The novel coronavirus has brought several changes in the world we live in. One of them is an abundant increase in work from home culture. Being productive while working remotely doesn’t mean you need to work more, but on the contrary. Working from home, you run at the risk of burnout, which can exhaust you easily. Statistics have predicted that 73% of teams will have remote workers by 2028. Therefore, in the long term, burnout can affect your physical and mental health if you don’t set a limit to your working hours in a work-from-home setup. More than before, now is the time to maintain a good work-life balance to do your job efficiently and correctly. To achieve all this while staying sane, here are some tips to increase your productivity while working from home. Read on to learn how to work from home effectively.
Bye-bye, stressful days!
Tips To Set Up Your Office While Working Remotely
Setting up a good home office space is vital for increasing productivity while working remotely.
For many of us who began working from home, the first challenge was establishing a physical space where they would move their office. A personal space where they can focus on work and avoid distractions.
Here are some suggestions that can help you make your space as comfortable as possible:
- The first step is to ensure you have everything needed for an office space. For example, a laptop, additional monitors, essential documents, a printer, and a good speed internet connection are the basic requirements for working effectively from home.
- Also, it is ideal to allocate the office space in a separate room like the living room or the balcony where there is more exposure to the natural light. Try not to work from the bedroom, which, as a rule, we associate with rest, sleep, and relaxation.
- Place the office desk near to the window so that you get access to the fresh air and give your eyes the rest by watching the beautiful sky or the greenery around.
- Choose an ergonomic office chair, which can be adjusted according to the work position, the height of the office, and your physical height.
- To feel comfortable, locate the monitor of the laptop or computer at an eye level. Doing this will allow you to keep your back straight without bending your head down and neck, which could otherwise strain and hurt the back.
- Organizing can help you be more productive and maintain order in your home office. So it’s necessary that you declutter the mess from your work desk and only keep valuables that matters at work.
- Last but not least, personalize your home office with messages, panels, photos that give you a good vibe and help you stay connected with your job, co-workers, team, clients.
Here’s an ideal remote work setup:
Tips To Increase Productivity While Working From Home/Remotely
Don’t start working as soon as you wake up.
Getting into the work environment instantly after waking up can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, kick start your everyday morning healthy morning routine that can eventually guide you to the home office.
The best ritual you can follow as a part of your morning routine could be the same things that you do while going to work. Is it preparing your coffee or reading a newspaper? Or some morning meditation? What is that you do on regular days to prepare yourself and go to the office?
Start cultivating a similar morning routine so that your brain is not overwhelmed by staying at home continuously.
It is also essential you get a good night’s sleep as sleep increases productivity levels and helps you stay focused at work, whether in-home or office space.
2. Allocate Time For Increased Productivity When Working From Home
Productivity involves staying focused and working hard for a limited period. Numerous studies mention that people who work 60 hours a week are becoming less efficient than those who work an average of 40 hours per week.
That is why time management is a crucial factor to consider while working remotely. Whether you’re a student who’s doing work from home internships or an employer managing a virtual remote team, always embrace effective time management tips as it prevents you from wasting time.
The first thing you can do is begin your day by writing down goals that you have to accomplish that day—eventually, block time for each goal. For instance, if a goal requires you to commit at least 8 hours, break that goal into smaller goals and delegate 2-3 hours for each specific goal.
Once the working hours are done, update your status, and sign off. Leaving a status on Skype, Slack or Teams help your colleagues know that you are done for the day.
It is an excellent way to avoid unnecessary expectations from your team, which could otherwise hamper productivity for the coming day.
3. Plan Ahead With Your Partner
Make a weekly plan in advance. This is especially important if you have kids and live together. Stay at home moms and dads must clarify with their partners about who and when they are responsible for taking care of the child.
Choose any calendar format that suits you and write down everything. Keep a check on the days when you have scheduled calls, Zoom meetings, and Skype calls. This will help your partner know when they will have to take care of the household chores and look after the kids.
If your partner is at home and you have children, take time at the end of the week and synchronize your calendars. Look at what obligations you each have in the calendar, and then start working from there.
4. Avoid Distractions
Another tip to work effectively from home and increase productivity is establishing rules for working without distractions.
It’s especially critical to avoid social media usage as statistics have shown a significant percentage of employees being on virtual apps like Facebook and Instagram while they are working.
- Disconnect from social networks
- Check Instagram or Facebook only during the lunch break.
- Make sure that when you need to be 100% focus, you are not disturbed.
- Turn your phone in Do Not Disturb mode.
- Keep your mobile in flight mode whenever you’re working on an important task.
Also, panic, stress, anxiety can be significantly disruptive factors, lowering the focus on work. But there are ways you can manage them, especially during the time left after the work schedule.
Procrastination is a severe matter that needs to be dealt with while working, especially from your home’s comfort.
A CNBC report shows that an average worker wastes 2.09 hours each day on nor-related job activities, and procrastination costs companies $10,396 per year – per employee.
If you don’t believe the above statistic, ask yourself this question. How many times have you delayed an essential task for binge-watching your favorite Netflix show, only to feel stress out at the last moment? I bet many times.
The best way to stay productive while working from home is to stop procrastinating doing small things.
- Should you talk to your manager? Go ahead and book a meeting.
- Are there changes you need to discuss with your peer? Communicate with them effectively.
Piling up smaller things can sooner turn into chaos and leave you stressed. For that reason, you must cultivate the habit of doing something immediately, as and when they pop up.
If you are already following this tip to increase productivity while working from home, you have cracked one way to work from home effectively!
Increased productivity, reduced stress, and more energy is just a few of the several benefits of being organized at work.
Keeping your work environment clean and decluttering your surroundings are the basic things for organizing your workday.
The below tips to stay more organized can help you a long way to increase productivity:
- Maintain to-do lists.
- Set reminders for meetings.
- Set reminders for personal breaks.
With working from home comes the disadvantages like less moving around, social isolation, and similar challenges.
A study of 85,000 adults in the US workforce cites that yoga practice at the workplace has increased from 6 percent to 11 percent from 2002 to 2012. This shows that companies are incorporating the benefits of yoga to ensure employee’s well-being.
Therefore, stretching your muscles can be an effective way to loosen your body. You can start doing yoga poses even at your desk to relax and ease your muscles, leaving you with an improved productivity rate and effectively carrying out your work from home tasks.
You can also do some exercises for the neck and back. Movement enhances blood circulation and helps the brain to oxygenate better.
Keeping your body in good condition is essential to work from home effectively, which brings us to the next point – eating well!
6. Eat Immune Boosting Foods
There are a lot of superfoods that boost productivity, like berries, green tea, and salmon. Staying in good health is primary to produce good quality work.
For these reasons, start improving your diet by including immune-boosting foods that can nourish your mind and body. Check out the foods that increase immunity naturally to stay productive while working from home.
Try giving a break to your mind and body with green tea fill with antioxidants.
Also, if you’re a chocolate lover, keep dark chocolates handy. From improved brain health to make you feel better, the benefits of eating dark chocolate are truly miraculous for health.
That brings us to the next point, short breaks!
7. Short and Frequent Breaks Are Essential
According to the Harvard Business Review, an overworked brain always backfires and leads to lower productivity levels for the companies. Moreover, sitting at the same place for a long duration can also make you fall asleep during work.
So, a break of 5-10 minutes every 45-60 minutes can help keep your focus at the point. This habit tip is also healthy and effective for your body, in general, to keep you physically active while working from home.
Set a reminder or alarm on the phone to remind you to get up from your chair and make a slight movement around the house.
8. Focus 100%
Research reports that businesses globally lose $600 Billion every year due to distraction at work. Hence, keeping a hundred percent focus is mandatory to avoid these unnecessary losses.
Time is not the only parameter by which you can measure the degree of productivity. Instead, the intensity or the power of concentration, the focus on solving the task set, is the second important parameter.
The better you can focus, the faster you can finish the goal. To focus one hundred percent, you need to make sure there are no digital distractions.
10. Have Personal Plans For The Day
You can choose to do some physical exercises, watch a comedy, use the services of a therapist who offer online support during these challenging times, or just read a good book.
Staying happy and balanced in your personal life can significantly increase your professional performance, says a research study by the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.
If you have any children, you can work in periods of 30 intense minutes, followed by 10 minutes of pause in which you talk to the littles ones, give them ideas for playing, or having fun together.
Even though it may be difficult at first, you will get used to this way of working(WoW) in a few days, and you will get into a natural rhythm. Also, observe what other small activities steal your time or focus on you and find ways to reduce their effect.
11. Schedule Specific Time To Check Your Emails
Email is another factor that can disrupt you and consume your productivity level when working remotely. Reading some emails may force you to respond at that moment and distract you from your task at hand.
To work from home effectively, it’s recommended to choose a specific time of day to answer emails.
For example, after lunch, you can do this when the energy level decreases and, consequently, productivity is diminished.
A good time can also be in the afternoon after your lunch break or before starting any new task. Avoid checking emails the first thing in the morning not to impact your productivity while working from home.
12. Hydrate Yourself
Yes, you read that right.
If you feel tired even when you work from home, chances are your body is dehydrated. Fatigue and headache are some primary signs you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day.
Research suggests that your body needs enough fluids to carry vital nutrients eliminate toxins, and a lack of hydration can lead to feeling lethargic and dizziness.
The brain needs hydration to function properly. Water consumption balances the chemical processes in the brain and helps us quickly make neural connections. Make sure you drink 7-8 glasses of water daily.
Drinking enough water is of utmost importance not only to work from home effectively but also to stay healthy in general.
13. Stay Motivated
Staying motivated is one of the critical aspects of increasing productivity while working from home.
Indeed, you cannot be motivated all the time. But while at work, or if you’re working remotely, is it essential you stay motivated and disciplined to get tasks done. Also, it helps limit yourself from negativity.
Here are some challenges you might face and tips for working from home effectively!
Advantages Of Working From Home – How To Leverage Them?
Working from home does have its perks! You can now avoid daily transit and the politics of corporate work culture.
Also, if you also benefit from a quiet space, where you are not disturbed by others, you have an extra advantage. You can:
- Concentrate better
- Be more productive
- Manage your time better
- Spend more time with your family
During this time, you can find out if you prefer to work from home or have face-to-face interaction with the team, colleagues, clients.
You can figure out what resources you need to work efficiently, productively, quickly and the factors that disrupt you. At the same time, you have the chance to experience the challenges faced by a freelancer working full time from home.
If a few years ago the work from home seemed like a distant dream, nowadays more and more companies offer this possibility to the employees.
Whether you manage to accomplish more tasks in your home’s comfort or meet other goals you set for yourself that day, working from home can be beneficial to you.
Of course, this depends a lot on how you prepare your workspace and the rules you set to ensure that it’s a productive way of doing your job.
Work From Home – The Disadvantages To Take Into Account
The first downside of working from home is the risk of burnout. For this reason, it is healthy to impose an 8-hour program, which you will adopt daily. When the program is over, take care of your personal life.
- Watch a movie
- Have fun with the little ones
- Cook new recipes
- Do some cardio exercises
- Read a book
- Play an instrument
Whatever it is, it is vital to keep the balance between personal and professional life.
Another disadvantage is the lack of effective communication and social isolation. It may be more challenging to discuss online than face-to-face. For that, there are many apps, tools, and platforms that allow you to stay connected with the team and talk openly even when you are away. And this can hamper your productivity to work from home effectively.
This new era of working remotely can be a challenge for many of us. It is just a matter of time to get used to them and learn how to manage them or find practical solutions.
We are all in this critical situation together. Hence, don’t wait for this to over. Instead, learn to thrive even during this crisis and come out stronger than before!
If you know any other tips on how to work from home effectively to increase productivity or you want to share your experience working remotely, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments section!
Key Takeaways On Tips To Increase Work-From-Home Productivity
- Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, there has been a significant rise in the work-from-home culture.
- In fact, it has been predicted that 73% team will have remote workers in the next ten years.
- As a result, it is essential to set a limit to the daily hours while remotely working. It will allow you to work effectively and implement some practical tips to overcome remote work challenges and boost productivity.
- For instance, setting up a proper office space at home is imperative for remote work. A laptop, printer, essential documents, and high-speed internet are the basic necessities to promote productivity in work-from-home culture.
- Also, ensure that your office space is exposed to natural light and fresh air.
- The first tip to work effectively and improve productivity in remote work is to kickstart your day with a healthy morning routine.
- Additionally, having a good sleep routine helps retain focus, make better decisions, and keep you fresh throughout the day.
- Don’t forget to set time for your daily tasks as it can prevent you from wasting precious time.
- If you’re a stay-at-home parent, talk with your partner about the shared responsibilities.
- Avoid procrastination by breaking down bigger goals into smaller and specific tasks.
- Keep your workspace neat and organized. Declutter the mess and keep things that add value.
- Furthermore, whenever you feel cramped up, do indulge in some yoga practices from your work desk.
- Don’t forget to consume healthy and immune-boosting foods like green tea, berries, salmon, and dark chocolate.
- Also, take short breaks every one hour to focus better on a task.
- Switch off your mobile notification and keep it on flight mode or DND(Do not disturb) mode to avoid unwanted distractions at work.
- Lastly, always hydrate your body with 7-8 glasses of water so that you don’t feel tired and lazy at work.
Why is remote work here to stay?
Many companies prefer remote work due to the flexibility and work-life balance it provides employees and employers. Along with this, there are other perks of remote work as well that confirm it’s here to stay for the long run. Some perks are:
- The company saves money.
- Increased employee productivity.
- Working from the comfort of the home.
- More family time.
What are some productivity tips while working remotely or from home?
- Set up your office space in a place where there’s enough sunlight.
- Turn off your mobile notifications during office hours.
- Manage your time by using the Pomodoro technique.
- Break bigger goals into smaller goals.
- Share your responsibilities with your husband if you’re a stay-at-home mom.