Do you work from home or anywhere else in the world? Finally you don't have to go to the office anymore or you are self-employed, but productivity and efficiency still leave a lot to be desired? Then learn valuable tips and methods to get more out of your working time in the home office.
Basically: Satisfaction and productivity can increase in a home office.
At the latest since the Corona pandemic, working in a home or mobile office has become trendy. In many areas of the working world, working in an office or at a fixed location is no longer absolutely necessary.
What do you associate with the term home office? Many employees associate it with time autonomy and a better work-life balance. However, flexible working hours also have their challenges. When does work end? Where does private life begin? In the old economy, it was still easy to answer this question.
10 tips and methods for better work
We'll help you be more efficient and productive with our tips and methods. Less stress, just get more done.
1. work at a fixed workplace
Work sometimes at the kitchen table, sometimes at the café and maybe even sometimes at the beach. Initial ideas of a home office are often quickly caught up with reality. At the kitchen table the dishwasher is distracting, which urgently needs to be cleaned out, in the café the table becomes uncomfortable after 2 hours and the child at the next table interrupts the concentration.
Create a tidy workplace for yourself, a place where you mainly go to work. Be it your own office room at home, the co-working space in Zurich or the open space in Palma. This way you signal to your brain again and again that work is being done there.
2. create work routines and times for yourself
Want to start working sometime in the morning? Be disciplined and start working at the same time every day. Just as important as the start time is the end time, try to end your working day at the same time. This way you can better separate your private and professional life and reduce your stress.
These times can also be incorporated into a work routine. Depending on your job, e.g. as a self-employed person, you don't have to work the whole day at a certain time. This is where work routines and even split hours are worthwhile. Every day, 7 days a week, work from 6am to 10am and 7pm to 10pm - why not? The key is to stick to these routines in a disciplined way.
3. plan targeted breaks
If necessary, adopt break times from the office and apply them at home. Otherwise, it is best to plan your own fixed breaks. It is important to schedule specific breaks instead of taking breaks anytime. Without fixed break times, we are sometimes tempted to pursue spontaneous distractions and take longer breaks than planned.
4 Communicate Smart
In the digital world of work, there are many ways to communicate. Be mindful of others' concentration when communicating. Sometimes it's better to send an email than make a phone call. Manage your emails smart - Emails are a killer of your concentration. Avoid checking them multiple times a day if possible. Other ways of communicating can also be very distracting. It's ok to be unavailable sometimes, on the other hand, office communication is also very important, especially when you're not on site. Learn to communicate smart.
5. set goals and have a to-do list
What do you have to do today? Focus on your tasks for the day, especially in a home office an important realization. Unpleasant tasks should always be done first and routine tasks should always be done at the end. "Eat the frog first", in the morning with higher self discipline the hard tasks should be done. A to-do list will help you keep track throughout the day.
6. switch off sources of disturbance
Avoid distractions from the household and any input you don't need. The more distractions you cut out, the more focused and effective you can be. Depending on your job, it may be worth putting your mobile phone on silent. This should also be communicated with the supervisor, because if the employee works significantly more effectively and generates more output, it is worth it for everyone involved.
7. dress in your work routine
Working in your pajamas or in bed? Clothes can help get into a work mode. Try it out for yourself: Dress in the morning as if you were going to work appropriately. Many people find it easier to concentrate and be more productive this way.
8. use the Deep Work method
On our blog, we introduced the Deep Work method. Deep Work is a way to multiply effectiveness and productivity in a concentrated way. Use the Deep Work Method to get into the Deep Work state during your workday. You can find our article on it here.
9. separate work from private life with a work laptop
Some people use their personal laptop for work even though a work laptop is provided. If possible, always use a provided work laptop, so you can better separate work life and private life. Stress from work should not be taken home and personal life should not be prominent in work. At least if you want to minimize stress, you should take these tips to heart.
10. keep in touch with colleagues and friends
Even, and especially, if you schedule communication-free periods into your workday, it's important to continue to keep in touch with colleagues, clients, and friends. This is where various remote working avenues come in handy. For example, you can spend a lunch break together at regular intervals or write or talk on the phone briefly before work. Those who sit in the home office should not suffer from loneliness!
There is scepticism about the home office among many employers
Many employers are reluctant to move their employees to the home office. Worries about the lack of contact with the employee and in the team prevail. Also common is the concern that employees will not perform their duties properly. Lack of accessibility and lack of contact with the rest of the team are the omens of an impending loss of control for many supervisors.
Fortunately, there are many scientific studies that prove the advantages of working from home.
Advantages and disadvantages at a glance
Here we have listed the most common advantages and disadvantages of working from home:
- Lack of separation between work and personal life
- Possible loneliness
- Lack of discipline and motivation
- Longer communication channels
- Lower career ambitions
- Time savings due to lack of travel distance
- Higher productivity due to undisturbed work
- Flexible working hours in everyday life
- Working according to personal biorhythms
- Environmental protection and saving office costs
Even if the will is there, sometimes structural problems and challenges stand in the way. Inadequate infrastructure such as slow upload or slow internet in general can kill productivity in any home office. Lack of space and lack of office furniture are also among the structural challenges.
With these structural challenges, stay in the office if possible. Alternatively, if there is no office, co-working spaces are also a good option as a mobile office. There, one can work for a small fee and have a professional work environment at their disposal. Working in cafes or on the beach is better avoided for gainful employment as an employee, in both places you can rarely find an environment where you can work in a concentrated way.
Two days of home office per week?
Home office loneliness can become a real problem for workers. So-called "productive loneliness" also makes some workers want to return to the office. The lack of contact with work colleagues is a driver of traditional work. Often, when you're in a home office, you get less recognition for your work from your superiors. This is where going back to the office or switching employers pays off.
For many workers, the two-day home office week might be the ideal middle ground. This weekly time has also been identified by several studies as the ideal home office time.
Conclusion - Off to the new world of work
With our 10 tips and methods you can overcome the disadvantages of the home office and start positively into the new working world.