the moving crews at Chicago Office Movers will set up the new equipment and reinstall appliances. We also provide unpacking services. Our goal is to ensure your office space is ready for your employees as quickly and affordably as possible.
Whether your company is considering an office renovation, remodeling, or relocation, choose Chicago Office Movers for your moving needs. Our reputable moving company serves Chicagoland businesses with dedication, and countless satisfied customers can attest to our professionalism.
Call us at 312-244-2246 for a free estimate.