10 tips for working productively from home

Rinkel collega Jeroen
Jeroen van Vierzen
update: 13 March 2020

Some never do it, others do it regularly: working from home. Flip open the laptop, make a cup of coffee and get to work in your duster. Fine, for a day. But when you are forced to work from home for a longer period of time - as advised by the government this week - you will really have to use working from home as productively and responsibly as possible.

With these 10 tips, you will ensure more productivity while working from home!

1. keep your working hours

It is so tempting: starting your working day when it suits you. After all, you are at home: the choice to do some laundry or pick up a hoover "because it helps you concentrate on your work" is easily made. Then you spend 3 hours cleaning and your laptop wonders how long it should stay on hibernation.

So: start and finish at your normal working hours, that way you (and those around you) know exactly when you are doing your work. 

2. important tasks first

Useful in the office, but just as handy when working from home: start with the most important task of the day (or the most tedious). Make a list of 2 to 3 important tasks (no more) and only complete the list once the points have been processed. If necessary, share this with your colleagues, or share it on a common to-do board. This motivates you to complete just that one task today rather than tomorrow.

3. turn on a timer

Unfortunately, few people manage to stay focused for hours on end. Are you easily distracted? Then set a timer, this will help you take conscious breaks and also prevent your breaks from becoming too long (and you accidentally end up watching three seasons of The Crown).

Advice: take a 5-minute break every 60 to 90 minutes. Ideally, spend those 5 minutes without any other distractions.

4. turn off your push notifications

We have been under its spell for weeks now: the Corona Virus. The live blogs are flying around our ears and we are constantly flooded with new information about the virus. Quickly sharing the article with a colleague or Googling whether your cough falls under the symptoms... and you're half an hour away again. So turn off your notifications, or set a timer again!

5. don't turn on the television

Something about an open door?

In fact, you'll be surprised how many people tend to turn on something in the background in the house. But don't do this with moving images, your attention will be constantly drawn here. Need some background noise, though? Then choose a concentration or full-focus playlist on Spotify.

6. breakfast, lunch & snacks

Are you used to having lunch at the office at a certain time? Then keep this time. Your body is used to it and will ask for it. If you eat lunch too late or snack in between, your body will experience too many peak and off-peak moments, which will result in a lack of concentration. You shouldn't want that.

7. don't work from the couch

If you don't often work from home, you probably don't have a separate office space with a desk and a decent chair. The choice then is probably either the kitchen table or the sofa.

Then don't fall for working on the sofa with your laptop! This is not only bad for your posture, but also for your motivation. So, whenever you have the opportunity, just take a seat at the kitchen table.

8. create structure

There are probably many gaps in your diary, due to cancelled meetings and appointments. So much space and time is fine, but allocate it wisely. By rearranging the open spaces in your diary, you create a clear schedule for yourself and (if all goes well) you will finish earlier! 

9. video meeting with colleagues

A logical consequence of working from home is that you have less contact with your colleagues. This can sometimes cause you to work alongside each other, instead of with each other. Therefore, schedule a daily/weekly call meeting with your team.

This will keep you informed about your colleagues and work despite the distance.

10. stay reachable by phone

Do you work in the office with a landline for your business calls? Then it is probably difficult to work from home. With a fixed-to-mobile solution like Rinkel, you can forward your business calls on a fixed number, to your mobile phone. This makes you very flexible in your workplace! Rinkel offers flexible plans and can therefore be a suitable (temporary) solution for your business. Check our rates.

To conclude

Be aware that working from home can be a switch. So it is normal that you need to find your feet in the beginning. The most important thing is to remain transparent with your team and your manager. For example, if you run into issues, report them immediately to avoid frustration.

Good luck with working (from home)!