Working from home: 10 tips for productivity

By 25 March 2020 March 22nd, 2021 Article

Amazing, working from home for three weeks! You may have thought this last Monday. But in the meantime you start to realize that it’s less simple and less relaxed than you initially thought. Your bed is very comfortable, taking a shower feels overrated and Netflix is lurking. Still, your employer expects you to be as productive as always. And in all honesty: isn’t it also better for yourself to end the working day feeling satisfied? How can you accomplish this?

1. Keep your normal rhythm

Do you normally get up early every day? Then stick with this rhythm. Use the extra time in the morning to read the newspaper, do something for yourself or work out (I’ll come back to the importance of working out shortly).

And most important: get ready for you working day like you always do. Your brain automatically connects certain outfits with certain emotions. Therefore, take a shower and pick an outfit you would also wear on a ‘’normal working day’’.

2. Keep a tight schedule

During a day where you work from home, it is very easy to get distracted. Doing the laundry or taking a walk. There is of course nothing wrong with this, as long as you make sure that you use your time wisely and deliver what is expected of you.

Therefore, start your day with making a schedule. Set some priorities that you want to have accomplished by the end of the day no matter what. 

Be realistic and keep challenging yourself! Have you finished all your priorities by lunchtime? Then set a few new ones!

Do you find this difficult? Schedule a focus hour for yourself once or twice a day. Turn off all your notifications (yes, also your email) and set you phone to do not disturb. You’ll be surprised with how much you can get accomplished in this hour!

3. Stay connected

Are you used to a stand up meeting every morning? Then keep doing it, but virtually. Make sure that everyone, except for the person talking, mutes their microphone. 

Do you often brainstorm 1 on 1 with a colleague? Pick a platform such as Skype or Zoom so that you are able to see each other, which allows you to work together as naturally as possible. 

Keep each other informed about your progress in your work, and let your colleagues know if you have room for extra work (as you would do normally). 

And just as important: try to stay up to date about each other’s lives! Start every first phone or video call of the day with just chatting and catching up.

4. Avoid feeling trapped and extra pounds

How do you prevent this from happening? It’s very easy to barely move during a day working from home. At the office, you walk to the printer, to your colleague, to the coffee machine and so on. At home, you only have to go to the toilet and the kitchen. Be aware of this, and plan different moments to move your body.

Do you have a long phonecall scheduled? Then take it outside, walk around! This provides a breath of fresh air, a change of environment (good for your brain), and the necessary movement. Every little bit helps!

Do you find it difficult to get enough exercise? There are already many initiatives where you can take online lessons. One of these initiatives is our own #Recharge Special Edition©!

5. Think ahead about lunch

Getting lunch can take quite some time (especially if you have to go to three different supermarkets to find what you need). So think about this in advance, and do your shopping the evening or morning in advance.

Are you living together with others (roommates, partner, family)? Then make lunchtime a shared moment. Agree on a time, set the table and really take a break. If you’re working from home alone, consider calling a colleague over lunch. In this way, lunch remains a social and relaxed moment of your day, which boosts your mood and well-being. Whatever you do, don’t have lunch behind your desk!

6. A clean house, a clear mind

Maintain a clean desk policy at home. A tidy desk ensures peace of mind.

Do you work in the living room, at the dining table? Then take some time in the morning to get organized before you get started. You will notice that you start your working day with much more peace of mind!

7. Prevent an acute hernia: set up your workplace!

Just as important: make sure that you have a comfortable workplace. Even if you have to invest a little more time or money in it than you usually would: it is worth it. You want to prevent having terrible back pain after only three days. If possible, arrange a keyboard and mouse for your laptop, and place your screen at eye level. A good option is to temporarily place a kitchen or bathroom ladder on your desk as a standing desk. Fun idea: with a good standard under your bicycle, you can easily create your own Bike Desk.

8. Children at home? Make arrangements with neighbors / acquaintances

If you read this while you have four children at home, you may think: easier said than done. The situation is indeed not ideal. But see if you can make arrangements with others who are in the same situation. For example, are you able to divide the children’s care among the four of you with two couples? Then you can work three full days versus one day with the children.

9. Nothing to do? Pick up a project!

It can of course be the case that because of the current situation you simply do not have much to do. You want to prevent your working days from becoming a kind of disguised holiday in which you do not really rest mentally because you know that you are actually working.

Think for yourself: is there a project that has been in the fridge for a long time because it never had enough priority? Decide for yourself to spend at least one hour a day on this project, and longer if you have the time.

If this is not an option, talk to your employer to see if there are any useful courses or trainings that you could participate in. There are countless online platforms with courses ranging from programming to interior design. Find out what your organization needs and use this period to become an expert!

And a last tip in this context that of course does not need to be mentioned: use the extra hours you have to do something for someone else. Ask if there is anyone nearby who could use help with shopping, cooking, or the kids. Set up a volunteer project. Or take an hour to donate blood. We’re all in this together!

10. Go to bed early

Last but not least: stick with your evening routine (or give it an extra boost)! Keep in mind that it is basically a normal working week. The earlier you go to bed, the earlier you can get out of bed feeling fit and energized.

And from the perspective of #Recharge I recommend to switch off your screens at 9:00 PM! Grab a book or a game for the last hour so you can roll into your bed at 10 p.m. and get 8 hours of sleep. That is also not a bad idea with regard to your physical health! Tricky to get this into your routine? Follow the #Recharge Special Edition© to actively work on it for a week!


Which of these tips has helped you the most? Let us know via the comment section at the bottom of this page!

Kyra Geerts

Content manager & coach at The Recharge Company