Working from home tips to save energy and maximise productivity
Have you made the transition to working from home? With these tips, you could save energy and maximise your productivity.
Navigating working remotely while trying to stay on top of your power bill, may be a lot to think about. We take a look at some simple tips that you can implement today, that may help reduce your energy costs and stay productive.
Lighting can make a huge impact on your ability to concentrate and your energy levels throughout the day. Natural lighting can help boost your mood and improve productivity, so consider using natural lighting in your home office and only light the spaces you need.
Upgrading to energy-efficient lighting is also another easy way to reduce the amount of energy that you use. Replace the light globes in your house with energy-efficient bulbs such as LEDs. Some of them can use up to 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs to produce the same amount of light as well as last up to 10 times longer – so you don’t need to whip out that step ladder and change them as often.
Power savings on technology
Computer chargers, phone chargers, and printers are essential to being productive at home, but they can have an impact on your power bill. You might be surprised by these simple changes to your devices that can help reduce your energy consumption:
- Use ‘hibernate’ instead of ‘sleep’ mode;
- Change your screensaver to a blank screen;
- Set your power-saving mode to come on after 20 minutes of inactivity; and
- Turn off any non-essential computer programs, the printer or phone apps, when you’re not using them.
Prepare your meals the night before
Let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of making multiple trips to the fridge, only to find out that the magical food fairy hasn’t stopped by. When you’re home all day, it can be tempting to snack and spend time preparing a home-cooked meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However opening and closing the fridge, prepping and cooking can cost you time and cause a spike in your energy consumption in more ways than one!
Don’t use your precious minutes making your food from scratch at every meal break – instead, cook the night before and consider cooking in bulk, so that you have plenty of leftovers to freeze for another mealtime.
Preparing your meals the night before also ensures you can be more productive at meal breaks, allowing you to spend more time creating a healthy work from home routine. You can use the time you’d spend at the stove to instead go for a walk, read, start a new hobby like learning Spanish or even just making a phone call to a friend.
Start your work day with a morning routine. Studies have shown that morning exercise can help you to develop a consistent exercise habit and will sustain your energy throughout the day. It could even help to improve your concentration and alertness for back to back meetings while working from home.
Instead of scrolling social media, use your lunchtime breaks to get away from your desk, go for a walk outside or pick up a book to switch off. Not only will you save energy on your devices, but taking scheduled breaks will help you stay focussed and improve your productivity.
Working from home doesn’t have to be isolating. There are some simple things you can do, to stay connected to your colleagues on a daily basis.
- Schedule frequent video calls with your colleagues and have face-to-face time using Google Hangouts or Zoom.
- Interact with someone every day about their personal life, showing that you care. Don’t just talk about work.
Have fun and let people get to know the real you. Organise some team games like trivia or charades. Doing these things may help you to feel connected and increase your rapport with the people you work with.
Turn off the TV
According to Nielsen data, Australians spend an average of two hours and 27 minutes watching live TV and playing back recorded TV content through their TV sets within 28 days. On a monthly basis, this equates to 74 hours and 58 minutes glued to the tube.
TV can be a huge distraction when you are working from home and may limit your ability to process information and complete tasks on time. Consider turning off the TV and focusing on one task at a time, to maximise your productivity throughout the day.
Televisions, home entertainment systems, and computers can account for 10% of the average AGL Victorian household annual energy bill. For better productivity and energy efficiency, turn off the TV and consider reading a book or decluttering your home instead.
The difference of just a few degrees can have a significant impact on productivity and energy consumption. When you feel comfortable in your home office, you can focus on the work itself, rather than being distracted by being too hot or cold.
Choose a temperature between 18–20°C in winter and 25–27°C in summer – each degree you lower the temperature in summer or raise it in winter increases energy consumption by around 5-10%.
The ‘leakiness’ of your home may also have an impact on the temperature in your home office and increase your energy consumption. Up to 25% of household heat loss is caused by air draughts from improper seals. So, while you’re spending a bit more time around the house, it’s a great idea to check the seals on all doors and windows for any gaps. Often these can be stopped with simple measures like door seals, door snakes, and draught stripping.
Go paperless where possible
When you’re working from home, every hour and every dollar counts. A paperless home office could increase your productivity and save you money on your power bill.
By eliminating time spent searching through filing cabinets and making it easy to access shared documents, you can save time and focus on other more important tasks. You can also reduce your energy consumption by limiting your printer usage, saving money on your power bill. Plus, a paperless home office is tidier and everything important can be backed-up – removing the worry of missing or damaged documents.
Keen to learn more? Read our article about transitioning to a paperless office.