Working from home has its perks. Between sleeping in, working in sweats, and being only 20 feet from the kitchen at all times, how could it get better? The only real drawback in WFH is that productivity can start to fall behind. With all the distractions that come with being at home, WFH can be more challenging than expected. This being said, hope is not lost. There are plenty of things that you as an employee or employer can do to maintain the ability to work from home while also keeping productivity consistent.
Using Tracking Metrics
One of the best ways to keep track of productivity is to be able to visualize it. Actually seeing where you stand in terms of work and value produced can indicate if you are thriving in WFH or if you need to make some adjustments. There are several ways to measure productivity, depending on which industry you work in. If you work in a customer service niche, tracking the increase or decrease in call volumes, calls answered, calls completely, etc. can provide numerical data for what you completed that day. Additionally, you could look at the customer satisfaction rate (CSAT) and measure it that way. For a less specific job, tracking the timeline of major projects is a method for measuring work productivity. If a project is on track for its deadline and is falling within budget, then the employees are on track as well. For longer-term goals, separating your job responsibilities into tasks for specific weeks helps see success or lack thereof over the course of a week or multiple weeks.
Optimize Your Space
When it comes to establishing your work from home workspace, far more things are factors than you may think. Choosing the right room to work in is the first step. If you can, avoid working in the bedroom. Working in an environment where you traditionally rest, tricks the brain into associating that space with activity not relaxation. However, if your only option is the bedroom, opt for a desk instead of staying in bed. Having a separate workspace can help get you in the proper mindset for productivity. Room temperature also plays a major role in staying focused. The optimal temperature for productivity is said to be between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Making sure that you can properly temperature control your work environment is necessary. Consider checking if your thermostat can have preset temperature schedules. This way when your workday starts, your office reaches its ideal temperature. Lastly, consider your surroundings when working from home. If you find yourself in an area of clutter, it may be worth it to carve out 10 minutes of your day to straighten up. It has been shown that clutter stresses the mind and causes lapses in focus. Being in an organized workspace can help you stay on track with your work.
Fuel Your Brain
While Working from home may save your wallet from gas and commuting costs, it could certainly still be exhausted at home. It’s very easy to fall into the food delivery trap. Food has a lot more to do with the brain’s function than given credit for. Fueling yourself properly while working can be the significant difference in productivity of that week. If you prefer to eat from home, opt for seeds and nuts when in need of a snack. Healthy fats, antioxidants, and Vitamin E have positive effects on brain health and the ability to focus. If ordering out is more your speed, stick to lighter meals that are protein and vegetable-heavy. The lightness of the meal helps with not feeling fatigued after enjoying lunch. The protein and the fiber in the vegetables will keep you full and fueled for the rest of the day. Salmon and trout are ideal proteins when looking at brain health. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are essential to building brain and nerve cells. Consuming these fatty acids directly feeds brain function. When it comes to caffeine, try making the switch from coffee to green tea or matcha. Green tea improves brain function and boosts memory and alertness. L-theanine, a component in tea, helps give a similar caffeine boost as coffee but without the jitters. It helps induce relaxation without tiredness. Green tea has also been shown to improve memory.
Working from home can have immense benefits both for the employees and the employer. But ultimately, work from home is dependent on the worker’s ability to maintain productivity while not in the office. There are many quick fixes that can exponentially help the brain’s ability to focus and stay on track. Switching a few simple routines to more productivity-friendly ones can make noticeable and effective differences in the workspace.