Working from home: how to stay productive

Romy Les Choses
Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli in Les chose de la View, 1970. PHOTOGRAPHY IMDB.

Remote working is a divisive topic. People either love it or hate it. 

For some, working from home allows for a quiet, distraction-free environment where you can  perform at your own pace. 

For others, working from home is very far from distraction free. A setting filled with family diversions and the niggling sight of a full laundry basket.

Since COVID-19, working from home is no longer a choice for some. With the Australian government encouraging self-isolation, many companies have sent their workforce home with a laptop in hand.

If you’ve never experienced remote working, this of course can be a challenging transition. How can you work from home and still be efficient and effective? Working from home is something that is habitual for our team - a reality of digital life. So, we’re sharing our tips to cultivate a happy and productive environment.

Define a work space

One of the key barriers to working-from-home-success is not having a work space. While not everyone is going to have the privilege of a dedicated home office, it’s important to still carve out an area for “work”. You can use any desk or your dining table. Ensure you have access to a power outlet, to plug in when you need to. Make sure you have a comfortable chair - your lounge does not count. Have a coaster, a bottle of water and your headphones on hand - anything you can do to make this space feel like a place of work.

Don’t keep household chores in your line of sight

It can be tempting to abandon your work in favour of household pursuits - especially if you can see them. The best way to avoid the temptation to fold clothes and change your sheets while you’re on the clock? Keep these tasks out of sight. Rid your workspace of anything that will remind you of your household chores.

Ask your family to respect your need to work

Many of us live with children, partners, brothers and sisters. And lively homes full of family is the cause for many distractions. Talk to your family, explain that the day is still a workday for you. Ask them to respect your workspace and to leave you be - until the end of your work day that is.

Break for lunch

Just like you would if you were at the office, you should take a break for lunch. Go for a walk, get away from your computer, stretch your legs. Part of staying productive is keeping to a routine, and this includes taking breaks and giving your eyes a rest from screen time. Making the time to break will help you feel more energetic when you get back to your desk.

Keep to your morning rituals

Maintaining your routine and keeping your morning rituals is important - this means showering and getting dressed as you normally would. Feeling fresh and ready to tackle the day ahead, will help you stay on task. But rolling out of bed and straight to your laptop is a recipe for feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Treat your day from home as you would any other day, wake up at your normal time, have a coffee, shower and get dressed. It will improve your productivity and your mood.

If you're looking for more you can do to improve your period of self-isolation, read our RUSSH round-up on the best ways to kill time. You can also read about how to improve your immunity during isolation.

COVID-19 is significant and self-isolation is key. Stay informed with your health department’s latest recommendations and help out those in need wherever possible.