As many businesses around the world continue to encourage people to work from home too “flatten the curve”, how productive actually is working from home? The jury is still out on whether employees who work from home or work from an office are more productive, as it often relates to personality assists and attention skills of the individual. So research has a challenging time quantifying the data.
However, Research from a recent Harvard Business Review article suggests that people who work their SAME office schedule from home get MORE done per day. The factor in the research was the #quiet environment with fewer interruptions and distractions helped their productivity. However, parents that try and work from home showed that they struggled to work the same working hours as they have to work around nap times and when the child is the most active.
The good news there are tangible things that you can do to increase productivity at home that show an improvement in both productivities and reduce stress when you need to work but is trying to juggle children or other forms of distractions.
.. and find yourself the quietest spot in the house and choose that as your work area. This means the kitchen table and living room is most likely not the most productive workspace in the home. We often take our laptop and sit down in the heart of the home which is natural as this is where we feel comfortable and spend much of our time. However, the research on productivity shows that we are more focused and can accomplish more if we find a quiet and uninterrupted space.
2) Cluttered space= Cluttered Mind
Lots of research shows that when we have a clean and organized space that we are able to think more clearly and our focus improves. So declutter your desk and workspace. Extra books, piles of paper, or cups half full of lukewarm coffee will strongly detract from your productivity, not to mention your concentration. Clean the work area in front of you and if you have the ability to close the door or put your back to the door then we are focusing on tidy space in front of us versus peering out and looking at that pile of laundry or toys that need to be picked up in the background. So position yourself so the
3) Bring in some Green
A desk or floor plant is a great way to add a breath of fresh air to your workspace and create some visual variety when your eyes need a break from the screen. If you are not a gardener start with a small cactus or succulent, or at least arrange your desk so that you can see the outdoors.
4) Start with a Smaller To-Do list
Before you begin tackling the day’s tasks, spend 10 minutes creating a detailed checklist. Then, spend another five making an even shorter checklist of tasks you absolutely know will get done in the next couple of hours. It increases productivity over some LONG 25+ to-do list which can feel overwhelming and shut down creativity before you start. Plus making the tasks smaller allows you to check off or cross out your finished work faster and those visible accomplishments will spur your productivity! If you feel like you need a hand with Time Management to organize this list, then check out my Time Management to Achieve Your Goals Blog Post
5) Take Meaningful Breaks
So let’s be honest… most of us open up Facebook or go do a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher (I do this too). Research shows these are the worst at home distractions you can do because there are always so many things that need to be done around the house. So one load of dishes turns into … you cleaned your kitchen and had a snack. Then 2 hours go by and you lost your grove. Choose an increment break time that works better for your schedule and work habits. Just be careful not to make it so short that it interrupts you when you’re finally in the zone, or so long that it is ineffective.
I hope these tips help you feel productive and effective in working from home. Do you have any other ideas or tips? Share them in the comments below I would love to hear from you.