But even the best communication tools don't help with a lack of concentration and discipline. Disturbing factors such as background noise, family members and a lack of motivation due to an exclusively digital team spirit at home can also impair attention. That's why we'd like to help you with a few tips to make your work from your home desk just as productive as in the office.
1. The right workspace
A study with a desk or would you rather relax on the sofa? The familiar family atmosphere quickly tempts you to swap your desk for the comfortable couch. But, STOP! Don't succumb to temptation. Set up a place in your home that you use only for work. Having a clear separation between work and play encourages concentration and makes for more productive work. This can be an extra study, or just a desk in a quiet room, like perhaps your own bedroom. The only important thing is that they can work in this place undisturbed and without interruptions from family members or pets.
Also make sure that you have enough daylight at your workplace. As has already been scientifically proven, daylight makes you more productive, as the body absorbs more energy in the form of vitamin D. You can also make your desk more attractive by decorating it with plants. The more comfortable you feel in your work environment, the more productive you will be.
2. Dress as if you were at the office
Sweatpants instead of uncomfortable jeans or even suit pants? Those who work in a home office tend to go straight to work in sleepwear or comfortable sweatpants. As long as you don't have any video calls on your agenda for the day, this shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong, because clothing conveys a feeling. Therefore, we recommend that you dress for the home office just as you would for the office.
For many people, it helps if you adopt certain routines from your other workday when you're in the home office. This includes getting ready and dressed for work in the morning and changing into relaxed clothing in the evening. By changing clothes, you create a clear separation for your mind between work time and relaxation phases.
3. The right start to the day
As previously emphasized, it also helps to develop a certain daily routine in the home office so that your day can be used optimally and effectively. Your little morning ritual can include getting dressed and going to the bathroom, having your morning coffee, a small breakfast, or even reading the latest news. For an ideal start to the day, it's also a good idea to get your body moving a bit, such as with a yoga flow or a round of jogging in the early morning. This keeps the mind fresh and receptive.
4. Structure your day already in the morning
Do you manage to organize your day in a meaningful way? Use the first 15-20 minutes of your working time to plan and organize your working day sensibly. To do this, it is recommended that you first check your calendar for important appointments of the day to keep them in mind.
5. Schedule your focus times/ core working hours
To work effectively, it is important that you stay focused. However, this is often difficult, because in the home environment, just as in the office, you are surrounded by various sources of interference and distractions. In the home office, these can include not only family members but also calls from colleagues or incoming mails or messages. To avoid being constantly distracted by these, you should set focus times for yourself, during which you work on a specific task or project in a concentrated manner and without interruptions.
For concentration purposes, we recommend that you limit this to a period of 2h. The focus here is on using your productivity effectively. Therefore, turn off your phone and keep your mailbox closed during these times and focus solely on this one task.
6. Eliminate interfering influences
For a productive working atmosphere it is necessary that you reduce sources of disturbance to a minimum. Especially in the home office, distraction is one of the biggest challenges that you have to master. Various apps help you to make your workday more focused by setting up quiet times on your mobile device or temporarily blocking social networks. You can also protect yourself from digital time wasters by keeping your smartphone away from your desk during focus times or by using apps that help you focus.
Likewise, it helps to make clear arrangements with your family so that you are not constantly pulled out of your work. Of course, not all background noise can simply be turned off. However, noise-canceling headphones and the right playlist for concentrated work can help to block them out.
7. Breaks to increase productivity
Breaks at work are necessary for body and mind. In the usual office, going to the coffee machine, in meetings or to the desks of other colleagues provide regular breaks and a little exercise. At home, you're probably sitting at your desk with your laptop, surrounded by drinks and snacks, and everything you need for the next few hours of work. It's all too understandable that you quickly forget how important breaks are. So set yourself alarm clocks to remind you to get up and move around.
Our recommendation for effective work is to get up after one hour or a maximum of 1.5 hours of concentrated work and get a glass of water or a coffee. After a working time of 4 hours, we recommend a longer break, which you should use to get some fresh air and recharge your batteries for the remaining working time.
8. Communicate attendances & absences
Functioning communication is essential, especially in the home office. This includes greeting your colleagues in the team chat in the morning and saying goodbye to them in the evening. Even if you take a break or go into a longer meeting, you should inform your team colleagues with whom you work directly and your supervisor. This can often be easily communicated via the status message in the communication tool you use. This provides clarity about your availability.
We hope that our tips will help you to make your work in the home office even more effective and focused. If you're still struggling to create a productive work atmosphere on your own or need a little help structuring your day, there are several tools and apps that can help. We will introduce you to some of these applications in our next blog post.
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