The coronavirus pandemic presented many workers with a new challenge. They were unable to report to the office as usual, instead being required to work from home. What started as a short-term, temporary solution might have become permanent.
While some took to it like a duck to water, others have found this new routine challenging and struggle to maintain the same productivity levels they demonstrated at the office. Here are some tips for work efficiency when your home has become your new workplace:
Define a workspace
While working on your couch or in bed might sound like an attractive prospect, it is not conducive to quality work. Nor is setting yourself up at the kitchen counter as endless distractions and interruptions will prove your undoing. Work requires focus, which is what your office provided.
However, just because you cannot be in your cubicle, there are ways to ensure that you produce the required work without putting in overtime. The first thing you should do is decide where you will work and convert it into an office space.
Not everyone has the luxury of a home office, so you might need to be creative when finding somewhere to work. If it is the dining room table, use part of it and set up an office. Set boundaries that make the area out of bounds during work time.
Get the right equipment
While your employer might have provided you with a laptop, it could be time to look for the best 2-in-1 laptops to get one that will cause less eyestrain and lend itself to working on the move.
A bigger screen with better quality graphics will allow you to concentrate for more extended periods and produce more output. The advantage is that a 2-in-1 laptop is family-friendly and can be used by other householders during your downtime.
Other equipment you will need includes a printer, a stable internet connection, and stationery supplies. Service providers and retailers are running promotions, making it less expensive to set up a home office than it was pre-COVID.
The problem with working from home is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It is all too easy to become distracted and have to put in extra hours to get your daily quota of work done. Additionally, there is the temptation of retreating to your home office to put in some extra time when you should be spending it with your family.
Before you finish your workday, put plans in place for tomorrow, and try to stick to them. A more structured schedule gives you a better chance of remaining focused and productive throughout the day. However, add breaks to do things around the house. This could include walking the dog, doing the laundry, or working in the garden. These breaks help you concentrate when you sit down to work again.
Your unique style
Working from home gives you a chance to experiment with how you work, especially if you are not expected to stick to conventional office hours. Some people are night owls by nature and prefer working at night.
Others are early risers and would elect to get up at 4 am and do their work while the house is quiet. When working at your most productive time, you will produce quality work and take less time.
However, to sustain a pattern of starting earlier or later than you did before, bear in mind that you cannot burn the candle at both ends. You need sufficient sleep as a lack thereof will prevent you from doing your best work and being present for your family.