How to be productive when working from home

Whether it’s full time or just a few days a week, millions of us around the UK are working from home in some way. But with distractions such as the TV, noisy kids outside or even the view of dirty dishes whilst you’re working from the kitchen table, it can be hard to stay focused during business hours.

Make your WFH days more productive by implementing six simple habits into your workday.

1. Keep your tasks and space organised

Person writing in their diary

Your day will be much easier to tackle if you prioritise your tasks based on urgency. The 1-3-5 list hack will increase your productivity by 90%, according to Bright Side! Here’s what to put on your list:

  • One big task: it’s best to start with the biggest task – it builds the momentum to tackle the rest of the day.
  • Three medium tasks: these are tasks of medium importance. 
  • Five small tasks: such as admin work or daily commitments.

Clear your home office or workspace

Office with desk and document storage

A cluttered workspace is a big distraction. Not only does it take longer to find things, but it’s also discouraging to look at. Cheap and cheerful storage such as a cable organiser, folders for documents and floating shelves add extra space to your office whilst keeping your important documents safe.

Once you’ve got your ducks in a row, deep clean your space to create a fresh and healthy working environment. There’s regular, one-off and deep cleaning on offer – find out which one’s best for you in our guide to deep cleaning for your home or office.

2. Take a 5-minute break every hour

Woman relaxing in her garden

Ever find that you’re too busy to take a break? If you want to perform at your best, then taking a brief step away from your desk is essential. It’s a chance to see the bigger picture. Plus, breaks are proven to help you process and retain information, according to CIPHR.

The Health & Safety Executive recommends taking short, frequent breaks over occasional long breaks.

Sitting on a bench in your garden is a great way to take a quick breather. It’s easy to create your very own outdoor break area, as long as you have the right garden furniture.

3. Remember office ergonomics

Woman using standing desk

Being at your desk for hours upon hours every day can cause your neck, back, wrists and fingers to get sore. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid these problems with some simple adjustments.

A standing desk is a good way to reduce the back and neck pain associated with sitting down all day. An NHS study found that adjustable desks, which allow you to work standing up as well as sitting down, could improve job performance, as well as reduce sickness at work and anxiety.

Ergonomic office furniture doesn’t have to be ugly! Check out some of our favourite office furniture that’s not just for the office.

4. Block outside distractions

Woman with laptop, cringing from outside noise

From dogs barking to construction work, background noise is one of the biggest distractions when you’re working from home.

Install double or triple glazing to significantly reduce outside noise. It helps by absorbing sound before it enters your home. A window fitter can advise you on whether double or triple glazing – or a combination of both – is best for your home and budget.

5. Use inspiring colours

Lime green working from home office space

Colour has a big impact on your productivity. Get creative with the shade of paint that you pick for your home office, and you’ll create the perfect environment for your needs.

Bold reds, oranges and yellows can provide energy – but our favourite at Rated People is an vibrant green. Find out why in our tips for designing your home office.

Leafy green plants are a budget-friendly way to add a splash of colour to your workspace. The Royal Horticultural Society says that plants improve productivity, attention span and speed on the computer too, which is a plus!

6. Get 6 to 9 hours of sleep

Bright and airy bedroom with plants and candles

Switching off after a busy day at work is difficult enough – even more so when you’re working from home. One of the best solutions for stress is a good night’s sleep. Plus, it’ll set you up to start the next day right!

The NHS says that most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Increase your chances of hitting that goal by creating the perfect sleep environment.

Want to create a whole new home office? A house extension will provide you with the extra space that you need.

If you’d prefer to improve your workspace with new features and furniture instead, then a handyman can help you with everything from putting flat pack furniture together to completing small paint jobs. Find a vetted handyman near you by posting your job on Rated People.

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