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How to stay productive while working from home

You don’t need a line manager over your shoulder to stay focused. Liz Connor gathers expert tips for staying organised and inspired.

Home working is on the rise (Thinkstock/PA)

Working from home has plenty of benefits: There’s no hellish commuting, no uncomfortable work uniform, and solid time where you can get your head down to some focused working, without your colleagues interrupting you during a tea round.

It’s no wonder then, that demand for flexible working is increasing in the UK. According to the powwownow flexible working survey, three-quarters of UK employees would favour a job that gives them the option of flexible work schedules.

There are positive aspects for businesses too. Employers can retain the best staff and maintain diversity in the workplace – particularly for people who have home responsibilities, such as parents and carers – by offering schemes that allow workers to better manage their work and life commitments.

That said, the reality of working from home isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Without the communal obligation to get stuff done, and the lure of distractions like Netflix, it can also be all too easy to let your productivity slip.

Here, Philip Booth, a wellness in the workplace expert with Cluttons (, shares top tips for acing home working this autumn…

1. Set up a positive working space: “Create a space that you enjoy being in, and one that will inspire and motivate you. For example, decorating the space with neutral colours, flowers and photos of loved ones may help it feel less like work and more like your own personal sanctuary. Keeping the space tidy and with plenty of natural light may also help you to keep a clear head and avoid distractions.”

2. Create an ergonomic workstation: “Bad posture at your desk can lead to long-term injuries, so take the time to set up a space that you feel comfortable in. Have regular breaks from screen time and make sure that you stand up and walk away from your computer every half an hour or so, to avoid damage to your eyes.”

3. Keep connected: “Research has revealed the impact that accessing the internet has on everything from the properties we choose to live in, to the places where we can work, and our overall happiness both at home and in the office. Good connectivity is essential for broadband speeds and will ensure you are contactable and able to meet work deadlines.”

4. Take breaks: “It can be all too easy to chain yourself to your laptop when working from home, but allowing yourself to have regular breaks will decrease the likelihood of becoming easily distracted during working hours. Try to remain active too as without the commute to the office, it may be harder to find the time to move about. Doing some lunchtime exercise is a great way to keep you focused on the task at hand.”

5. Maintain a healthy diet: “Having the freedom of your own kitchen can result in bad diet choices, including unnecessary snacking. Try to eat healthy lunches to keep alert and motivated. Staying hydrated and eating healthy snacks, such as fruit and nuts, will keep your energy levels high throughout the day.”


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