Posted on: 22 October 2020

Keeping a high standard of work when remote working

Working from home has become a common practice in many workplaces around the UK since COVID-19 became a severe threat. In previous articles, we have shown you how to get your team back into the workplace, but following a recent government announcement that people should continue to work from home if possible, we are showing you how to maximise productivity whilst working remotely.

What are your distractions?

The thing that kills productivity the most is the distractions that you have around you. In the office, there are few distractions, but when working from home, everyday life has a way of taking your attention away from work.

Some common distractions include:

  • House or flatmates
  • Family, friends and pets
  • Housework
  • Personal emails, instant messages, phone calls or texts
  • Social media
  • Television, radio or games consoles

Some people have the willpower to work through distractions, but if you know that you will get distracted from your work, remove the distraction from your workspace.

Our 10 tips for boosting productivity

To be productive whilst working remotely, you will need to give yourself the best chance of staying focussed and efficient in your work. Take a look at our tips to help boost your productivity.

1. Have a designated workspace

The novelty of working from the sofa or in bed can seem like a great opportunity, but your productivity could suffer if you get too comfortable.

Find a space that you can use as a designated workspace so that when you start work, you are mentally and physically entering your workplace.

2. Dress for work

Wearing comfortable clothes can, again, be more appealing, but put you in a more relaxed mindset where you won’t have maximum focus.

You don’t have to get into a full suit, but just putting on regular work attire can help keep you in a routine, helping you to be more productive.

3.  Have a working schedule

Plan your day, including times to take both a 15-minute break and a lunch break. Having this kind of structure to your day will allow you to prioritise tasks.

Having a schedule will make you accountable to yourself, your manager and your team.

4. Set yourself deadlines

Deadlines are important to give you something to focus on. If you have been given a deadline, put this date in your diary so that you know the timescales that you are working to.

If you don’t have someone to set deadlines, set your own.  Setting a deadline gives you a challenge that can help you focus.

5. One task at a time

Working on too many tasks at one time can create a lack of focus and structure, and you will start to get into time-wasting habits.

Not multitasking will help you to keep your mind on the most important jobs.

6. Manage interruptions

Interruptions will usually come from other people, such as a housemates and children, or your pets.

Set boundaries with people that you share a house with so that they know not to interrupt you when you are working.

With children, keep them occupied with activities and tasks. Give attention to pets during your breaks, and they will soon learn that there is a time for attention and a time that they leave you alone.

7. Don’t do housework during work hours

If the dishes are building up and the clothes basket is filling, it can be tempting to take some time to sort them out.

Save doing these jobs for before or after work hours so that you aren’t distracted from doing your work.

8. Look after yourself

Looking after your mental health is vital when keeping productivity to the maximum. Getting enough sleep and eating the right food is a great start when it comes to looking after your mental health.

Keep your bedtime and waking up time the same as they would be on a normal working day to make sure that you are getting the right amount of sleep. Waking up at the usual time will mean there is plenty of time before work, which you may have used to commute, to make yourself a good breakfast that will set you up for the day.

9. Keep work and personal time separate

Have a clear separation between work and your personal life will help you with a schedule and may help to prevent burnout.

If possible, keep your workspace away from areas that you would normally use to relax, as this muddies the separation of personal time and work time.

Don’t forget to take annual leave, even if COVID-19 has restricted you to stay at home. A day or week not thinking about work helps to relax you and prevent burnout.

10. Keep track of your work

Ever had the feeling where you’ve done a full day of work but can’t remember what you’ve done? Avoid feeling like this by keeping a record of what you have been doing. This can be a simple note that you can leave on your desk or an item in your Outlook calendar.

Doing this will help you keep track of your work, but also help during the times when you are feeling a lack of motivation or not as productive as usual, and find ways that work around those low periods.

If working remotely isn’t for you

There is no doubt about it; working from home can be difficult. Because of COVID-19, people may be feeling isolated or trapped, and piling work pressures on top of that can be too much for some people.

If you are finding working remotely is burning you out, making you stressed or there are too many distractions, speak to people in your team to see if there are alternative options available.

Business insurance with Premierline

It’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built.

Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to make sure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.

To help you and your business during these unprecedented circumstances, Premierline has taken steps to ensure that we can continue to offer our award-winning service.

Source: Zywave Inc. – Live Well, Work Well – 10 Tips to Maximise Productivity While Working Remotely

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The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.