Matt | 20 May 2020

10 Hacks To Improve Home Working

It has become clear that home working is likely to be the new normal for thousands of workers because of the global Coronavirus pandemic. Transitioning to working from home when you are used to an office environment isn’t always easy. Although there are plenty of technologies available to help make working from home and staying connected with team members easier, there are still teething problems for many.

Some of the biggest struggles for those new to working from home are a lack of motivation, at home distractions and keeping productivity levels up. We’re sharing our top 10 hacks for improving home working.

1. Keep A Normal Morning Routine

When you’ve got a dedicated time to be at the office and a regular commute to get there, you will have a morning routine that you can probably do with your eyes closed. Just because you no longer have the commute or dedicated office hours, doesn’t mean you can drop your routine.

When working from home, rolling out of bed and starting work in your pyjamas is going to leave you feeling sluggish, unmotivated and unproductive. Keep your regular work alarm, do some morning exercise, and get ready for the day.

Many people who work from home find that changing into work clothes helps them to switch into work mode. The only thing that should be different from your usual routine is the lack of commuting, so instead use this time to enjoy a coffee and prepare for the day ahead.

2. Write Lists

One of the best ways to stay on track when working from home is to set clear goals and deliverables. Have a long term to-do list for the week or even month ahead, and then every morning write a shorter-term to-do list for what you want to achieve that day.

You will get a real sense of fulfilment when you get to tick off your completed tasks.

3. Create A Dedicated Work Station

It can be tempting to stay in bed all day or sit on the sofa and work in front of the television, but this should be avoided at all costs. No matter how small your home is, it is vital that you find a dedicated place for working from home. Perhaps you have a desk already set up in an office or spare room, or you could use a kitchen bench or dining table.

Wherever you choose, make sure your work station is comfortable and distraction-free.

4. Get A Second Screen

Whether you are used to having a second screen in the office, or you’ve always been used to having just the one, a second screen can really help boost productivity. Your work can be easier organised, and you can avoid hundreds of open tabs and background applications which can be overwhelming.

As well as this, working from just a laptop on a tabletop can cause havoc with your posture. Try and make sure your work area is entirely comfortably by investing in screen raisers and a separate keyboard to avoid slouching and neck-ache.

5. Take Regular Breaks

When you are working from home, it can mean you are in the same place staring at screens for hours on end. It is crucial that you make time to stretch your legs and give your eyes a break. Take the time to make a cup of tea and enjoy it in the sunshine or go for a brisk walk to unwind before getting back to work.

If you can’t get out of the house, take a few minutes to meditate, stretch or do some quick exercises. A great hack for making sure you remember to break regularly is to set reminders on your phone.

6. Stop Scrolling

With the current pandemic, the news is constantly being updated with new articles and information. It is easy to find yourself trapped in a news spiral of always checking news apps and social media.

Not only is this a waste of time when working from home but can be very negative and leave you feeling down. While it is important to keep updated with the news, only check your phone in the mornings and when you’ve clocked off for the day.

7. Switch Off

When you are working from home, it can feel like work never ends because you aren’t physically leaving the office at the end of the day. When it is time to clock off, sign out of all work apps and turn off notifications. Don’t check any work emails until you’re back at work the next morning and give yourself some real time off.

8. Listen To Music, Sometimes

No office is dead silent all the time, and if you are working from home on your own, then total silence might be a little too quiet. Keep the radio on quietly in the background. Music can be great for boosting creativity and keeping your mood up. But it is important to be aware of when to turn it off. If you’ve got a project you really need to concentrate on, then switch it off and focus.

9. Stay In Touch

If you work within a team and you are used to seeing them every day, then working without them might seem strange. We are social creatures, and a lack of face to face communication can have a real negative impact on our mental wellbeing.

Schedule in regular video calls with your team, whether it’s to discuss work or just have a social catch up.

10. Find Motivation In Training

Working from home often means you have more free time than before, and now is a great time to focus on training and development. Taking part in a training course relevant to your career can be an excellent motivator for pushing yourself at work.

At TSG Training, we offer many online and virtual courses for a vast range of subjects. With everything from Software Testing to Business Analysis, there is sure to be a course to inspire you.

We also offer free online webinars on a range of subjects, so you can find out more about a subject before deciding if the course is right for you. Our next webinar is ITIL® 4 – Foundation Webinar on 4th June.