Whether it’s due to the pandemic or just because they prefer it, more and more people are choosing to work from home. Many have been surprised to find that their productivity has actually increased. For their part, many employers are opting to keep going with remote teams.
Working from home definitely has its perks. You can start your workday later, take breaks when needed, and save on commuting time and money. However, working from home can also negatively affect your concentration and productivity.
You have to be a self-motivated individual to produce well in an unstructured environment. Listed below are eight tips for how you can work from home and still be as productive as possible.
1. Adjust your work schedule.
If you have a family and are trying to work when they’re all home listening to music, watching TV, or asking you all sorts of questions, this can be a recipe for disaster.
If other members of your family also work from home, try to arrange it so you’re all working at the same time. This will provide you with a quieter work environment and fewer distractions. You can even schedule everyone’s breaks so they occur at the same time.
2. Set and enforce good productivity boundaries.
Setting boundaries and sticking to them is the best way to be productive.
In addition to adjusting your work schedule, you need to set boundaries not just for yourself but for family members as well. When you’re in the middle of your workday, your family and friends need to know that you’re not available to take personal phone calls.
Inform family members that you’re not to be disturbed. You can even put a sign on your workspace door to that effect. Children and even spouses often feel that they can converse with you while you’re working just because you’re at home. They need to realize that you are just as unavailable to them as you would be if you were at the workplace.
3. Follow a sleeping schedule.
Remote work disrupted many people’s sleep patterns and upset their routines. Insufficient rest is a productivity killer.
Because our bodies are accustomed to predictability, it’s easy to fall asleep late or hit the snooze button, especially when you’re laying on a comfortable mattress and don’t have to drive anywhere.
You can get back in the rhythm and have restful sleep by setting a bedtime and wake time. You should not stray from the schedule you’ve set…even if it is Monday morning.
4. Prioritize your activities.
With any workday, there are certain things that you would like to get done and certain things you must get done. Knowing what you’re going to be spending most of your day on is the best way to manage your day properly and be as productive as possible.
When prioritizing your tasks, focus on the most difficult ones and keep the simplest ones for last when you have extra time. The main reason for this is that then you’ll be doing the difficult tasks while you’re still full of energy and motivation. If there are unforeseen events that pop up but are not that important, save them for another day.
5. Put in a complete workday.
Many people who work from the home claim they love working from home because they can determine how many hours per day they work. This may be true with some jobs.
However, other employees may have to be online and actually work the same number of hours as they would if they were at the workplace.
If you have the luxury of naming your own hours, make sure you put in a complete workday. Don’t allow productivity to slide. At-home workers who cut their days short often find that they’re not as productive as they could be. They are more likely to fall behind on their work.
6. Productivity means finding the right workspace.
Where you choose to work can be just as important as when you work. You can’t expect a good work environment if your workstation is in the middle of the living room or kitchen. There are just too many distractions.
Find a quiet space in your home where you’ll have the fewest interruptions or distractions. If you have a spare bedroom or large storage place, this can be ideal for your workspace.
It’s also important that the space has a door so you can close it to inform others that you are working and do not want to be disturbed. Make sure your workspace is properly lighted to prevent headaches and vision problems.
7. Plan your day accordingly.
One of the best ways to increase productivity is to plan your workday in advance. If you have some sort of a schedule, you’re more likely to stick to it.
Even if you have some unforeseen activities, you’re still going to be more productive with a basic schedule. Outline what you need to get done or what you want to get done.
When you have a schedule, you can check off what you’ve accomplished as it’s completed. There are many productivity apps available for your smartphone and they can be very helpful. However, you can always use a traditional pen and paper, too.
8. Don’t forget to take breaks.
When you’re in the workplace, they typically provide regular breaks, and they do this for a reason. Few things can slow down your productivity than trying to work nonstop without a break. Just because you’re working from home, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks.
In fact, one of the biggest advantages of working from home is that you’re able to take your own breaks. If you happen to be working on a difficult project, a break may be in order. Refresh your brain and rejuvenate your energy level!