11 Work-From-Home Tips To Boost Productivity
Productivity

11 Work-From-Home Tips To Boost Productivity

By
Derek Abram
|
CEO of Prio
|
9 min read

After two years of working from home, a lot of employees claim to be more productive while working from home. 

Employers, on the other hand, are unsure if their teams are actually completely productive and able to be creative while working from their remote locations, even though there have been great improvements to productivity tracking and project management tools during the pandemic. 

This means managers and business owners will be keeping a closer eye on those of us still privileged to work from home. 

Our in-house experts have helped us compile 11 essential work-from-home tips guaranteed to boost productivity and ensure you stay ahead of the curve. 

How to boost productivity while working from home

Work-from-home productivity can be a major cause of concern for both managers and employees because there are literally hundreds of ways to distract a person working remotely. 

If you want to ensure your employer continues to let you work from home without questioning your creativity and productivity, these WFH tips are meant just for you. 

Setup your environment

A productive and distraction-free work environment is essential for everyone to be productive, and working from home is no exception. Here are some tips on how you could set up your work environment.

Set up your home office

While you may feel like sitting on your couch and working or lounging on your bed while answering your emails, these are counterproductive in more ways than just now. Not only are these positions really bad for your posture, but you are also more likely to laze around while doing so.

This makes it important for you to create a separate working space even while working from home. Ideally, set up your home office in a different room, detached from the hustle and bustle of your home. That way, you have a clear distinction between your home and work life.  

Try and choose a room with plenty of natural lighting and good ventilation, since these are great for keeping you fresh and focused. Position your work desk in a way that avoids direct sunlight onto the screen to avoid glare. 

Make sure you use an ergonomic chair to help you maintain a healthy sitting posture while working, making sure you do not stress out your lower back.

Limit distractions

There are hundreds of distractions when you work from home that can hamper your productivity. The lure of social media is one of the biggest distractions, as is the urge to watch TV on a meal break (which can lead to napping, for instance). 

Never-ending household chores can also shift your focus from your job.

However, each of these distractions can be addressed easily enough. For example, keep your personal smartphone away during your working hours, so that you’re not tempted to keep scrolling through your Instagram feed. Be sure to disable any notifications that may pop up on your computer screen as well. 

Instead of watching TV, listen to music when you take a break. Music is known to be a mood lifter and certain genres of music have been known to even increase productivity.

And finally, be sure to keep aside time in your daily schedule for household chores. After all, work-life balance is essential for you to stay healthy. 

Set healthy boundaries with your family

Families can sometimes be the biggest cause of distractions when you’re working from home. 

We’ve all faced those Skype meetings where your kids and/or pets decide it’s a good time to plant themselves on your lap or ask for a snack. Or when your partner or spouse decides they need you to do something for them right when you’re in the middle of a task.

The best way to deal with this is to first, ensure you have a dedicated workspace where you are not disturbed. Be sure to let your family know your daily schedule, including when you’re going to be taking on meetings and calls, so no one disturbs you during those times.

And most importantly, create a daily schedule and stick to it, just like you would if you went into your workplace. That way, you can be sure of making time for your family without it affecting your productivity.

Building a home working routine

A routine to stick by brings about a sense of discipline and encourages productivity. Here’s how you could build a home working routine.

Build a morning routine

A strong start to the day mostly ensures that the rest of your day goes on reasonably well. While working from home may mean that you don’t need to go meet anyone in person, it shouldn’t be a reason for poor personal hygiene.

Be sure to shower and freshen yourself up before you sit down to work. This will help you feel better and think more clearly, just like a home office would make you less distracted. It will also help you prepare your mind for what lies ahead of you during that day.

A hearty breakfast is also helpful in giving you the energy and drive to deal with whatever the day throws at you.

Plan your day out

Creating a daily schedule has multiple aspects to it. To begin with, you will need to recognize what parts of the day you are most alert, and plan to handle the most crucial tasks for the day during those hours.

The next thing is for you to plan your day in such a way that you address all your tasks for the day in order of priority, finishing off the most important and time-consuming tasks first, and making time later for less productive tasks such as answering emails and administrative tasks.

By sticking to a daily routine, you bring about a certain amount of much-needed discipline into your life, ensuring you do not veer away from your official responsibilities just because you’re working from home.

Track your progress

By using productivity measuring software or a time tracker, you can easily keep a tab on the progress of your tasks and whether you are on your way to finishing them on schedule.

A good time tracker will allow you to see which of your tasks take the most time of time and effort, see if your remuneration is worth the effort you put in, notice any gaps in your process that you can rectify, and ensure your deliveries are on schedule.

We at Prio have a great time-tracking tool that will allow you to track how much time you spend on your tasks, let you calculate billable hours, and a lot more. Sign in and learn more about the great features of Prio’s free time tracker as well as other great project management tools.

Set effective breaks

Be sure to include breaks in between your working hours for meals and to generally get a breather. This helps rejuvenate energy and refocus on the tasks that still need your attention. You could do this by taking a 25-minute break for your meal, and having between 3 and 5 smaller breaks of 5 minutes spread out during the rest of your working day.

Decompress after the workday

Finally, it is important to keep time aside for yourself and your family as well. While working hard is important, you do not want to burn out either. 

Whether you spend your time after your working hours meeting friends, reading a book, cultivating a hobby, or simply spending time with your loved ones, de-stressing oneself after a full day of work is essential to stay motivated to do it all over again the next day.

We also cannot stress enough the importance of getting some sort of exercise, sport, or physical activity into your daily routine. This holds especially true for those of us whose jobs leave us sitting at our desks for hours at a time. 

Stretching and other exercises will reduce any aches and pains you may have, while outdoor activities such as walking, running, cycling, or playing a sport are a great way to reduce stress.

Set up effective communication

Communication is easier when your entire team works out of the same office. However, effective communication is doubly important when you’re working from home because the last thing you want is communication gaps. 

Here are tips on how to set up effective communication while working from home.

Use the right communication tools

One of the biggest hindrances to productivity when you work from home is that without the correct communication tools, a lot of important information can be miscommunicated or lost entirely. 

There is also the fact that without the regular cafeteria banter and camaraderie that colleagues share, employees working from home can feel isolated and lack motivation.

These can be reinstated to a certain extent by using tools like Slack or Microsoft Messenger to chat with colleagues and using Google Meetings or Skype for video calls.

However, it is equally important to follow decorum while using these tools, even if it is for friendly chatter, considering they are essentially official channels of communication. 

Socialize remotely

Socializing with colleagues is very essential for employee morale. The pandemic has given wings to many innovative ways for remote teams to socialize. 

From virtual water cooler conversations, virtual coffee mornings, and online quizzes to physical activities like setting a target of 1,000,000 steps for the entire team to achieve within a month to generate funds for a charitable organization, there are plenty of activities to keep you and your colleagues buzzing.

Internal communication strategies for remote teams

One of the biggest advantages of working from home is that you are no longer wasting time with unnecessary conversations with your colleagues. 

However, from an official standpoint, it is very important to still maintain effective communication within teams and with stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.

While we have already mentioned the communication tools needed for effective communication, it is important for you and your colleagues to schedule regular virtual meetings to exchange updates and track the progress of ongoing projects and plan for future endeavors. 

It is equally important to document all of this information in a written format, so it is always available for future reference. While writing official emails or communication documents, be sure to use positive language and an active voice to get your message across.

Also, keep in mind that long paragraphs and complicated words can be tedious to read. The use of simple language and formatting will help make your communication more understandable.

However, as necessary as these virtual meetings and email communications are, it would also be prudent to limit them to only when necessary. The last thing you want is for the team’s productivity to be affected because too much time is being spent on these meetings instead of working on deliverables. 

Final thoughts

Working from home is a boon to many of us. Since we don’t need to commute every day to work, we save on the money we’d have spent on traveling. We also save time, allowing us to spend more time on ourselves and our families. 

However, we should not take these liberties for granted, and ensure that we prioritize our official responsibilities during working hours. Start applying the tips we just laid out for you, and you’re sure to see your work-life balance improve.  

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