If you are reading this, chances are you’re part of the ‘work from home’ crowd. From the COVID-19 work restrictions to remote working positions, your home is fast becoming your new office!
But did you know that for many of us, we are actually putting in more hours when we are telecommuting from home and handling our workload from the comfort of our very own home space?
In fact, working from home can seem like a challenge and stressful for some of us due to the social isolation and lack of communication and access to our managers.
But let’s look on the bright side – working from home is actually a blessing if we can proactively take steps to manage it.
The Benefits Of Working From Home Are Clear!
While it is obvious that working from home allows you to save on time physically commuting to work and all those dreadful minutes spent queuing up for lunch, there are actually a whole host of personal benefits you can enjoy.
- Savings on transport, food and entertainment cost
- A better work-life balance (especially if you have a family and children to look after)
- Location independence (you can work literally anywhere with internet)
- A positive impact on the environment and sustainability
- A chance to really customize your workspace
Sure, all these benefits sound great, but the biggest drawback of working from home is the big P-word – Productivity.
Work freedom sounds enticing, but as an employee and part of a team, you are responsible for hitting your deliverables and deadlines.
From communication and collaboration issues with colleagues to have the trouble to motivate ourselves, these could make working from home quite a challenge.
Thankfully, all these are within our control and in this guide, we’ll help you to level-up your productivity game when working from home!
iSwitch’s 12-Step Guide To Making Each WFH Day A Winning & Productive Success!
1. Get Your Morning Routine Down
One of the biggest perks when it comes to working from home is never needing to drive or take a train to the office.
However, that routine, while rather boring (we know), has to be replaced so that you still get a sense of preparation and beginning to your day.
So develop a meaningful morning routine that will help you set a good tone for the rest of the day.
Here’s a great routine you can try out:
- Wake up early
- Do 15 minutes of light exercise such as yoga stretching or a walk around the block
- Take a shower
- Eat breakfast
- Get dressed & start work
2. Invest & Build Yourself A Quality Workspace
You need to be comfortable and well-resourced where you work and that means building a quality workspace for yourself.
Firstly, identify a spot in your house such as an empty bedroom that you can convert into a study room or home office. Ensure that not only is it well ventilated with windows that allow in natural light, it is in a place that is quiet and conducive for you to concentrate.
Secondly, look to invest in quality furniture that will allow you to do your job easily and comfortably daily.
Take note of the key aspects of a successful home office that include:
- Desk organization
- Type of lightings
- Essential tech (such as laptops, printers, desktops and webcams)
Ready to furnish your home office? Here is our list of sustainable & eco-friendly furniture in Singapore that will help get you started!
3. Schedule Out Your Entire Day
You’ve probably heard of this a thousand times – but this is so true and the key to keeping you productive when you’re working from home!
Scheduling out your entire day, whether it is through your online or physical calendar, will allow you to identify when you would be tackling a task and when it should be finished by.
The last thing you would want is an important assignment to clash with a meeting with your boss (when it is yet to be completed and submitted!)
Schedule everything significant into your calendar like appointment times, routine work tasks, collaboration meetings and even personal activities such as doctor appointments to ensure your day runs smoothly.
What’s better is if you manage to crush your goals early, you can always use empty blocks of time to sneak a quick nap or coffee at the cafe downstairs!
4. Discover Your Most Productive Hours & Double Down
Each one of us is different when it comes to how we concentrate and the time of the day that we work best.
When we discover the “zone” or our most productive hours, time will seem to fly past and we are totally absorbed in our work. And before you know it, it’s done and you still feel energised!
So how do you find your most productive hours?
Simply treat yourself like a scientific lab experiment!
Work in 1 to 2-hour intervals each day and track at which times you feel extra energised to do your best work and at which times you seem to struggle.
You’ll then want to handle the toughest tasks and responsibilities during the time when you are the most productive!
5. Craft Out Your To-Do List & Accomplish Those KPIs & Deadlines
While you won’t have a boss standing next to you breathing down your neck to get things done, you still have to be responsible for hitting your deadlines and accomplishing your deliverables.
A good way to start your day after your routine is to look through your set of priorities, projects and tasks that you need to accomplish.
Unless the deadlines are urgent (which you then should focus on them), write down no more than 3 big tasks to finish or at least work on and stick to it.
This will be your to-do list.
In addition, carve out time in your day’s schedule to focus on it – no checking of your social media, chatting apps or inbox!
Once it’s done, cross it off the list and give yourself a mini-reward like a piece of chocolate for a job well done. Trust us, it’ll keep your motivation levels up!
Is your work more complex than the average employee? Here’s a selection of task management apps that’ll help create a solid to-do list for you.
6. Dress For A Sharp Mind (Not For Too Much Comfort)
In the office, we all dress professionally and to impress – but what about when it comes to working from home?
While it is tempting to work in your pyjamas or just a random shirt plus shorts and keep things super casual – that might be affecting your productivity negatively more than you think!
Dressing appropriately and sharply allows you to gain confidence and feel better – which is especially important when you are in a front-line facing position such as sales, where you need to interact with customers.
In addition, dressing sharply allows you to signal to yourself that you are in ‘work mode’ making you more productive and purposeful in your activities.
So how should you dress?
Simple, just take it one level down (more casual) than what you normally wear to work.
If you normally wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, just throw on a polo t-shirt and jeans and get cracking – you never know when that sudden video conference meeting might happen!
7. Minimize Your Distractions From Your Family & Social Media
Have children or a spouse at home?
It can be tempting to check on them from time to time or have them pop-up to your room, but the distraction it makes will affect your concentration and productivity.
One great way to prevent this is to set clear boundaries and timings when you will be working and shouldn’t be interrupted. This is especially important when you are having meetings with your team and your clients.
Additionally, social media can be a great distraction and a rabbit hole where you might get sucked in by all the entertainment.
Make it a point to log out and close any apps such as Facebook and Instagram and dedicate your concentration to your work and the task at hand.
8. Use Video Chat & Collaboration Apps To Stay In Touch With Your Team
One of the major drawbacks of working from home is not being able to physically interact with your colleagues and team members to quickly make a comment or ask a question.
Thankfully, with today’s video chats and collaboration apps, you’ll be able to stay in touch and quickly enter conversations with your colleagues and clients as well.
Emails can feel very detached and sometimes, all it takes is a face to face conversation to push projects along faster!
9. Eat Healthy Everyday
Haven’t cooked much at home before? Now it’s time to learn how to regularly make healthy meals instead of ordering from those food apps!
While it can get really tempting to snack on chocolate chip cookies or potato chips, it’s key to ensure you are maintaining a good diet – in fact, eating healthy can boost your concentration and productivity levels.
Not only will preparing your food allow you to control how healthy it is, but you’ll also save precious time queuing up for takeaways or spend extra cash for those deliveries!
From eating apples to cooking more vegetables and drinking lots of water, here’s a quick guide on how to eat more healthily while working from home.
10. Schedule-In Short Breaks To Recharge
Keeping focused while doing your work can be good, however, sometimes you might just be working for too long of a stretch which could in fact sink your overall productivity.
While you might feel extra motivated to get your work done in the comfort of your home, you need to strike a balance so that you keep yourself happy and motivated for the long run.
You need to take short breaks while working from home!
Try this instead:
- Take at least half an hour for your breakfast and lunch breaks
- Do take 15 minutes of break for every two hours you have worked
- During break-time, focus on yourself and relax. Don’t think about work
11. Remember To Exercise Regularly
Staying at home means no longer will you need to travel to work, but that means there is less opportunity for you to work out.
Regular exercise releases endorphins into your body, making you feel happier, more energized and much more ready to take on the challenges of the day.
Pro-tip: Have a great start of the day by going for an early morning jog around your estate or neighbourhood. It’ll be less taxing versus working out in the evening and the benefits will last throughout the day!
12. End Your Work On Time (Don’t Let It Creep Into Your Home Life)
One of the biggest hidden risks of working from home is allowing our work schedules to cross into our personal life.
Thankfully, this can be prevented to a large degree by setting a routine and nailing down your to-do lists.
Remember to set a cut-off time (unless you have a really urgent project to deliver), and spend time with your family, hobbies and friends.
Having a social life and time to yourself will also improve your work performance in the long run and prevent burnout.
3 Ways To Maximise Your Time At Home Further
While working from home does bring with it some challenges, it does bring with it some personal benefits that everyone should capitalise on!
1. Start Or Experiment With A Side Hustle
Have a talent that you want to share with the world (while making some extra money on the side?)
Here’s a handy guide to the best side hustles you can experiment with in the early mornings or evenings.
2. Brain-Storm On That Business idea You Always Wanted To Embark On
Always wanted to be your own boss? You’ll need lots of preparation work to validate your idea and get your ducks in a row.
Check out our guide to starting your own business in Singapore!
3. Spend Your Break-Time and Extra Time Saved To Upgrade Your Skills
Looking to pick up a new musical instrument or learning how to take professional photographs?
It’s time to take those precious hours saved from commuting and learn a skill that will help you in the future!
Still Working In The Office? Here Are Some Work From Home Jobs To Consider!
If you are still working from the office or would like a career shift to a role where you can work from home, have no fear, there are many jobs that allow you to make money from your home.
Check out our guide to the best legit ways you can make money online from the comfort of your home.
Save Even More Money While Working From Home
Sure, working from home means that you get extra hours in the day to be more productive or explore more hobbies of your own.
But spending all of your working hours at home means you’ll be utilizing even more electricity throughout the day and you’ll be paying the bill, not your company!
From your home aircon to your work office lightings, your electricity usage will increase and if you are still buying electricity from SP Services, you’ll likely be paying more.
Thankfully, with iSwitch, you’ll be able to save on your monthly electric bills with our price plans and put those saved dollars away for a rainy day.
So brighten up your WFH experience with guaranteed savings you can enjoy!