Working from home is now more popular and so many businesses are opting to have their staff work remotely. It is not just freelancers working from home anymore.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this option of working is becoming more popular and far more widely available. This can be great for working parents, people with disabilities and many more. However, there can be drawbacks to working from home and the main point being how productive and successful you can be working in your home. Even the most productive and successful people can struggle when switching to working from home. So, if you are in this situation or thinking about working from home, you can use these productivity tips to help you work effectively and reach your goals.
Here are 15 productivity tips you can use when working from home:
1. Set Your Working Times
Even though you are working from home, it is important that you set times that you want start and finish your day. Without a schedule, the lines between work and personal time can get blurred and stressful. So, it is important that you have work times and that you stop checking emails, working or answering the phone. Just focus on your home life once you reach that finish time. It can be easy to think ‘I’ll just finish this’ and then before you know it, the hours pass. This can be how people end up burning out or feeling stressed.
2. Make Sure You Have Regular Breaks
It can be easy to get distracted with a work task that you work through your breaks. It is important to schedule regular breaks throughout your fay. Having breaks away from a screen can help refresh your eyes and mind. When you have your breaks, you should make sure that you move; you could go for a short walk or even do some light housework, any task that gives your muscles a chance to work. Occupational therapists recommend movement breaks to enable you to increase your alertness.
When you take short breaks during tour working day, you’ll be better prepared to leave work-related stress behind when it’s time for bed; this allows you to rest properly to perform even better the next day. If you work frequently from a computer screen or a smart phone, taking breaks can also prevent Computer Vision Syndrome. This usually manifests as eye strain and headaches.
Medical professionals recommend that individuals look away every 20 minutes to focus your eyes. Taking breaks regularly means you can return to your desk with fresh eyes and a boost of productivity.
3. Have A Productive Workspace Set Up
To have that boundary between work and home, you should have a dedicated workspace or desk which doesn’t have any other use. For example, as tempting as it is, you shouldn’t work from your bed. This is because medical providers say that working from your bed causes disruption with sleep and makes you less productive. In addition, it can negatively impact your posture, which can lead to aches and pains; these could all be avoided with a proper workspace set up. Ensuring that your desk is tidy and organised means that you eliminate distractions, you are more focused and therefore you are more productive in achieving your tasks and goals.
4. Limit Your Distractions
Distractions are everywhere, but when working from home, the amount of distractions hugely increases from the usual phone notifications and emails to a knock at the door, your pet needing or wanting something as well as home tasks that may arise.
When you are working from home, you have to (as much as possible) eliminate those distractions and if certain tasks need to happen, you should schedule them into your day. For example, take your dog for a walk on one of your scheduled breaks. When working, ensuring that your notifications are on silent; this will reduce the urge to check your phone and social media.
5. Use To-Do Lists
To-do lists can be an effective tool in being productive on a working day. Writing your to-do lists the day before or first thing in the morning means you know exactly what needs to be achieved each day. These lists can help you to stay organised and focused on what needs to be achieved.
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash
6. Communicate Expectations To Other People In The Home
You may be working from home, but you could still have other people in your house. You should ensure that any other people in your house respect your space during working hours. Although you are at home working, it doesn’t mean you’re home!
If you share your space with a partner, older children or another adult such as a roommate, you should have ground rules about meeting times, shared workspace or when the environment should be quiet. Having that communication allows you as well as others the chance to work productively with no interruptions.
7. Interact With Others
Working from home can be isolating when you don’t have to be in the office networking with other colleagues. You won’t have the casual small talk and other activities that pass the time in an office setting.
Communicate with your colleagues; reach out to them on Zoom or however your company communicates. It is important that you do interact with others as it can help with the boredom or the loneliness. When you have scheduled breaks it can be a good idea to see another person during the day – whether it’s a video call or meet up for a coffee break. Having another colleague or friend to talk to can boost your mood and they can motivate you to achieve more.
Working from home means you rely on mobile phones and computer programmes to communicate with your colleagues as well as clients. With this in mind, it is super-important that you stay on top of your cybersecurity and make use of things like this article on Cell Phone Deal so that you are aware of the measures you should be taking to ensure that your devices are as secure as possible. The last thing that you want is to be dealing with a hacker having gotten hold of your details or, even worse, clients’ personal information.
8. Dress For Success
As you are working from home, it can be easy and tempting to work in your pyjamas. They can be an outfit for staying in your comfort zone; they can give you a sense of comfort and give you a sense of freedom. While it is not necessary to dress formally as you would for work, simply changing your clothes will signal you to wake up and start working. Getting dressed puts you in a certain mindset as well as establishing a routine and you are far more likely to be productive during your work day.
9. Look After Yourself
It is important that you are using the most comfortable chair you can that provides you with back support. If your role is telephone based, you should consider investing in a hands-free headset, so if you are making long calls, you do not have to balance a landline phone continuously.
If you are working from a computer screen, it is important to protect your eyes, so you could invest in blue light glasses which protect your eyes from continuous screen lights.
10. Schedule Work And Meeting Times
You should schedule your day into chunks like work and meeting times. At the start of the day, you should set the intentions for the day. This then allows you to schedule tasks to ensure you have enough time to achieve them.
11. Use The Task Batching Method
Batch work is a method that groups similar tasks together for the purpose of being more productive. By creating a continuous workflow through task batching and eliminating distractions, it makes it easier to ta focused on the job at hand and get it completed quickly and effectively.. If you start task batching, you will feel more organised, stress will be reduced and your focus will be increased.
Photo by Covene on Unsplash
12. Set Yourself Goals
Setting goals whether they are daily or weekly helps to motivate you to reach success. Working towards goals means that you are goal-oriented, so you are solely focused on that task. You are far more likely to be productive with your time.
13. Use Time Management Techniques
It can be so easy to lose track of time when working remotely, so using time management techniques can enable you to monitor how long you are spending on each task. You should investigate techniques like the Pomodoro Method where it encourages you to plan work for 2 to 3 hours, then encourages you to take a 20 – 30 minute break.
14. Stay Organised
It is important that you have a decluttered work space and ensure that you have an effective system for keeping important documents and files organised. Using a planner can also help you to organise your time productively.
15. Ask For Support
If you feel stuck or frustrated, or if you are just feeling isolated, ask for support. Reach out and communicate to friends or colleagues and let them know how you are feeling or what you are struggling with. Similarly, if you are struggling with your workload and finding it overwhelming, talk to your supervisor to help you. Asking for help when you need it is important for keeping you on track and productive.
If you are working from home or thinking about taking a remote position, these tips can help you to be productive. Other tips for working from home are:
- Use productivity apps
- Contribute and attend virtual meetings
- Ask for regular feedback
- Eat lunch at the same time
- Have a morning routine
- Stick to your routine
There are so many benefits of working from home including: having a flexible schedule, no commute time, better work/life balance, saving money and much more.
Do you have any tips for working from home? I’d love to hear in the comments.