Whether you’re employed by an organisation, or you run a business from your kitchen, working from home is a pretty sweet deal.
Well, it is if you don’t mind a little isolation and the sight of the same four walls day after day.
Working from home suits me, but it isn’t for everyone.
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One of the biggest bones of contentions when working from home is motivation, or more accurately, staying motivated.
According to a recent study based on 255 participants, those who worked from home had significantly higher performance than before, with a productivity increase of 13%.
But, staying motivated isn’t always easy. If you’re working from home today and struggling to stay focused (you shouldn’t be reading this), here are a few tips that might help…
Feed yourself with distractions before starting work
I’m usually up with my son at around 5.30am. It’s an unholy time to get up, and most mornings my eyes look like a saggy chicken’s neck.
After I’ve fed my son and got him sorted for the day, my wife takes over for half an hour while I get myself ready to take Sid over to his nursery.
When I get back, I sit down in the lounge, read for a short while then watch an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond I’ve seen a hundred times and check my phone. Next, I prance around the house aimlessly for a while. Then, I start work.
By watching TV, reading, and burning some energy before getting on with my day, I find I eliminate the need to switch on the box, play with my smartphone or start messing around with various gadgets in my home, as a result, creating a distraction free working environment.
Also, a full stomach reduces random trips to the kitchen. Try these brain foods out for size and make sure you’re firing on all cylinders from the get-go.
Music is your friend
Working at home in silence makes you feel like you’re working in the bowels of a morgue.
Studies suggest listening to music in the workplace boosts productivity. I reckon they’re onto something.
When I start work I listen to BBC Radio 2 for a while, then switch up a few gears to Planet Rock, and near the end of the day, scootch on over to YouTube to stream an album I like.
Music or the radio may sometimes serve as a distraction but on the whole, they will help you stay motivated throughout the day. One of my favourite album’s to punch words to is Appetite for Destruction – although I do sometimes end up playing air guitar to ‘Night Train’ like a drunken baboon – sorry for the mental image.
Take a break
For some reason, taking a break or chatting endless amounts rubbish in the staff kitchen comes more naturally in the office, but even so, you should take regular breaks when working from home.
Working solid serves to decrease my motivation, making my work suffer. During the day, I make sure I get some fresh air by taking a walk, have a chinwag with someone over the phone, watch a cheeky episode of Peep Show at lunch, or go upstairs and irritate my wife while she’s trying to work – my favourite activity of the lot.
The point is: take a break and do something you enjoy or just relax. It will help you stay motivated.
I hope these working from home tips help you stay motivated and if not, I apologise for wasting your time. Now get back to work.