In general, an ordinary working week counts 38 hours, but some companies opt for a 40-hour week, which is then compensated with 12 extra vacation days. On an annual basis, this amounts again to a 38-hour week. However, the question we ask in the title goes deeper. In a classic work environment, it is assumed that the hours you spend in the office or in the factory correspond to working time. The situation is different for homeworkers: rather than assuming presence or availability, only the hours spent on tasks or assignments will be regarded as working time. With this article we want to help homeworkers bring what are considered effective working hours as close as possible to the time spent on the job.
The tips below can help you work more efficiently from home and optimise your working time:
Draw up a work schedule
Good planning ensures a higher productivity. Make a to-do list with achievable deadlines and take the time to regularly update this planning.
Plan the most difficult and/or tedious tasks at your peak
Do you have more energy in the morning? Then make sure to do the most difficult tasks right away. Are you more of an evening person? Then do not immediately start your working day with tasks you will need all your energy for. Self-knowledge is therefore an important key to efficient planning.
Don’t get distracted
Resist the temptation to click through to what ultimately has nothing to do with what you were initially doing on your computer or on your smartphone. Today there are many apps that can help you with this. Just think of SelfControl: this app blocks certain websites so that you can continue to work with concentration.
When the task is over, you can reward yourself with, for example, a short break, a coffee, reading a newspaper, etc. What you ultimately do during your break does not matter, but it is important to insert it in order to continue working with full courage afterwards.
Maintain enough variety between work and relaxation
It is important that you have enough variety between working moments – that can be very intensive when working from home – and moments of relaxation. After all, the bow cannot be constantly tense. The right balance between intense work and real relaxation will certainly benefit your productivity.
Take your breaks at the right time
Did you know that it is best to take a short break after 50 minutes? If you take regular breaks and then use these breaks to get some exercise, you can continue your work again with full energy and concentration.
People who spend a lot of time in meetings or do a desk job, sit down almost all day. For them it is important to take every opportunity to move. Why not make a walking phone call or – just like Steve JOBS did – have a walking meeting? Regular exercise in between ensures a balance between physical and psychological fatigue, so that you sleep better and therefore have more energy. It is also a good outlet. Of course, it is still better for practical reasons to organise meetings that require a lot of documents or projections either in a meeting room or via Teams.
How do you prepare this kind of walking meeting in an organised way?
- Plan a fixed route so that you and your colleague (s) can focus on the conversation instead of being distracted by the environment
- Even more than with a traditional meeting, everything has to be well prepared and the schedule clear to the participants You can take notes, for example, via the dictaphone app on your smartphone. If you do not wait too long afterwards so that the topic you have spoken about is still fresh in your head, you can write everything out properly afterwards
- Limit the number of participants in the walking meeting to a maximum of three
- By walking, you get to know your colleagues in a different way. The more relaxed context creates more openness and promotes the tying of a closer bond
You do not find it easy to know how long you have worked effectively? VS Invest uses the Timeular, the most convenient tool to register your effective working time. Timeular also reminds you to take regular breaks. You will gain insight into your time commitment so that you can work on a good balance between work and relaxation. If you want to read more about the use of Timeular, please refer to the following article: Time clock ruling.