October 8, 2021

5 Tips to Work-From-Home Like A Pro

Woman at desk writing in notebook

As the employment landscape continues to evolve, one thing has become a new constant: remote and hybrid work models are now permanent fixtures of the work environment.  By now, many employees have developed schedules and strategies that allow them to meet their productivity goals while finding balance with their personal lives.  However, habits can creep in that detract from the quality of our time, both on and off the job.  Here are 5 tips to help you make WFH work for you.  

1. Avoid Trying to Multitask

No doubt you are already well aware that multitasking makes you less productive.  When we continually switch back and forth between tasks, it actually takes longer for us to complete our work than if we had executed the tasks sequentially.  The longer it takes to complete our deadlines, the more our work day creeps into our off hours.  While we are all guilty of having too many tabs open, you can help reduce your chances of multitasking if you set your phone aside while working on your computer.  In one survey, it was found that Americans check their phone every 5.5 minutes!  When you need to focus on one specific task, put your phone away in order to focus your attention on that project.  You'll be more productive if you do.

2. Be Productive During Your Biological Prime Time

Everyone has different biological prime times. Some people are most productive early in the morning, while others are more focused after lunch. The best time to perform work that requires creativity and critical thinking will depend on your internal body clock. You can find out what your body clock is by asking yourself if you feel refreshed around the same time every day. If you do, this is likely your internal clock.  If you don't, try out different times to see what works best for you during the day.

Remember to try to go to sleep and walk up at the same time every day.  A consistent sleep schedule helps regulate our circadian rhythm and can help improve productivity and our overall well being.

3. Take Breaks During the Day

Give your mind a break now and then. Studies have shown that if we take a short break for every 52 minutes of work, we can improve our performance significantly. So try to schedule small breaks after you've been working uninterrupted for about an hour.  

How you spend your break time is important, too.  This is the opportunity to get up and move.  A sedentary lifestyle is associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes, making regular movement breaks an important component of overall well being.  What’s more, one of the barriers to taking physically active breaks in the office - feeling awkward and embarrassed exercising in front of colleagues - no longer applies.

4. Fuel for Success

Office life has the reputation of being a contributing factor to poorer eating habits.  A coffee and muffin as you scramble to get out the door, store bought lunches with higher salt and sugar content, and the office treats that inevitably make their way through the door and onto your desk.  Work-from-home should change all that.  Yet, with our workday now unfolding within close proximity to our refrigerator, the stress of a global pandemic, and the need to stay focussed all day while working alone, healthy eating is far from guaranteed.  Take the time to fuel your brain and body for success.  

5. Set a Schedule and Establish Boundaries

One of the biggest barriers to remote work productivity is a lack of structure.  Establish a consistent start time, schedule in lunchtime and  breaks, and set an end point for your work day.  Knowledge workers have put in an average of two additional hours each day during the pandemic.  However, without taking the time necessary to rest and recharge, we risk negatively impacting the quality of our work.  

Remote workers often feel as though they exist in a silo.  It is important for managers to connect with their remote teams and share company communication policies, including when meetings can be scheduled and evening/weekend messaging.  

Organizations can further support both their remote employees and those working onsite with a wellness platform that connects employees with one another through a centralized hub and empowers employees to build lasting healthy habits.  

To find out more about how Sprout At Work can support your employees and help improve company wellness at your organization, book a discovery call today.

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