16 ways to boost productivity

16 ways to boost productivity when working from home, part 1 - where you work

How do you learn the art of productivity working from home every day? We’ve compiled some tips to help you understand how to be your most productive self, covering 3 key areas.

In this first part, we’re looking at where you work, and how you can make your home office a productive and stress-free environment.

Important Note: ’What is productivity?’

Before you embark on any productivity journey, you need to understand what we mean by productivity:

“We’re under the misguided presumption that more work leads to more productivity when the opposite is actually true — chronic stress eats away at any chance for a productive workplace, or high employee engagement. Chronic stress undermines the culture and leads to fatigue, anxiety, and confusion about priorities.'' Dr. Leah Weiss [1]

Working longer doesn’t mean you’re doing more. That’s the biggest misconception about productivity.

Productivity is about achieving more, yes, but productive people don't focus on how many tasks they do, they take the time to do tasks fully, and people benefit from a job well done.

Where you work.

Where you work matters. Just because you're at home doesn't change this, it amplifies it. Being at home simplifies things in many ways, for example, your commute's a lot shorter. But in other ways, it makes finding balanced and productive ways of working a little trickier, blurring the lines between work life and home life and adding even more tasks to your day.

Here are a few tips that will help you create a more productive workspace and a more harmonious and productive work/life balance.

  • Work flexible: Many of us have seen our work patterns change over the past few months, and this mass trial for home working has shown us that people who work from home can be more productive. So even when this is all over, staying productive might mean staying at home a lot more than we used to.
  • Carve out a space: Your workspace is much more than a place to put your laptop. Create a 'workspace' that lets you separate your work life from your home life. It's enormously important for your mental wellbeing to 'clock on' AND 'clock off' when WFH. A space doesn't have to be an office, it's whatever you have, whether that's a tray on your lap on the sofa or a kitchen table. But try and keep it distinct when working from how you use that space at any other time. Then try and make it as much like your' workspace' as possible. Have pictures of family, a drink, snacks, etc. all to hand, as these help you stay focused on what you're doing.
  • Have the right tools: No one can be productive if they can’t work. Make sure you’ve got everything you need - don’t put up with super slow/spotty WiFi or the world’s smallest screen. You need to be able to work mobile in every respect, or you won’t be able to do your job properly, let alone better.
  • Stay safe: Make sure you’re looking after yourself. This can be safe working environments (watch out for those slips, trips, and falls), but also think beyond those immediate ‘dangers’ and consider everything from if your lighting’s right or that you have a suitable screen, chair, and posture. Even that you’re still having regular eye-tests. Just because you’re at home doesn’t make you immune from these risks.

[1] Dr. Leah Weiss, Stanford University, Vackay the Wrike Way Article, by Laura Quiambo, July 15, 2019.