Do you want to be productive when working from home? Here are 15 Ways To Be More Productive When Working From Home
You are not alone. Studies suggest that many work-from-home employees struggle to overcome the challenges that are associated with the remote working model.
Loneliness, distractions, lack of motivation, fatigue, and burnout are common problems that lower the productivity of personnel who work from home.
Given the growing number of people who work from home, low productivity is becoming a serious concern in the business world.
Many employees and entrepreneurs are looking for smart productivity hacks that can improve their productivity.
In this article, we will highlight some productivity hacks to help you overcome the challenges of remote work. The following research-proven tips are certain to increase your productivity when working from home.
15 Ways To Be Productive When Working From Home
The work-from-home model allows employees to enjoy flexible work schedules. However, many remote workers find it difficult to focus on tackling the critical tasks for the day.
Scheduling is top on our list of work-from-home productivity and time management hacks for a reason.
Creating a schedule can help you to tackle the critical tasks in the order of priority. This way, you expend your creative energies on the most important tasks. Thereby leading to increased productivity.
A new study co-authored by Prof. Susan Lambert of the University of Chicago showed that steady schedules led to an increase in labor productivity.
Do you want to be more productive when working from home? Always remember to create a schedule or a priority list before you start off each workday.
While having a fixed routine can improve your productivity, sticking rigidly to a habitual work method can hinder your creativity.
Be open to weighing your options and exploring new opportunities that open up at unexpected moments. You may discover better ways of improving your output.
Some of the unique ways of being flexible while working from home include:
- Working in a new environment
- Collaborating with experts in your field
- Co-working with a colleague.
Many work-from-home employees experience improved productivity after varying their work routine.
Set Realistic Plans
Having a clear plan is one of the productivity hacks that can help you achieve your goals for the day.
With no supervisor or colleagues to monitor or remind you of your duties, a plan is the only thing that will keep your eyes on the goal.
The strategies below can help you plan your days:
- Maintain regular working hours.
- Make use of a planner.
- Set your alarms.
- Stick to your boundaries.
Implementing these strategies will definitely help you to stay focused throughout the day.
Take Regular Breaks
Many people working from home are so focused on accomplishing their tasks that they sometimes forget to take intermittent breaks.
Studies have consistently shown that productivity went up for people who took breaks and reduced for those who didn’t.
A current study conducted by the University of Illinois in 2011 revealed that the brain’s ability to focus on a single task starts to dwindle after a few hours.
Taking regular breaks has proven to be one of the best ways for workers to stay focused and increase their productivity.
Some of the ways you can take a break from your work include:
- Talking with another colleague using online communication tools,
- Taking power naps.
Have a Separate Working Space at Home
Working from home can be interesting because it affords one the liberty to work from practically any corner of the home.
However, some experts have pointed out that the casual atmosphere of the home can affect productivity and lure workers into complacency.
To boost productivity while working remotely, create your own little office at home.
Beyond increasing your productivity, working from a well-equipped home office can help you:
- Stay focused on tasks that require a lot of critical reasoning.
- Disabuse your mind of the notion that you’re on vacation.
- Generate creative ideas
Ensure that your home office is comfortable, well-lit, spacious, clutter-free, and organized.
Many people still scoff at the remote work model. These skeptics believe that people who work from home aren’t real employees in the real sense of the word.
While working from home, friends, neighbors, and family members will call for your attention. They will make requests that will interrupt your work and decrease your productivity.
The best way to prevent this is to set clearly defined boundaries, so people know you are not available when you’re working from home.
You can set boundaries by putting up a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door. You can also leave a voice message on your phone.
Keep Your Working Desk Clean
Keeping your desk clean is one of the best productivity hacks for remote workers. Working from a cluttered desk undermines productivity in many ways.
First, the items on your desk can distract you during work periods. Secondly, clutter can make you feel agitated and confused, thereby affecting your ability to think clearly.
Moreover, a disorderly desk makes it hard for you to find the things you need to do your work.
A clean desk, on the other hand:
- Reduces stress.
- Improves mental health.
- Helps you make better choices.
- Increases persistence.
- Makes you healthier
To increase productivity when working from home, make sure that the items on your desk are those you need for the particular task you are working on at a point in time.
Keep in Touch with Colleagues
One downside of working from home is the loneliness associated with it. Moreover, loneliness can reduce employee morale.
Some studies have also shown that workers who socialize are happier and have better cognitive skills and memory.
As one of the best productivity hacks recommended by experts, keeping in touch with your colleagues can improve your productivity when working from home. Social interactions not only enhance your health but also boosts team spirit.
You can keep in touch via online collaboration and communication tools. Attending virtual team-building activities will give you an opportunity to overcome loneliness.
Use Productivity Tools
There is no doubt that without tools, human beings will experience low output and low efficiency. Through the use of productivity tools and time management apps, humans have been able to conquer the world.
Working from home is no different. To be more productive, you need the right tools. If you want to get the work done and increase your productivity, you have to invest in remote work tools that will enable you to get the job done.
Identify the right tools for your job, and get them. The right software will simplify your work and increase your output.
In one study by the University of Bristol in 2008, a high percentage of workers reported positive changes in performance outcomes after exercising.
When you exercise, you feel more energized in a way that increases your efficiency while working remotely.
The following exercises are perfect for employees who work from home.
- Using a bicycle desk.
- Walking around during meetings and calls.
- Exercise alongside trainers in short workout videos.
Eat a Healthy Diet
According to the World Health Organization, adequate diet and nutrition can boost your productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.
If you work from home, eat healthy foods like fruits, nuts, and vegetables. These foods are high in antioxidants. They increase brain power and enhance your overall performance at work.
Avoid Social Media Interruptions
Of all the productivity hacks, avoiding social media is one of the hardest to implement. The internet is full of insights and information. However, it can be a major source of distraction for employees who work from home.
If you use a distraction management tool, you’re likely to get distracted from the critical tasks on your schedule. These tools nudge and notify you whenever you open unproductive sites and apps.
Another way to avoid social media distractions is to mute or switch off all electronic gadgets while working from home.
It is difficult to concentrate at work while electronic gadgets are ringing, beeping, and notifying you.
A study by Basex, a New York research firm, reported that workers lose as much as 2.1 hours daily from work distractions.
Another study by TeamLease found that workers lose about 13 percent of productivity time due to social media excesses by workers.
Social media distractions can make remote workers abandon their main tasks, which can affect their productivity.
Multitasking is one of the most misunderstood productivity hacks. Many people think that they can accomplish more by juggling as many balls as possible.
But, multitasking can lower your productivity. Several pieces of research have shown that multitasking results in mistakes that can affect productivity.
In one of such studies carried out by Robert Rogers and Stephen Monsell, subjects who switched tasks were much slower than when they repeated the same work.
To avoid costly mistakes while working from home, avoid the temptation of doing both office and family work at the same time.
Do the Critical Tasks First
There is always the urge to tackle the simple tasks first before going for the more difficult and complicated ones.
But, many experts advocate that workers deal with difficult tasks first before moving on to the less challenging ones.
Maryam Kouchaki, and her colleagues, recently studied doctors and found that those who went for difficult cases were more productive in the long run.
Completing the hard jobs first in the morning is understandable because that is when you are freshest and most energetic.
Delegate the House Work
For those looking for productivity hacks, the delegation will not only make you focus on high-level tasks but will help improve your productivity.
House chores can take a lot of your working time, leaving you with little time for your professional work.
Delegating housework to others can provide you with adequate time and energy to focus on your job.
According to research published by Buffer, 99 percent of respondents admitted that they would like to work remotely at some point in their careers.
Although most people dream of working from home at a point in their working careers, there are problems associated with remote work.
One such problem is low productivity. Those working from home, therefore, need to manage the challenges of remote work to be productive in their jobs.
Despite the challenges, working from home can be exciting and fulfilling. You can be more productive when working from home if you apply the productivity hacks listed in this article.