The thought of working from home resonates with everyone differently. Perhaps you already work from home and have settled into a productive routine. Alternatively, working from home may be a new experience with frightening hurdles.
Regardless of your notions about working from a home office—or kitchen table—a few WFH productivity tips will significantly boost efficiency in a unique work environment.
#1. Take Frequent Breaks
For some, working from home affords a quiet space to buckle down and complete tasks. For others, the thought of the WFH environment produces anxiety. Whether working from home incites dread or the hope for productive days, taking frequent, short breaks is necessary for optimal efficiency.
Although taking breaks appears counter-productive to completing work, breaks boost creativity while refreshing and restoring depleted mental resources. The American Psychological Association insightfully highlights the benefits of taking breaks:
“Breaks can improve our moods, overall well-being, and performance capacity, says Charlotte Fritz, PhD, an associate professor in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology at Portland State University in Oregon… Much like regular exercise and sleep, work breaks function both as prevention and intervention, Fritz says. ‘Taking regular breaks helps us to be more resilient when stressors arise, and they function as an intervention to help us deal with the daily grind.’”
What should you do while breaking?
Productive breaks are spent replenishing cognitive resources not exhausting them. For example, taking a break from work to complete mathematical equations is counter-productive. A few fruitful things to do over break include:
- Listening to a podcast
- Simple organization or tidying
- Preparing a healthy snack
- Calling a friend – and not talking about work
#2. Alter Your Environment
Your WFH environment will quickly grow mundane. Therefore, changing the scenery occasionally can increase productivity and inspire innovation. If you are feeling stagnant in your current location, consider the following environment alteration ideas.
Move to another room.
To effortlessly alter your environment, move to another room in your home! This is especially simple if your workspace is minimalistic. Pick up your items and move from the kitchen table to your living room coffee table. The simple act of switching locations inside your home can bring fresh perspective to the tasks at hand.
If your work situation allows, move your workspace outdoors! Sunshine can make a world of difference. Whether you hike into the woods, walk to the park, or sit on the back porch, moving anywhere outside your home is another simple environment alteration idea.
Re-decorate your office space.
Finally, considering switching things up by redecorating your office space. Rearranging, adding new items, or decluttering can revitalize any interior location.
#3. Create a Schedule and Stick With It
Maintaining a rigid schedule is often easier when working in a traditional office. When working from home, you will be responsible for establishing a schedule and sticking with it.
Set up a routine.
Without a routine, staying motivated and efficient is difficult. For example, the opportunity to work from home can tempt employees to wear pajamas and sleep in – every day. Although wearing pajamas and sleeping in may be a relaxing pattern for the weekend, sticking to an “off-to-work” routine will help separate the personal from the professional in your daily schedule.
Write out a schedule.
Once you have a routine in mind, write out a schedule – physically or digitally. Keep the schedule on hand throughout the day, and don’t forget to include coffee breaks.
Create prioritized to-do lists.
At the start of every morning, create a prioritized to-do list for the workday. Lists organized in order of importance help you stay on track, complete all necessary tasks, and remain focused.
#4. Avoid Distractions
During work hours, aim to remain as productive as possible. Theoretically, working from home presents fewer organic distractions than working from an office, surrounded by coworkers. However, distractions still exist at home. If an important, non-work-related task arises – such as jotting down a grocery list or dropping a package off – jot it down for later.
Additionally, allotting time for coffee breaks, snacks, or exercise within your work-day schedule helps boost productivity during working hours and eliminate distractions.
#5. Make Every Day Unique
Break up the monotony of a WFH week! For example, incorporate theme days into the week – include your entire team or just enjoy for personal motivation. Every individual’s theme day schedule will look different. However, a few possible ideas to incorporate into your weekly schedule may include:
Monday: Meet with your team and nominate one member to talk about a recent vacation or adventure. Talk about life outside of work. If you are enjoying Monday through solidarity, plan to try a new recipe over lunch.
Tuesday: Spark some friendly competition with a team challenge – or challenge yourself to beat a previous record.
Wednesday: Host digital trivia or a pop culture quiz with your team. Alternatively, challenge your own knowledge.
Thursday: Treat yourself with take-out to celebrate the upcoming weekend.
Friday: Celebrate with a trip to your local coffee shop or virtual happy hour with the team.
#6. Practice Self-Care
Exercise before or after work, get plenty of sleep, and spend time in the sun. Practicing self-care always boosts productivity and efficiency both throughout the workday and after-hours.
Additionally, consider using your “commute” time intentionally to mentally clock-in-and-out before and after your work schedule. This practice will aid in further separating the personal from the professional both mentally, and physically.
JobDiva: The Ultimate WFH Recruitment Solution
At JobDiva, we help recruiting teams be more productive, more effective, and more efficient – even in a work from home environment. Our all-inclusive recruiting solution is designed to coalesce a variety of tools into a single system.
To learn more about our recruiting solution or team, please do not hesitate to reach out via our online contact form! We look forward to discussing how the leading global applicant tracking system and talent management solution can assist your recruiting organization.