The proportion of workers hybrid working has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% in May 2022*. Although many companies are starting to return to the office, remote working is always going to be around and although it has many benefits such as an improved work-life balance and 0 commuting, it can also have some flaws. Working from home can be less optimum and on occasions be full of distractions and even harder to focus.
To help avoid interruptions and be most productive, Podia have put together our top tips on how to work from home successfully without interruptions...
1. Create a designated home workspace
Constructing a home workspace is the first and, in some cases, most essential part of becoming a successful remote worker. Without a home workspace, many find themselves working from their bed, sofa, or kitchen table. Not only does this have a negative impact on your physical health but how could anyone feel most productive when working from these locations? Without a home workspace set up, you will find yourself working from the locations in which you usually relax and switch off from work, so the lines become home and work life become blurred.
Having a dedicated home workspace allow you to zone into work during the day and leave it at the end, they increase productivity and give you a space in which you can feel engaged and efficient.
View our guide to setting up your perfect home workspace here
2. Invest in a noise-cancelling headset
An interruption that no one can escape when working remotely is noise. Whether it be the people surrounding you in a coffee shop, the neighbour’s dog or in many cases your own children, it is very difficult for anyone to find a place of complete silence to work. With virtual meetings being the primary way we communicate when working remotely, this noise can also not only impact you, but your colleagues also.
Noise-cancelling headsets are the perfect solution to make any working location noise proof. Built with incredible technology, noise-cancelling headsets allow you to zone in on your work and block out all the noisy distractions. When making calls with colleagues they will be able to hear you clearer than ever without any interruptions from even the noisiest people in the coffee shop.
View our range of headsets here
3. Create a schedule for your day
When plunged into remote working at the start of the pandemic, it was a huge disruption to routine for many. With the working world used to getting up and travelling to an office where they would then find themselves engulfed in an office schedule for the day, working from home came as a huge shock. Creating a schedule when working from home is essential to feeling most productive. Without a schedule anyone can struggle to understand their responsibilities and the way in which their day will go. Without pre-planning you could find yourself mid-way through a task when you’re then interrupted by a meeting with your boss which you totally forgot.
There are loads of great tools out there to help with this, but constructing your schedule can be as easy as writing down a list of what you need to get done, prioritising it and then working out when is best for you to work on each task. It can take less than 5 minutes but will have huge benefits for when you want to get things done in an interruption free, productive way.
4. Try not to have meeting overload
One of the biggest effects remote working has been the loss of face-to-face interaction. When before you could simply go and ask someone a quick question in the office, it now consists of having to schedule a video call and discuss it virtually. With face-to-face interaction being scarce, in many cases video can be a frequent occurrence for workers and people find themselves in different calls with different colleagues all throughout the day.
Although we're big advocates of Zoom meetings, there is such thing as meeting fatigue and back-to-back calling for majority of the working day can be a huge interruption to anyone’s work schedule and drain on their time. Without having time off calls, workers will be unable to get anything done and may also become overwhelmed and tired. We recommend that if you’re on a lot of call that you block out time, whether it be an hour a day or an afternoon a week, in which you can zone out and focus on what you need to get done.
5. Ensure you have the right tools
Leaving the office left many workers without the tools and equipment they needed to do their job most productively. Having IT and AV equipment to complete your tasks from home was rare before the pandemic, for many it wasn't even something which was considered possible with desktop computers and video conferencing being something limited to the board room.
Ensuring you have an optimal home office set up with the bare IT essentials of a video licence (Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Hangout seem to be most popular), laptop or notebook, monitor, mouse and keyboard, is something you can’t skimp on when remote working. However, with the change’s remote working brings things such as webcams and headsets are now making their way onto that essential list too.
Without having the correct tools, you may find yourself working not only ineffectively but also in an unsafe way and completing tasks may become interrupted or slowed down due to the lack of resources. At Podia we offer a huge range of technology that have the complete set of tools for home working at affordable monthly prices.
View our home working bundles here
6. Communicate with colleagues
Communication is key in almost everything we do. Without keeping up to date with colleagues on a regular basis you may find yourself crossing over on tasks or missing out on key company information. Without keeping in touch which team members, working remotely can become less productive and interrupted in many expected ways, for example you may be spending hours on planning a presentation for an event when the event has been postponed.
With remote working communicating isn’t as instant as it once was. Therefore, we recommend utilising communication tools (like Zoom) where you can chat, whiteboard and video call seamlessly - making keeping in touch effortless and planning daily/weekly catch ups with colleagues that you work closely with simple.
7. Make sure you're taking regular breaks
Lastly, one very important tip whilst working from home is to take regular breaks away from your desk. In the office, going to the water cooler, grabbing a cuppa with one of the team or popping to the shop to get lunch might seem like an inconvenience or interruption in itself, but this has many benefits.
Studies have found that breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day. Kim, Park and Niu (2017) research found it is important to take mini-breaks throughout the working day. Mini-breaks help to support your wellbeing and increase productivity. A mini-break is a few minutes away from your work; this may be chatting with someone who is in the room with you or getting a drink.** Our favourite type of break at Podia is going to give our doggos some much deserved attention.
By adopting these simple tips your remote working approach will be as productive as ever.