Are people more productive working from home? After a large portion of the world's workforce moved to remote areas in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of debate about whether working from home is more productive than working in an office. Some people prefer a dynamic office environment and being close to colleagues, while others prefer the efficiency of working independently and remotely.
Research has found mixed results on work-from-home productivity. A 2021 survey found that 60% of people working from home reported being more productive than they’d expected to be. After working from home for a while, many people develop strategies to maintain focus and keep up with the daily workload. However, remote work carries a number of unique factors that can impact your ability to concentrate which can leave you wondering “How can I work from home productively?”
Many of the challenges people face while working from home can also affect health and wellbeing, including:
- Pain or discomfort from prolonged sitting
- Distraction, Multitasking, and a Busy Family
- Fatigue lack of sleep
- Lack of exercise or snacking too frequently
- Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake
Whether you're new to working from home or have recently found it difficult to get work done remotely, it's important to consider how the factors above can contribute to your lack of focus. Finding ways to make your home workspace more productive and comfortable can help you enjoy your time working remotely. While working from home, try the following tips to improve focus, prevent fatigue, and improve your overall well-being.
1. Take Movement Breaks
If you find it difficult to concentrate while working from home, it may be due to a lack of movement. Physical activity doesn’t just benefit the cardiovascular system, but it’s great for brain health as well.
Studies show that exercise is correlated with improved cognitive performance, with some researchers saying it impacts parts of the brain associated with mood and attention. Even short sessions of exercise have been shown to boost concentration for up to an hour afterward.
Physical activity also increases blood flow, sending more oxygen-rich blood to the brain, which helps improve energy levels.
Whenever you find your focus waning while you work, consider taking a short exercise break. Go for a brisk walk around the house or do a few yoga poses. The quick burst of movement can help refocus your attention so you can get back to another session of deep work. You can even set a timer to remind yourself to move every 90 minutes or so to help sustain your productivity.
2. Use Your Commute Time for Self-Care
Working from home has many pros and cons, but one of the top advantages is not having to commute. While working from home, use the time you would have otherwise spent commuting for some self-care you’ve been neglecting.
Self-care routines are great ways to begin and end your workday. Take half an hour before and after work to practice some mind-body restoration with activities like:
- Plan your day or week to stay organized and help manage stress
- Document or write down your personal goals and gratitude
- Stretching, exercising, or running
- Eat a Healthy Homemade Breakfast
- Read a book or listen to music
3. Prevent Pain and Fatigue With Ergonomic Equipment
One of the common barriers to productivity is chronic pain caused by poor posture. A sedentary job, such as sitting at a desk all day, can affect your physical health by causing tension and pain throughout your spine. Neck, back and sciatica pain can make it difficult to concentrate and enjoy your workday.
In addition, poor sitting posture can reduce blood circulation, making you feel tired and unable to concentrate. Many office workers also suffer from chronic headaches caused by poor alignment of the spine, which causes tension in the muscles at the base of the head.
When working from home, it's important to invest in ergonomic office furniture that promotes a neutral sitting posture. Memory foam seat pads can also correct pressure issues. By encouraging proper spinal alignment, you can reduce pressure on your lower back and prevent painful listlessness.
4. Set office hours and burst work
If you find it difficult to maintain a work-life balance while working from home, consider setting boundaries with your time. Setting consistent office hours for your workday can help you stay focused despite distractions. It also limits the amount of time you have to get work done, which can help you make better use of your office hours.
If your job allows it, schedule your office hours around peak hours when you know you'll be most productive. Some people feel energized in the morning, while others need time to wind down. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
Try working in sets of 45 to 90 minutes with 5 to 15 minute breaks in between. This productivity-boosting approach keeps you sharply focused and gets more done in less time, all while maintaining your mental health.
5. Work under natural light
One easy adjustment to make is to move your desk closer to a window to increase your exposure to natural lighting.
Studies have found that the more natural light people are exposed to during the workday, the better they sleep that night. Quality sleep is critical to cognitive performance, and getting deep, restorative rest can help you stay focused and productive. In addition to improving your sleep quality, sun exposure can improve your mood, which can increase your enjoyment at work.
At Bychairs, you’ll find the most comfortable ergonomic chair you need to improve your focus, productivity and wellness while you work from home.