How to stay productive when working from home

Working from home during COVID-19
Monday, March 23, 2020

Following the government’s announcement that we are moving into lockdown for at least the next 4 weeks, more of us than ever before will be working from home.

With Opinion Compare, we wanted to understand more about how New Zealanders are feeling about the prospect of working from home. The sample of n=518 New Zealanders aged 18+ was run from March 17-19.

Of those already working from home, an extraordinary 35% of respondents felt that they were less productive. This increases to 44% with 25-34 year olds!

Current / expected productivity when working from home

Chart - productivity when working from home

Question: Those who are working from home. n=126. ‘How productive are you / do you foresee you will be if / when working from home?’
Source:  Opinion Compare – Coronavirus Recontact survey March 2020. n=126

As with everything in the coronavirus, time will tell how productive we really will be working from home. How will we juggle working from home and having the kids home from school? Or will we just power through the day without co-workers to distract us?

Here are our top tips to staying productive when working from home

1. Don’t let your broadband slow you down

We’ve certainly seen New Zealanders prepare for the prospect of spending more time at home and more time online. We’ve had 39% more people visiting Broadband Compare to make an informed choice about broadband than this time last month. If you have a better quality and faster broadband connection at work, your home connection may not be up to the task – especially if the kids are home streaming content and gaming. Compare the broadband plans available at your address to find the best broadband plan for your needs. We also have our NZ based comparison consultants available on the phone if you have questions our site can’t answer.

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2. Keep up the communication

If you’re new to working from home, one of the hardest things can be knowing exactly what is expected from you day to day. If possible, it’s a good idea to start off the day with a regular, daily catch-up call with your manager or immediate team. This can keep you energized and motivated for the day ahead.

If you’re used to the buzz of the office, try to make a point of picking up the phone a couple of times a day, or use video calling – skype messenger or email just can’t compete with a bit of regular face-to-face human contact.

3. Treat it like a ‘real’ job

The occasional day working from home can feel like a bit of a treat – you can skip the commute, work in your pjs and enjoy a break from the office. But long-term working from home for several weeks or months is different, it can feel difficult to stay motivated. You may find it easier to get into the swing of working from home if you keep things as close to normal work as possible – this could include things like:

  • Setting up an mini “home office”
  • Setting an alarm and getting dressed for work
  • Starting and ending your workday at set times
  • Making sure to take regular tea breaks and lunch breaks rather pushing through to finish your day

4. Keep moving

Keeping active is an important way to clear the mind, feel refreshed, and feel focussed during your day. You may need to get a bit creative when it comes to keeping active while gyms and exercise classes are closed, or if you're missing your morning walk to the bus stop, or cycle to work. Get out and about and take a walk or run, or try out some exercise classes on youtube.  

5. Remember we’re all alone together!

As we head through this uncertain and unprecedented time it can be incredibly stressful, but it can help to remember the bigger picture. We’re all staying isolated for the benefit of our community. So take the dog for a walk, have a run (and maintain those social distances!), try out meditating, update your watch list on Netflix, have a beer or coffee with a  friend on Skype, sort out the garden, pick up that hobby you haven’t had time for, whatever it takes to help you relax.



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