Since the arrival of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many employees’ work-life has instantly transitioned from being in a single office space to the comforts of one’s home. By leveraging the audio-visual connectivity made possible by modern technology and networking, business owners around the globe managed to overcome the hurdles imposed by the pandemic and successfully secure business continuity for their organisation.
While remote work has undoubtedly proven to be effective for the most part, it is far from perfect, with many reporting drops in productivity due to their new work surroundings. Thankfully, this issue can be easily resolved, and we would like to share some ways to optimise your work environment at home to make it more conducive for productivity.
Put on more appropriate clothing
By taking work back into the home, employees hardly ever have to dress up anymore and are free to spend each workday in their pyjamas or any other comfortable clothing they like. While it is essential to get into one’s comfort zone, this habit of wearing home clothing further makes it difficult to separate between personal and work life, ultimately affecting work performance.
Even a simple change of clothes can help signal that it is time to switch to a working mindset and get things done. This works because our brains are programmed to take cues from our personal and social outlooks when making decisions. Thus, while not necessarily as formally as before, dressing up for work gives your brain a reason to do just that.
Set up the home office away from the usual comforts
There is no harm in getting comfortable when working. However, when these comforts become excessive, it can be easy to ease back into a relaxed mindset that lowers one’s focus, ultimately affecting performance. Preventing this is simple by setting up the home office away from the usual comforts.
Find a private section in your household that sees little to no foot traffic and place only the essentials you need to work, such as a desk and a sufficiently comfortable chair. Stay away from working on couches or your bed since doing so comes at the cost of lost focus, productivity, and sight of target goals due to giving in to your lethargy.
Ground rules for family members
While it is simple enough to get away from most everyday household distractions, it does not always apply when discussing family members’ disruptions. Whether it is from one’s children, spouse, or any other member, getting distracted from their interactions can take up a few seconds of your time to at least several minutes.
Add on the possibility that these moments where your attention is taken away could occur several times a day, and one could potentially lose one or two hours of work time.
To ensure that you will not be disturbed unless there is a pressing matter, you should establish some ground rules for your family that dictate the circumstances when they are free to interact with you during working hours. In this way, you can significantly cut down on distracting interactions while still on the clock.
Reserve areas for putting away common distractions
Since no authority physically supervises employees while working at home, nothing keeps them from having gadgets like smartphones within reach. Having these time-wasting distractions nearby makes it easier for workers to opt for the ‘path of least resistance (i.e. spending time on social media or playing games) when faced with challenges in one’s work.
Therefore, it is recommended to reserve a spot where you can put away items such as phones and other common distractions in a reserved area far away from the desk yet still accessible with some effort. By making it more challenging to get a hold of these items, such as in harder-to-reach areas, the path of least resistance instead becomes the workload that is sitting right in front of you.
There is certainly more than one way to optimise one’s working setup at home, and what works will all depend on an individual’s lifestyle. With enough discipline and proper planning, securing your productivity during WFH is possible.
If you are having trouble getting the proper working setup at home, switching to a coworking space instead may be the solution to your remote work woes. At Greenhub Singapore, our modern business office rentals serve as the ideal coworking space that offers the proper working environment a professional requires.
Complete with everything you need to get work done, from office supplies to productivity-boosting design elements like natural lighting and greenery, working without distractions is now well within reach.