Few workplaces ever asked employees to work from their homes in the 2010s. The WFH technologies we use today have been available for quite some time now, but no one thought there were any benefits to remote work.
It all changed in 2020 when the pandemic hit and most workplaces had to temporarily close down. We eventually got used to remote work and started seeing the benefits it offers compared to working from an office. Today, WFH is fairly common in businesses all over the world. Companies employ hybrid and temporary WFH strategies for all sorts of reasons.
However, remote work isn’t without its problems. For many people, being at home is less productive than being at the office. Working from home is also more distracting, which makes it harder to focus on work.
If you can relate to any of this, this article is for you. Below, we have come up with some of our tried and tested tips to improve productivity at home so you can work just as well as you do at your workplace. Let’s dive into it!
Set Up a Work Desk
You can’t work from your bed, your couch, your patio, or any other comfortable place in your house. Your brain has associated these parts of the house with comfort and relaxation, which are the opposite of alertness and attentiveness. The only way to induce the same productivity you feel at work at home is to create a new space for work.
If you have a spare room, make it your home office. If that’s not feasible, set up a home office on one side or corner of your room. Get a work chair and a work desk and gather all your work-related stuff on and around the desk. The key is to make the space all about work, so whenever you’re at the desk, your subconscious knows it’s time to get active. You’ll also have everything you need in one place this way, which is always handy.
Remember to Caffeinate
If you used to have lots of coffee at work, continue to do so at home too. Caffeine, the active compound in coffee, is a stimulant of the central nervous system. It induces wakefulness and gives you a boost of energy, which can do wonders for productivity. If making coffee is disruptive to your workflow, make a few cups worth of coffee in the morning and keep it in a thermos with you.
Let The Sunlight In
Sunlight, especially blue light in sunlight, is essential for the proper regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to sunlight has been linked to increased serotonin levels in the brain, which is a hormone that governs the circadian rhythm in the body.
In the morning, you need high levels of serotonin to induce wakefulness and function properly throughout the day. You normally get adequate blue light from sunlight on your way to work. When you’re working from home, your blue light exposure is limited, which can lower productivity. Low blue light exposure can also lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which includes depression and can be detrimental to productivity.
To counter this, you can open a window in your room and let natural light in. You can also take walk in the morning and get some exercise, which can also boost productivity. If neither of these is feasible, there are daylight lamps that you can buy. These light boxes act similarly to sunlight in increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Place one on your desk beside your computer and go about your day.
Don’t Compromise On Internet Speed and Reliability
A slow internet connection can make it difficult to work at your optimal pace. Delays due to low internet speed can also make you feel irritated, further lowering productivity and satisfaction.
Make sure your internet connection has adequate bandwidth to handle modern-day data. Also—perhaps more importantly—make sure your internet connection is reliable and has high up time, so you’re not left unable to access the internet out of the blue while working.
CenturyLink Internet is excellent for a WFH setup. It uses fiber technology to provide super-fast speeds with low latency. CenturyLink internet also has a high uptime of 99.9%, ensuring you can work without interruption.
Try To Keep Work Separate From Life
For many, the root problem with working from home is that it merges work with life. You often find yourself tending to your personal tasks during work hours and worrying about work during your leisure time. This can negatively affect both your work quality and life satisfaction.
Try to keep your work and life separate from each other as much as possible. Make sure you’re not doing anything personal during your work hours unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you live with other people, ask them not to disturb you or enter your room while you’re working unless it’s an emergency.
Similarly, don’t do anything work-related after your shift. Don’t think about work or use your workspace. This will allow you to dissociate your work from your personal life, improving productivity and satisfaction at the same time.