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Working from home: How to avoid a productivity slump

by office kind

Working from home: How to avoid a productivity slump

With over a year spent under Covid-19 conditions, with lockdowns coming and going (and then coming and going again), our workplace has seen a dramatic change of culture, influencing how we work, where we work and when we work. Many office-based workers are still working from home, either part time or full time, and the effects of this new situation on our productivity and work-life balance have been stark to see. To help you on this journey to homeworker harmony, we’ve written this short guide containing tips and tricks to keep you productive and focused.

A Zoom a day keeps the brain fog away

Video conference software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have taken the world by storm, allowing teams and colleagues to emulate a face-to-face discussion from the comfort of their study, living room or bedroom – just make sure you’re out of your pyjamas if you’re using a camera! Having a daily conference with your staff or team is great because it allows for an agenda to be set, outline any key focuses for the group and for junior members to ask for guidance on specific things. These calls can also work well at the end of the day as a way of winding down the workday – offering a space for people to debrief and have some social chatter that they would otherwise miss when working in the office. You can even include furloughed staff in on this call as a way of keeping them in the loop, providing them with business updates and putting them at ease whilst they are out of action.

Homeworker blues

Perhaps the biggest pitfall working from home has on people is the sudden and unavoidable mix of home and work life. This can have adverse effects on concentration, with home chores and responsibilities interrupting the workday, background sounds like pets or children disrupting your focus, and temptations such as gadgets being more ever present. Furthermore, there have been case studies showing a profound psychological effect on some home workers, particularly more extraverted people and people living alone, where a lack of socialisation can severely impact one’s mental health.

To try and accommodate to this new working environment, encourage members of staff to talk with and set clear boundaries with their families, or to reduce noise at certain parts of the day. You should also encourage them to take breaks away from the room they work in, for example, to sit in the garden during lunch so that there is still that physical distance between their work environment and personal environment. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to take a break from your home office, check out this article here

Finally, you should always ask how they are doing, like you would at the office, as due to distance-working it becomes harder to spot when someone is in a bad mood or otherwise occupied with mental worries. Finally you should make sure that staff working from home have all of the equipment they need to work effectively, this could mean providing devices such as laptops, or stationery that they may need topped up. For guidance on home-working essentials, check out the article we wrote on this topic here