The pandemic introduced the need for people to transform their homes into a workspace, with a record number of organizations choosing to continue their operations remotely for the foreseeable future. The number of people working as freelancers or independent consultants has also increased exponentially, making up 36% of the total workforce in 2020. Therefore, it has never been more essential for people to optimize their home-workspace and establish routines to maximize their productivity. Here are five ways you can improve your workflow at home.
Have a Designated Office Space within Your Home
Human beings are creatures of habit, so associating a particular space within your house with work will help you find your rhythm faster during the workday. It can also help create a boundary between your personal life and your work life, and while your home office doesn't have to be a separate room, it is best to find a spot that you can effectively isolate from the rest of your house. When you start the workday, you will be able to "go" to your workspace, and when you are done for the day, you will be able to "return," thereby mimicking your in-office schedule.
Ensure that you are as comfortable as possible in your workspace. This can include getting dressed for the workday, getting a pair of wireless headphones to make it easier to take work calls, investing in a good chair for optimum lumbar support, or having a VPN in place to access the internet securely. If you are not sure whether you need a VPN, this guide will help you decide.
Identify High Productivity Hours
Working at home can allow you to tailor your routine to make the most of your high productivity periods. Work on identifying the time intervals during the day when you are the most productive and optimize your workday to make the best use of your peak productivity hours and get more work done in a fraction of the time. This can also prevent you from feeling sluggish during certain parts of the day.
Exercise and Stretch Regularly
Working continuously for extended periods of time can lead to physical and mental fatigue. Ensure that you block out time during the day for exercising, and stretch while you are taking a break from work. This is proven to naturally boost endorphins, thereby directly increasing your productivity. On top of that, stretching can also help you maintain good posture and stay comfortable while sitting in the same spot throughout the day.
Have a solid communication strategy in place with your team, and ensure that the availability and convenience of all team members are known before scheduling meetings. The necessary steps should be taken to debrief people who were unable to make it to a meeting, and a record of all work-related meetings should be maintained, either in the form of minutes or in the form of video playback.
By experimenting with different routines and techniques, you'll be able to identify what works best for you. Working at home gives you the flexibility to alter parts of your workday to fit your preferences, and you should make the most of it to remain as productive as possible.