How to Maximise Productivity in a Work from Home Environment
, 4 min reading time
, 4 min reading time
The pivot to mass remote work has only happened in recent years, but this model is now a lasting feature of the UK workplace. Today many companies are now accommodating employees who want to work at home. This is because 58% of UK workers prefer to work in a hybrid mode. The government has also recognised this shift in employee preferences and has introduced new measures to allow employees to request remote work from day 1. Career platform LinkedIn also reported that at the end of 2022, the demand for roles in the UK which offered remote work almost doubled compared to 2021.
It is clear that employers and employees alike recognise the advantages of remote work — from saving money in commuting and overhead costs to having flexible working hours. However, there is also the underlying challenge of staying focused and motivated while working remotely. So here are a few ways to maximise your productivity in a work-from-home environment.
While 86% of workers surveyed by Hogan Assessments across Europe claim that they remain engaged while working from home, they can still get distracted from time to time and thus hinder their job performance. In a different survey by Glassdoor in the UK, employees working remotely listed their top distractions to be watching TV (30%), doing housework (28%), and going on social media (24%).
But all of these variables can be addressed by having a dedicated workspace. Make sure to stay away from the bed or couch, so you can physically and mentally set boundaries between where you work and where you rest. Even if you live with other people, you can still stay focused and minimise interruptions by choosing the most tranquil space in the house, or at the very least, keeping the door closed while you work.
Technology is a significant part of remote work as it ensures employees can connect and collaborate with one another even if they work from multiple locations. However, too much screen time can put your health and well-being at risk and cause digital burnout. This occurs when you are constantly checking your work devices, even outside of work, which affects your time for personal rest and social interaction.
To avoid digital burnout, make sure to schedule time away from the screen, whether it’s a coffee break or a short walk outside. You can also apply the 20-20-20 minute rule: Every 20 minutes, stare at something 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds to rest and avoid eye strain.
The lack of face-to-face interactions in remote arrangements can make it difficult for teams to work together and resolve conflicts. In such cases, avoiding a toxic work environment when working remotely requires a shift in how managers and employees communicate with one another.
For one, about 70% of remote workers surveyed by Unipos said that they miss office chats. This can be relegated to virtual spaces by making social interactions part of Zoom meetings and getting to know your coworkers outside of work. Sharing personal information about hobbies and interests can in fact be a way to cultivate trust and thus improve overall team performance. If there are any work-related problems or conflicts, they should be discussed openly so that all team members are kept in the loop and can collectively come up with solutions.
With more time spent cooped up in their at-home workspaces, remote workers are more likely to live sedentary lifestyles.
Around 8,000 adults in the UK were surveyed for the Wellbeing Index, and it was found that 19% were exercising less often while 31% were eating more while working at home. This can greatly increase their risk for obesity and other chronic conditions. Meanwhile, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work released a report on how prolonged static sitting in remote work poses health risks, including musculoskeletal disorders.
So why not spend the time you’ve saved commuting to and from work by regularly scheduling workouts? You can even step up your efforts by multitasking and stimulating active work. Rather than simply sitting down for 8-9 hours a day, you can look into investing in LifeSpan’s fitness desk treadmill so you can exercise while working on a document or participating in a meeting.
Aside from desk treadmills, LifeSpan offers a variety of fitness equipment and accessories that you can easily incorporate into your home office. These include desk bikes and balance boards that can help with cardio and muscular training without sacrificing your time for work. With improved health and well-being, you can perform better at work and increase the overall quality of your life.
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