The introduction of flexible working in the UK has been the paradigm shift of the decade, as the UK’s working population increasingly take up remote – or hybrid – working agreements. However, remote working presents its own unique issues for all its benefits – motivation being chief among them. Here we will discuss ways to manage your workload and yourself while working from home, including ways to mitigate the inevitable creep of work into your home life.
Attention drift is a real issue when working from home, especially if you are new to the practice. Without the immediate motivation of teammates in the same physical space, it is easy to become distracted or even unmotivated. Time management is a key way to reintroduce a sense of urgency to your day. One popular method is the Pomodoro technique, whereby work is carried out in timed 25-minute chunks. The ticking clock focuses your mind, with the rule that you are not allowed to break from your work until the time is up – and that you aren’t allowed to work again until you reset the timer.
Planning for Downtime
It is also extremely common to encounter the pitfall of overwork, especially if you’ve been struggling to carry out work efficiently prior to managing your time. As the lines blur between office hours and personal time, not to mention the physical boundaries between your working space and your leisure space, it can become increasingly tempting to keep your email inbox open after office hours. Doing this can profoundly negatively affect your overall productivity, even if you’re working with the best intentions in mind.
To this end, any time management measures you introduce need to prioritize your downtime. Make sure to engage in entertaining activities – you might make time for an active hobby or unwind by playing your favorite console games. Alternatively, mobile games and slot games are equally entertaining but are played in short bursts, which could be a more appropriate option for people with busy schedules. You could transport yourself to another place with slots like Siberian Storm or Rainbow Riches.
Or getting out in the fresh air, even a brief walk and stretch around the garden, or up and down your road, can give you pause from your workload. This is a great way to clear your head in a healthy, productive way and manage your motivation while working from home.
Investing in Your Work Environment
Working at the kitchen table with an impromptu laptop set-up may be perfectly adequate for short-term stints, but as you prepare for long-term home-working, you might want to find a more ergonomic home office space. As such, designating a room or zone for working and investing in a desk and high-quality desk chair can dramatically improve your situation.
Further investment in home office equipment, such as storage, lighting, and stationery, in building a functional workstation can also improve your workflow considerably. Many businesses will cover the costs of setting up a viable home office as a business expense. If you’re a freelancer, anything purchased to aid your work can be written off as a personal expense, helping to bring down your self-assessment tax bill at the end of the financial year.
While working from home can present initial hiccups in managing your workload and downtime, the practice can ultimately be overwhelmingly positive for your productivity and work/life balance. All that is required is a little care and attention to how you work.
Featured Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels