7 Ways You Can Make Working From Home More Efficient

Just like you, we at Deearo Marketing are all looking forward to getting out of lockdown and back to normal, but as the lockdown continues, we expect that a lot of people will still be working from home where they can as per the government guidance. Even with the possibility of non-essential services opening up soon and restrictions easing in the next few weeks, we’re not holding our breath that we’ll suddenly be encouraged to mass back in the office for Monday morning meetings.

Think with Google says that “for many, remote work is a new reality and one that takes some
getting used to.” Too true. So, with working from home becoming the new normal, at least for
now, we thought we’d share some of the tips we’ve learned over the last year to help you work
more efficiently from home while looking after your wellbeing.

Here they are, from our small business to yours.

1. Get dressed

You might think it’s obvious to avoid Zoom conferences in your pants just in case the Amazon man knocks, and you are forced to stand in front of your laptop camera, but we’ll say it anyway. Getting dressed for your workday helps your brain get into work mode which helps your focus. Something we’re kind of lacking right now, are we right? We’re not saying you need to don your tie and polish your loafers, just don’t be a loafer. At some point there will be an office Christmas party again and you won’t be pleased if one of your co-workers has captured an image of you in your dressing gown eating chocolate spread out of the jar to share for a laugh. You’re at home but think professional and hopefully your brain will follow.

2. Defend your territory

According to Think with Google, “establishing a designated workspace can help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively.” So, if your kitchen table is where you’re working from, maybe you need to set rules for when you’ll need sole use of it. You can’t always help it if people want to come in for a cuppa every so often, but if you can ask everyone in your household to be done with breakfast by 9am then you can start to focus.

3. Recognise distractions

Whatever room in your house is now doubled up as an office, make sure it is as free from distracting influences as it can be. We strongly discourage you from working from your bedroom, because that is where you go to relax. Your brain associates that room with things that are counterproductive to efficient work. Think with Google recommends creating “work triggers” for yourself to trick your brain into focused work-mode. We think they’re spot on. Ensure your workspace is a place for work during certain hours, as much as is humanly possible. Try not to work in the same room as the television because whether it’s on when you start your workday, you can bet that if you live with other people it will be on before the end of it. Don’t make it harder for yourself to focus. Recognise distracting factors and avoid or eliminate them.

4. Train your eyes

What are you looking at from your workspace? It’s really important to remove sources of distraction and procrastination triggers from your line of sight. This may be easier said than done but we suggest you try. If you can see your kettle or fridge from where you’re sitting without turning your head, then this will be sending constant reminders to your brain that there are pleasant distractions within easy reach. Move your kettle or yourself so you can’t see things easily that will encourage you to get up from your work. If you must work in the same room as a television, then face away from it. Recognise that the TV provides two sensory distractions to efficient work: visual and auditory. If you cannot remove them both, then remove one. If you can ensure the screen is not in your line of sight it will help you not to get distracted by the moving pictures which are designed to be distracting and attention grabbing. If you can, we recommend that your workspace faces a wall or something plain. There is a reason why desks at your office aren’t all facing the windows.

5. Alpha waves

If any of your work can be done while listening to something, we advise that alpha waves are very conducive to creating a productive environment. You can find these tracks on YouTube, or music streaming sites and they create a comforting work trigger which helps your brain to process information more efficiently. Some people find that calm classical music is good for focusing the mind while others find it too stimulating. Find what works for you so you can do better work from home.

6. Earphones

Our team at Deearo Marketing can’t be the only ones having to share their workspace with children home-learning. Live classes, three times a day at peak work times. Super. Don’t get us wrong, we are in awe of the amazing work teachers are doing right now facilitating home learning while simultaneously teaching in school. They’re doing the best they can for our kids and we’re so grateful. However, kids counting out loud in your ear while you’re trying to concentrate is incredibly irritating.

So, just as modern technology has enabled efficient home learning to destroy the home working environment for all parents, technology will fix it. We give you the headphones with inbuilt speaker. If you don’t have some, get some immediately, if not sooner. You can give them to your kids for their Google Meet or Zoom sessions so they can still engage with the class and give answers when called upon, but you’re not bombarded with the tutorial on improper fractions filtering through your ears. Alternatively, you can plug them into your computer and enjoy your soothing alpha waves while distractions clatter about unheard by you. Whichever works best for you.

7. Take a break

It’s the tip you were hoping for, right? Yes, you need to make sure you are taking regular breaks to allow your brain to work at peak efficiency. No, you don’t need a fourth cup of tea before ten in the morning. Try and schedule your breaks so you’re not tempted to get up from your workspace more than you need to. Breaks are your friend, but procrastination is not, so make sure you can tell the difference between them.
Basically, all these tips boil down to one thing; it’s really important for your brain to recognise a part of your home and a time of your day that is for work. If you can train your brain (and your household) to accept whatever boundaries you set up to enable that, it will help you. So, get ready for your workday in the morning and use the space and technology you have access to in the best way you can. Whatever you do, don’t have the biscuit tin within easy reach of your desk and for the love of tea and cake, hide your phone behind your computer screen if you’re not using it for work. It’s the only way to keep the social media black hole of time at bay. You’re welcome. You can thank us later.