6 Tips on Working Productively from Home
Dylan Morrison, Legal Search Consultant
As companies become more open to flexible working, for many modern-day professionals, working for home every so often is a luxury that our respective firm can afford us. Unfortunately, with the rise and uncertainly surrounding coronavirus (Covid-19) for some, working from home is now a much more regular occurrence. However, this doesn’t mean you should relax with your workload, being constructive and forward-thinking is more important than ever.
Here are some top tips on staying productive and motivated while working from home so you can continually drive business and progress in your legal career.
1. Get Up & Go
Your morning commute, coffee, and interactions with co-workers will help you to wake up and feel ready to start your day. At home, however, it can be slighter more difficult to find the motivation to transition from your bed to computer.
Set your alarm as you would normally, get up, get dressed, have breakfast, go for a short walk and then dive straight into your work. Start as you mean to go on, you will find that you will be much more productive throughout the rest of the day if you start early.
In the self-help book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkan writes that the key to success in work and life is getting up a few hours before the rest of the household to power through personal and work projects.
2. Create a Suitable Working Environment
Dedicate a sufficient room, desk or surface in your home to work and make sure it is comfortable and practical. You don’t want to be slumped over on the couch or in earshot of noisy neighbours. If you have the means, set up a proper desk space with a monitor, mouse, keyboard, notepad, and phone. Try to mimic a similar set up to the one you have in the office.
According to the author of How to Sell Better than Amazon, Sam Mallikarjunan,’ having a place you go specifically to work helps you get into the right frame of mind.’
3. Structure Your Day
It’s natural to lose focus if you work on something for too long. In the office, our day is broken up by meetings, lunch breaks and general interactions with co-workers. Use your calendar to schedule your day, create deadlines, set daily goals and reminders for you to switch tasks or take a break. Call your colleagues for a chat and stay in the loop, let them know what you’re working on and have a general catch up. If you need to have a group meeting, utilise the technology available to you and set up a team video call.
4. Remove Distractions
The biggest barrier you will face working from home is distractions in your personal life. The dog barking, the children going and returning from school and interaction with partners. Interruptions that are avoidable in the office environment. Clara Ferreira Marques, 40, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist in Hong Kong who lives with her husband and three kids, stressed the importance of scheduling blocks of child-free time. Ask your family to respect your quiet time and buy some headphones to help you get into the zone – Airpod Pros are recommended for their noise-cancelling capabilities.
5. Stay Healthy
Your daily steps are about to drop significantly, and you are meters away from a fridge full of goodies so it can be fairly easy to become lethargic and put on a few lbs. Stay fit and healthy by incorporating home work-outs, walks or yoga stretching into your routine. After exercising, you will instantly feel more energised and ready to get back to work. Also, buy some healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts, prepare some nutritious lunches and remember to drink lots of water throughout the day. According to a Harvard health study ‘If you don’t fuel your brain with the proper nutrients, you will start to feel a variety of symptoms, including memory problems, fatigue and concentration problems.’
Check out this 10 minute morning routine yoga full-body stretch – here.
6. Set Boundaries and Enjoy the Benefits
When you live in your office it can be easy to overwork and lose track of time. To ensure you are getting your 8 hours and living a balanced lifestyle, set boundaries and make sure you switch off your computer at a sensible time. Economics Professor John Pencavel discovered that productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week.
Whilst working from home can bring new stresses, it also brings new opportunities. Now you’re not commuting you have extra time to spend with family and friends and enjoy breakfast and dinner with your children. It’s also the perfect excuse to redecorate the house, design a trendy office space and upgrade your technology.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”