2020 has forever changed the way many of us work. Even after lockdown restrictions finally leave our society a lot of professionals will still be working from home. While this saves time and money on business rent and commuting (and means you can wear slippers all day) it also makes it harder to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The boundaries between personal and professional hours and working space can be easily blurred. This means that both aspects of life can suffer. Renting serviced accommodation in London offers convenience, reduced obligation and peace of mind - all of which support increased productivity and mental health.
This article offers valuable suggestions on ways to increase your productivity while maintaining your sanity.
How to boost productivity when working from home: top 5 tips
It can be difficult to manage your time and to stay motivated while you’re in your own home, surrounded by distractions and the same four walls. Here are 5 practical tips to help you get more done in the same amount of hours.
1. The Pomodoro Technique
More and more people are swearing by this technique for WFH productivity. The idea is to split your time into chunks - work 25 minutes, break for 5, then every 4 rounds take a longer 15-20 minute break.
This keeps the focus sharp, injects urgency with each time allocation and allows a regular stretch and glass of water, meaning you’re fresher throughout working hours, the work you do is more focussed and you’re less likely to be burnt out by the end of the day.
2. Make (and keep to) Working Hours
Office hours easily get blurred when working from home, but your mind will lose efficacy if it never gets a break. Make sure that you set yourself time boundaries for the working day in the same way you would if you were going to work in an office, ensuring that the evenings (or whatever time of day you choose) are your own.
Just because you’re sat 3m from your desk doesn’t mean you have to still be at work.
3. Keep a Dedicated Work Space
It’s so important to work in a separate space so that when you’re done you can focus on other things and not constantly be distracted by the work problems you’ve been solving.
If you have a study or a spare room where you can do your work, great - keep that as the office that you can close the door on at the end of the work day. If you don’t have spare rooms lying about, set aside a desk or even just a different seat at the kitchen table which is allocated for work only.
Try to make sure it has good lighting and you can sit (or stand) in a position which isn’t going to negatively impact your back and neck. Dolphin House serviced apartments are spacious and each comes with a desk, to ensure you always have the room to keep your work life separate from your homelife.
4. Minimise Distractions
It’s wise to minimise external interruptions - give kids or housemates firm boundaries of where they can (or can’t) play or hang out while you’re working; don’t have your personal phone on loud; only go on Instagram or news websites during your scheduled breaks.
With a Dolphin House apartment, you get a 24-hour reception, security and your utilities and maintenance managed for you - so you don’t have to get distracted by menial day-to-day things like package deliveries or boiler calls.
5. Prioritise Wellbeing
It might seem counterintuitive as many of us were raised on the idea that if you work harder and longer you’re being more productive, but studies show that to achieve things truly effectively, you need to take care of yourself. This is why breaks, space, time-boundaries and self-care are all just as crucial to productivity as time spent at your desk. COVID-19 means we all have even more stress in our lives which we need to put time into managing, so it’s important to bear this in mind and treat yourself with compassion. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t achieved every unrealistic goal you set yourself at the start of the day, you are not the only one.
How to balance work-life commitments in 2021
Making our personal lives aren’t taking a backseat to our work is very important for our wellbeing and comes with extra challenges when working from home.
Here are a few tips on how to plan your workday to ensure that you still have some mental and physical energy left - as well as time - to spend on personal activities.
- If you need help with work projects, ask for it. Your manager will most likely prefer to give you more resources than find you haven’t been able to complete work, or that you have to take a day off because you burnt yourself out.
- If you work as part of a team or have people under you don’t forget that delegation is part of what makes companies work.
- It can feel almost pointless to use up your annual leave if you can’t go anywhere - but it’s important to take proper time off, so use your allocation.
- Communication is key for good mental health and productivity, so make sure you’re having regular feedback sessions with your managers and teams.
- If you’ve decided that work finishes at 6pm, don’t check your work emails at 7pm. Turn off notifications on work comms - or even better put your phone away - so that you can get a proper break.
The benefits of working from home in serviced accommodation
There are many ways a serviced apartment, especially in London, can support a better lifestyle for those working from home during lockdown, and beyond. Below are some of these advantages:
- Working from home means there’s more time for you to make a mess in your apartment: more cups of coffee, more meals prepared in the kitchen, more boxes of paper rifled through - but not necessarily more time or energy to clear it all up.
- Housekeeping means you don’t need to worry and you still get a clean space to concentrate and live in.
- As WiFi is (with most serviced apartment providers) included in your fee, there is more guarantee of its reliability. If it does go down for some reason then you don’t have to do anything to make sure it gets fixed or maintained.
- Having an onsite restaurant means you can get lunch without having to spend time travelling far for a wide range of delicious, professionally cooked food. You can even get it delivered to your apartment.
- Some serviced apartment providers have on-site sports facilities, saving on travel time while you’re keeping on top of your physical health.
- 24-hour security, ensuring a safe place to work and peace of mind.
- With so much uncertainty it’s great to have the flexibility to extend your lease period if you need to. Most providers have a bookings team who can help you handle any paperwork required.
- One of the great benefits of working from home is that it’s your space and you have control over it. No more strip lighting, colleagues eating sushi at the next desk or soulless corporate decor. You can make decor choices which work for you and ensure it’s a space you enjoy being in.
Dolphin House serviced apartments: everything you need to work from home, productively
Dolphin House offers you a convenient, stress-free living environment, with space, tasteful decor, regular housekeeping, maintenance and onsite amenities. This takes the stress off your shoulders when you’re at home (which is probably a lot right now), leaving you more time and energy to focus on what’s important.
The beautiful onsite gardens and proximity to lots of parks, including Battersea Park, St. George’s Square and St.James’ Park means you can always find a different walk to enjoy.
When lockdown finally stops being a part of our lives all of these conveniences will still make for a more productive working from home environment and you’ll get to enjoy all of the benefits of Dolphin House’s great central location and brilliant transport links, as well as the vibrant and beautiful surrounding area of Pimlico.
Treat Yourself Well
So remember - the most effective way to increase your productivity is to take care of yourself properly, setting yourself boundaries of time, space and screen time. Make sure that your home stays your place of rest and relaxation as well as becoming your office.
Keep the space around you clean, tidy and comfortable - what better way to make sure this is taken care of than by staying in a serviced apartment. If you want to treat yourself to a serviced apartment and some space away why not book yourself a stay at Dolphin Square.