One of the arguments that always comes up when companies consider work from home (WFH) arrangements is that the workers will be less productive.
This fear that companies will have a loss of productivity is unfounded. According to recent surveys and studies, the opposite has been found to be true.
In a recent survey from Connect Solutions they found that 77% of people working from home at least a few times per month showed increased productivity. 30% of those showed they did more work in less time and 24% were found to be doing more work in the same amount of time.
In addition, a recent study conducted by Standford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increased an employees’ productivity by 13%. This same study found that worker satisfaction increased when working from home as well.
So, knowing that working from home has become a part of the new normal and can be balanced with an increase in productivity, how do you set yourself up for success?
Know your best hours
For most of us, there will be a period in the day, maybe it’s 8am – 1pm or maybe it’s 11am – 5pm but there will be a stretch of time in the day when you are most productive.
Your brain works quickly during those hours and you power through tasks with speed and velocity of a runaway freight train.
If you’re unsure when your most productive hours are, keep a notebook beside your desk for a week or so and jot down the time when you start and finish tasks. From this you’ll be able to figure out when you are your most productive and which tasks are taking you longest so you can schedule them in during your best hours.
Keep Office Hours
While knowing your productive times will help, keeping to office hours will be crucial. The demand for the office hours you work will change from company to company depending on which hours your team work, if you need to be available to clients and a number of other factors.
What is important is establishing and sticking to hours that you work when your team can get in touch with you, and your clients can get a quick response.
Being reliably available at those times is what it’s all about. It will mean you and your team can maximise productivity knowing they can collaborate and get things signed off at certain times and on certain days.
Create a schedule
Maximising your productivity is not just about knowing which hours you’ll work on which days but also which tasks you’re working on.
Make sure to schedule your tasks into your week so you don’t lose too much productivity to menial or administrative tasks when you should be delving into project work.
Create a Morning ritual
Much like you’ll need to boot up your computer in the mornings, you also need to boot up your brain. Creating rituals that you do every morning sets the tone for the day.
Getting up and stretching, meditating and having a decent breakfast are all great ways to start your day and set yourself up of success.
Creating a to-do list and prioritising your tasks and your admin for the day over coffee can really help you to work efficiently as well.
However you decide to start your day, make it a morning ritual that you don’t miss and each step will help to reboot your brain for the day’s work.
Have a dedicated office space
Fitting your office space into your home can sometimes prove challenging.
Perhaps you didn’t intend to work from home initially and so there isn’t an office space for you. Even if that is the case, find and create space in your home to make a dedicated space where you will work.
It could be a landing at the top of stairway or a spot at the end of hallway or entryway. Create a space that is just yours and just for work.
Turn off Distractions
Similarly, you should try to find a way to turn off distractions. If your dedicated office space is not in a separate room, try a pair of noise reduction headphones. It really helps to limit distractions.
Put your phone out of reach so you can’t keep picking it up and getting lost in a social media hole.
Turn off the TV or any other background noise if you can. Background noises can really hinder your concentration resulting in a loss of productivity.
Ramping up your productivity when working from home can be a win for both you and your company.
Increased productivity means less oversight and more ownership over your work, and this means you can work towards other more flexible arrangements that might suit you better.
Compressed work schedules anyone?