Work From Home Jobs: How to Increase Productivity

Written by Steven Marwick
Author

Many people who are in work from home jobs struggle to know how to increase their productivity. This can be especially difficult for freelancers and self-employed people who don’t have a boss to keep happy or set working hours that they have to meet. 90% of people working from home told a study by Owl Labs that they felt more productive working from home.

It can be easy to fall into unhealthy and unproductive patterns and struggle to adapt to this novel way of working. Thankfully, there are many ways to increase productivity when working from home and we have listed some of these below to help to overcome procrastination, the mortal enemy of productivity. 

Work From Home Jobs – Increased Productivity Tips

When working from home it can be tempting to sleep later or to skimp on exercise. Many people notice that they begin to put on weight as they are no longer walking to the train or bus for their commute. Even walking around an office building during the day adds steps to your count. Some people find that they develop a sore back as their seat isn’t good enough for sitting for the required length of time. 

Get Out of Bed at the Same Time Each Day

Even if you are not required to work to the same schedule as any colleagues, you should still make sure that you get out of bed at the same time every day. This helps your body to regulate itself and get into a routine of night and day cycles, sometimes referred to as “circadian rhythm”. There is scientific agreement that people who don’t have regular sleep patterns are more likely to experience depression and bad mental health than those who adhere to a regular pattern of waking and sleeping.  

Improve Your Working Environment in Work From Home Jobs

When you are undertaking work from home jobs, whether for someone else or as self-employed or as a freelancer it is important that you carve out a place in your surroundings that is your space to work from. It can be tempting to work from a laptop in bed in the early days but this can stop being fun very quickly. 

When you work a solid eight hours per day, posture comes into play and it is important that the place you work from doesn’t place undue pressure on your back and body. If you aren’t comfortable enough while working, you can store up long-term health problems for yourself including severe back pain. 

If you are employed by someone else, it may be with asking your employer if they will be willing to supply an ergonomic office chair to aid you in your work. This is something many employers have done, particularly during the pandemic when they recognised that more people would need to work from home,  

If you work for yourself, it is well worth buying the highest quality chair that you can afford. You should be able to claim it as a legitimate business expense, thus decreasing the amount of tax that you pay for that financial year. Gaming chairs are becoming ever more popular precisely because people can spend a long time in them without putting undue strain on their bodies and one of these may be ideal for your purposes.   

Maintain an Exercise Routine

One of the most difficult parts of transitioning to working from home is that you miss out on the regular exercise that comes as part of your commute and ordinary working day. Little things like walking into work from the train station or walking within the building to get a coffee added extra steps and some people have found their daily step count to have gone through the floor once they started working from home. 

Being alert and productive at work is affected by anything that affects your body. Exercise tends to energise people, so maintaining a regular exercise routine should mean that you feel more fully charged and motivated during the working day. Exercising doesn’t have to be difficult or involve expensive equipment. 

One of the easiest and most pleasant forms of exercise is walking, which is always available for most able-bodied people. Walking a few miles each day or hitting the recommended 10,000 steps and trying to maintain that every day will make a big difference to both weight and general health.     

To Caffeinate or Not in Work from Home Jobs?

Some people feel that they thrive on coffee and if you are in a work from home job, you may want to get a very nice coffee machine that will enhance your enjoyment of this morning ritual. Caffeine can stimulate the brain and allow people to get into gear for work faster than they otherwise would. 

It also has downsides though and is highly addictive. We talk about the “3 pm slump”, and this largely correlates with lunchtime caffeine wearing off. People who aren’t coffee drinkers tend to experience this slump to a much lesser degree and have a more consistent rate of work throughout the day. 

Caffeine affects different people in different ways so you should choose whichever way feels more productive for you. Just be aware that if you are a regular coffee drinker and decide to reduce your caffeine intake, you may experience headaches and other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal for up to three weeks.

Use Systems to Aid Concentration

Thankfully now that work from home jobs have been around for some time, there have been efforts to develop systems to aid concentration and productivity. One of the most well-known of these is the Pomodoro method, whereby the working day is split up into chunks of working and then resting or doing something else away from the computer for ten minutes or so. 

The idea is that it forces the mind into an intense state of focus in order to complete the task before the end of the Pomodoro period. This works well for many people and can be an invaluable productivity aid. 

Return to the Office or Continue Remote Working?

Many businesses are returning to the office but equally, many will remain ass either work from home jobs or hybrid first for the foreseeable future. It is up to employees to figure out what works for them best and to plan from there. 

If your employer wants you to return from the office and you don’t want to, it may be time to consider your employment options. It may be worth looking at the ten post-covid job growth areas for inspiration. 

A good step toward new opportunities would be to write an updated CV and brush up on your cover letter writing skills, before perusing our Refreshing a Career jobs board which is aimed at those who are looking for a career change.

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