Recent years have seen an increase in home-based work, especially after the pandemic.
Several discussions and stats have been made in regards to how productive people are working from home.
Work from home may sound fantastic, but in reality it comes with benefits as well as drawbacks.
Employees may perceive themselves as being more productive and completing more work than they were previously. However, this can end up in working long hours.
According to Forbes survey, 91% percent of employees say they’ve experienced moderate to extreme stress while working from home during the pandemic.
A whopping 59% of employees who work from home lend a hand to their fellow housemates when needed. (OfficeNeedle)
So how do you manage to stay comfortable and productive despite the distractions and stress and do a great job working from home?
With the help of the right collaboration tools and actionable working from home tips, here is how you can do this.
Use these 8 Working from Home Tips for Improved Productivity
1. Workspace Ergonomics
An ergonomic workplace can enhance your productivity at home. The concept of ergonomics is to design a workstation to minimize the physical strain on a person; a poor workplace setting can hinder your health and cause fatigue.
For instance, consider working in an uncomfortable chair for hours together instead of a comfortable chair with a good backrest; the former will decrease your productivity considerably.
Also, poor ergonomics can lead to frustration, which in turn will affect the quality of your work.
2. Stay on top of your work schedule.
Employers with employees working remotely have had this concern at the forefront of their minds. For this reason, it is one of the most crucial working from home tips for the employees.
Below are two points that you need to be aware of in order to manage your tasks and schedule efficiently:
- Keep your work timing the same as that of the company or the client. Thus, if you have any questions or concerns about the task, you can resolve them immediately instead of waiting until tomorrow.
- Always use time management software and time tracking apps to measure the number of hours you are working. Recording the number of hours is necessary if you charge per hour. Moreover, keeping track of your productive time can help you be more disciplined during your work hours.
3. Plan your meals and personal chores in advance
When working out of home, you also have to take care of your meals, do the laundry, etc. You may be tempted to alternate between work and household chores, which can be very distracting.
Plan your meals for the whole week ahead of time so that you don’t waste time worrying and planning about every single meal for each day.
Apply the same logic for other household work like laundry, cleaning etc. Plan them in advance and assign slots for these chores to ensure they don’t interfere with your working hours.
4. Keep work that needs physical activity to the afternoon
Planning out your day and working smartly is vital when working from home. Fresh out of bed early in the morning, you are full of energy and raring to get to work. Use this morning’s energy to get the complex and monotonous tasks done.
According to science, there are specific times when we are highly productive, and it usually depends on the person; knowing when you work best and making the most of it is crucial to have a productive day.
For many of us, once the clock strikes 1 in the afternoon, all you can think of is food and sleep.
Hence, a smarter thing to do so is to keep some action oriented tasks like client calls, video conferencing, etc., to help yourself beat the afternoon slumber.
5. Organize your desk and your workday
Organizing your day can save a lot of time. Knowing exactly what to do at a given time well ahead can minimize time loss. You can also strategically plan your tasks to maximize productivity .
Keep your workspace and your desktop organized. Knowing where’s what can help you avoid wasting time in searching for things. Also, in a chaotic workspace, you run the risk of losing important documents etc.
6. Leverage technology to your advantage
There are about a gazillion excellent productivity and time management apps and tools to help keep stress away from you. Utilize them to maximize your efficiency, make use of time management apps like Finish and task management apps like Evernote, and more.
Not just the apps, but also make sure that your hardware is working in tandem with you. For example, use a high processor speed laptop and a typing-friendly keyboard.
7. Have a work zone and keep it sacred
If you don’t want your productivity to succumb to distraction, don’t blend your workspace and personal space even though you are working from home.
It’s great to watch something on YouTube while working parallelly, munch food, or sit with your child, but it is highly counter-productive. It will decrease your efficiency; you will end up working on a task which could have been finished in an hour, for hours together.
Besides slowing you down, mixing your work and personal space/time will decrease your accuracy. You will tend to make more mistakes, such as overlooking a line in the code, which can cost you dearly.
Make your workplace a sacred zone, and make sure you don’t do anything except work there. After you are done with your work, step out of your work zone into your fun zone.
8. Include Breaks and Vacations in Your Schedule
No matter how great your home office setup is, you will eventually get that feeling of burnout. Boredom is perfectly fine, and guilt should not be attached to it.
Often, we get lost in work, not realizing just how much effort we’ve put in. Eventually, it all leads to low productivity.
It would be best if you had regular breaks to stay productive. Walks, visits to nearby coffee shops, hanging out with friends and family, and perhaps even working from a co-working space are some of the great ways to get refreshed.
These working from home productivity tips and tricks can only help you to a certain extent. If you fail to exercise self-control and discipline, they won’t be of much use to you.
There is no magic formula or click of a button that will make your productivity soar; you will have to work hard to achieve it.