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Love it or hate it, working from home has been a huge part of the last 10 months. How do you stay productive and motivated working from home? Here are some top ten tips from The Unite Group.

1. Start the day as you mean to go on!

Very few people can say they are productive in their pyjamas! So, get up, shower and dress as if you are leaving the house to go to work. It will put you in the correct working mindset for the rest of the day.

2. Stick to a routine.

Create a new routine. Set goals, be consistent and make sure that you factor in time for your lunch break. Goal setting helps to create control over your workday and gives success points to work towards. By having a set routine for the workday will ensure that you are in control of your work/life balance.

3. Have a designated workspace.

Not everyone has the luxury of an office space for working from home. But having a designated area for work during the day can make it easier to separate your working life from your home life. Keep your workspace tidy and organised, an organised and tidy workspace prevents distractions. Does your designated workspace have adequate WIFI access? Nothing disrupts your productivity more than a poor WIFI connection.

4. Avoid Multitasking.

While multitasking is a great skill to have, it can be detrimental to your productivity. All too often, multitaskers have lots of tasks and projects going on at the same time but find progress is slower. Block out time for each project or task to ensure each one gets the same attention.

5. Human Interaction.

Keeping in contact with your colleagues and team by having weekly meetings and catch ups can keep the human element in your working week. Not only does it reduce the feeling of isolation often felt from people who are working from home, but ensures that you can still use your work colleagues in the same way as you would in the office to bounce ideas off and work collaboratively.

6. Use technology to your advantage.

The advancements of technology in recent years has made working from home a lot easier. Tools such as Microsoft Teams where meetings can be held remotely with full functionality such as chats, video, screen sharing and file sharing can make collaborative working in a remote environment not only interactive but productive. With Microsoft Teams, groups of people in your business can be assigned into different teams and have their own channels of communication too. Microsoft’s SharePoint feature can remove the need for your staff to have to dial in to an onsite server. Files are stored remotely on the cloud and can be accessed by the authorised members of staff from anywhere.

7. Be active.

Challenge yourself to be active every day. Use your lunch break to go for a walk and get some fresh air or use the end of the workday to take a walk to reset your brain from work mode to home life mode. Its easy to go from bed – work – sofa – bed but this is detrimental to your mental wellbeing and physical health. Why not challenge your team or family to a steps competition to see how many steps they take over a week. You could use technology such as Fitbits or Apple Watch competitions to keep a track of everyone’s progress.

8. Plan your work week.

Make the first task of the week to plan the week ahead. Set aside time for each task that needs to be completed over the course of the week and factor in time for your lunch break. With Microsoft Teams you can integrate Trello boards to list the tasks needed. Trello promotes collaborative working too since you can assign tasks on the boards to other team members. Try to not work with back to back meetings and plan time aside to check and respond to emails rather than working your emails on a reactive basis. With Microsoft 365, a daily briefing email is sent from Cortana, this email gives tips on planning your day productively, factoring in break times and also reminders on Commitments you may have to follow up on.

9. Separate personal life from work life.

Its easy to sit at your workspace and think to yourself ‘I should put on a wash load’ or ‘I could really do with running a hoover over the carpet’. Procrastination at its finest. If you were leaving the house to work, you would not be able to do these things so in order to separate work from home, don’t be tempted to do household tasks in working times.

10. Finish work on time.

If your working day finishes at 5pm, make sure that you finish work at 5pm. Don’t be tempted to go back to your workspace to just finish one little thing at 8pm. You wouldn’t be able to do that if you were working in an office. Make a note and make it the first priority of your next working day.

Working from home does not need to cause a headache for your business or your colleagues. To discuss ways in which The Unite Group can make your remote working experience more seamless, please get in touch with us and book a consultation call.