Working from home is now a thing many people love to do because it is flexible, enables you to create your own schedule and gives you the opportunity to create a suitable work from home office according to your likings and needs.
However, to be successful in working from home and achieve higher productivity, you need to know how to effectively work from home. The work from home tips discussed in this post will help you achieve greater success working from home.
Productivity Tips For Working From Home
You can create a suitable work-from-home rhythm using the following tried and tested work from home tips to increase your productivity.
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Working from home is not like working in a traditional office setting where you are expected to start work in the morning. When working from home, you can choose to work any time you want.
However, this can make some people stay longer in bed and start work at later hours. The effect is that this can reduce productivity and also increase the chances of not meeting deadlines.
So, as soon as you wake up, it is advisable to start your work to ensure maximum productivity. This will not only increase your motivation; it will also help you make more progress.
Working from home gives you the option of wearing anything you like as opposed to the traditional work which has a dress code. But getting dressed will make your work from home office feel like a real office.
This will also put you in the right frame of mind to begin your day and ensure high productivity.
Have a designated work from home office
Even though you are working from home, there is still a need to have a designated workspace. A work from home office will eliminate distractions and increase your productivity.
This will also help separate your work from your home life, especially from the areas of the home where you spend your leisure time. Find out how to achieve the perfect work from home setup.
You can work outside of your home
Though it is called “work from home”, it doesn’t mean that you have to work from home. Especially if the environment is not conducive and there are lots of distractions.
So you can choose a library or a coffee shop if that will be less distracting for you.
You can also work at any location of your choice when you need a change of pace.
If your job requires internet use, you can carry your internet connection along or find a Wi-Fi enabled space.
Logout of social media
When you have work to do and you really want to meet the deadline and be more productive, you need to find ways that make it difficult for you to go online and that includes logging out of all your social media accounts.
Remove any links of your social media accounts that you have on your browser shortcuts. You can work from a private window since it signs you out of all your accounts.
Using social media while working can greatly hinder productivity.
Work when you are most productive
You need to know your most productive hours, and work during that time of the day.
Many people have different productive hours; for some it’s in the mornings, others are most productive in the evenings, while some others are night owls.
Just find the time that you are most energized and make the best use of that time to ensure maximum productivity.
Create a to-do list
Making and using a to-do list will help you to manage your work-related priorities. It will help you stay on track when you allot a certain amount of time to each task.
Doing this will even make you feel more energized and encouraged to complete your tasks on time. It will also help increase your productivity by making you commit to a schedule as best as you can.
So, start each day by reviewing your priorities and cross each completed task off your list as soon as you do them.
Make use of a planner or calendar
In addition to a to-do list, a planner will help you keep track of your deadlines, appointments, and meetings. It will help you organize your day and various responsibilities more efficiently.
It also serves as a visual aid to help you monitor goals and deadlines better.
If it is not distracting to you, you can play music that matches the energy of the tasks you are working on.
Set boundaries with people around you
You may have friends, family members, and even pets wandering around the home as you work, this can be distracting.
So you have to communicate your expectations with them and ensure that they respect your work hours and your work space.
Set a time aside to take breaks during work to relax. This will allow your brain to rest and make you more energized by the time you return to work.
Make sure you take these breaks away from your work from home office. You can take a walk outside or talk with a family member or a neighbor.
Set definite work hours
Even though you work from home, you have to separate your work life from your home life by setting definite work hours. Keep a good track of time and ensure that you put down your work once you have completed your shift.
You can set an alarm to let you know when your shift has ended. This will prevent over-time and also help you achieve a better work-life balance.
Interact with others
Staying social will help your mental health if you work from home. Use your break time to have face-to-face contacts with friends and family members. You can also communicate with co-workers or friends over social media platforms.
Regular interactions will stimulate your brain and also provide a sense of normalcy during your day.
Make use of noise-canceling headphones
A good noise-canceling headphone will prevent distractions when you are on a phone call or a conference call. It will also make it easier for you to focus.
Prepare your meals in advance
You may be tempted to make an elaborate meal when you work from home and this may take a lot of your time.
To avoid this hurdle, you should set time aside for preparing meals. You can use the night before your work day to prepare the meals you would eat the following day.
This will allow you to be focused on work rather than spending too much time in the kitchen when you have things to do.
Avoid junk food, eat nutritious meals and snacks to help you stay energized all through the day. This will increase your alertness and improve your overall health.
Regular exercise will boost your endorphins, improve your mood, and boost your productivity.
Spend time outdoors
Take short breaks and go outdoors instead of spending all your time indoors. You can even take your laptop outside and work there for some time. Or you can go to the balcony or patio and work there to get some sunlight and vitamin D.
When indoors, you can open the windows just to let in some sunlight to lift your mood.
Set a reward system in place
You will be motivated when you create a reward system. This will help you work better and improve your productivity. You can reward yourself with short breaks when you finish an important task.
You can even create a reward system for the completion of tasks that you’ve put off.
Have a strong internet connection
If your work from home job needs an internet connection, you need to get a strong and steady internet connection. If you are having video conferencing regularly, you should have a good bandwidth.
Have the right tools
You cannot work from home effectively without having the right tools. So, you need a dedicated space which you will use for your work from home office, the right technological devices, a suitable desk, ergonomic chair, headphones, microphones, Wi-Fi, and other tools you need to get your work done.
There is no perfect home office but having a few tools around can make your work easy and smooth.
Working From Home Tips From Real People (Who Work From Home)
- Amy Yackowski
Amy of Painted Porch Strategies has these tips to give regarding working from home. she says:
“As many of you have discovered over these last few years, working from home can be a two-sided coin. There are certainly real benefits, as well as some potential drawbacks.
Based on my over 15 years of experience as a remote worker, here are some truths and best practices to keep in mind if you’re considering either part or full-time work from home:
- Remember that you’re still “at work”. To be an effective and valuable member of a team while working remotely, you must still approach your day and work obligations as if you were working in a formal office environment.
While working from home may provide some time and cost savings to you and your employer, you must still manage and schedule your work time to ensure you’re getting done what your employer is paying you to do – not in between lunches, laundry, vacuuming, childcare, and so on.
- Dress like you’re at work (or at least not what you slept or worked out in). If you tend to work in the same clothes you slept or worked out in, how professional are you approaching your work and in your communications with colleagues and clients?
Now, is it worth the (presumed) unnecessary dry cleaning bill to dress up when no one can see you? No. But, for those days when you’ll be on several phone calls with your coworkers or clients, it may be worth throwing on a nice outfit and being properly groomed.
You may find that, in dressing as if you’re at the office or in front of them, you communicate differently than if you were kicked back in your most comfortable sweats.
- Define Your Communication Standards with Your Team. While you may have less physical distractions at home, the idea of getting more work done is heavily dependent on the way you and your colleagues communicate.
If both you and your team have not established and adopted effective communication practices, working from home can introduce even more distractions (through additional meetings, emails, instant messages, and so on) that would have produced better results and time savings had they occurred in person.
- Be Realistic with Your Working Location. We all love the idea of being able to live and work anywhere in the world; however, you should also consider the timezone you’ll be in, the reliability of an Internet connection, the proximity to an airport (if you must travel for work), and any other location-based demands or limitations when deciding where you will be working.
- Be Honest About How You Work. Working remotely requires a certain amount of discipline and self-motivation – look introspectively to determine if you have the right work ethic and skill set to be a remote employee.
Also recognize that you will have to work even harder to create solid working relationships and trust with your coworkers, since your interactions with them will be mostly via the phone, video calls, email, and messaging.
- Be Comfortable with Technology and Tools. When you work from home, you are your own IT department. So, if you’re someone who struggles with setting up a computer, accessing the Internet, configuring a printer, installing and using a new piece of software, and so on, it may be difficult for you to work from home, since you can’t have Steve from IT come and help troubleshoot your computer.
Ensure that your employer has a designated support person or team who is available to help assist if technical issues arise.
- Create a Dedicated Office Space or “Work Zone”. You must create a space that is conducive to work, where you can have private conversations with clients and coworkers without children, dogs, spouses, televisions, or other distractions.
It’s also important to have a dedicated space so that you can leave it once your work day has concluded. If every space in your home becomes a spot for work, then it will ALWAYS feel like you’re at work.
You need to be able to shut it down and shut the door to create the work to life transitions you used to have during your commute.
- Schedule Your Day, including Breaks. Properly planning your day and establishing communication best practices are critical to ensuring maximum productivity.
In addition to scheduling when activities will occur, it’s equally important to block out time and define boundaries around when they will not. Ensure you’re scheduling breaks in your day to eat lunch, move, get some fresh air, and reset.
Don’t be glued to your desk all day. Also, ensure that you establish appropriate work availability expectations with your team so that you don’t find yourself working at times that you otherwise would not have had you gone into an office.”
- Lucia Jensen
CEO of WeLoans, has these tips to give on working from home, she says:
“1. Scheduled work time.
There is time for everything. Managing your time well will help you be motivated during work. You can always have your phone away or on work mode during your work time and restrain from watching shows or entertainment or even from playing with your children.
Ensure that you have control over your services like the internet to avoid downtimes and low receptions when you are having conference video meetings with your colleagues.
2. Have an office space.
An office space sets you in the right mood to work. An office will give you the feeling of being at work, and you will be motivated. It locks you out of other disturbances, including your friends, your family, and even the entertainment.
Offices have the right tools to help you connect to your colleagues and even good lit backgrounds that are professional.”
Mom blogger at roundtheclockmom has these tips to give.
“I’ve been working from home full-time for 2 years now, and have provided some helpful tips below.
1. Creating a morning routine is key. After sending my kids off to school, I usually make myself a cup of tea or coffee to enjoy for about 10-minutes before I tackle my to-do list for the day. This is usually my routine before I kick start the day and I’ve found it really helpful to get myself into the mood of working.
2. Schedule mini-breaks and take them in their entirety. When working from home, it can be easy to shortchange ourselves and take shorter breaks. However, for people who are constantly in front of the computer, it’s important to walk away from the screen and let the blood circulate every so often.
3. Make the effort to switch up the work environment. Working from home can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse. My study room is where I work during the day, and it is also the exact same place where I’ll be hanging out after my kids go to bed. When I go the extra mile to switch up my work environment occasionally, it helps to add more variety to an otherwise boring day.
4. Schedule weekly virtual team meetings. Working from home alone can make people feel isolated. Why not schedule that weekly meeting with team mates just to do a quick check-in? Even if you would like to keep it short, the social interaction can help stimulate the brain.
5. Turn on the white noise while working. My house is located next to a main street and there are so many distractions. The white noise machine does help with drowning out these noises.
6. Over-communicate. Since I’m no longer showing up in the office, and to make my presence known, I tend to err on the side of over communicating. If there is a project that is due in a few days and it’s still sitting in my inbox, I will send a quick email to let them know that I’m working on it and anticipate sending it the next day.
7. Be heard during meetings. During team meetings, it’s always good to turn on the video function to let everyone know that you’re paying attention, and be sure to speak up, even if it’s something as simple as “Hi everyone!”, or “Thanks everyone!”.
- Alexis Haselberger
A productivity, time management, and leadership coach at Alexis Haselberger has these work from home tips to share.
“The central key to working efficiently from home (where normal time and space boundaries don’t exist) has been to pick a “stopping time”.
It doesn’t have to be the same time every day, but I’ve found that deciding, in advance, what time I’ll stop working on any given day allows me to fully apply the principle of Parkinson’s Law, which states that work expands to fill the time allotted.
When we lack physical boundaries between work and home, it’s important to create this time boundary.
Picking a stopping time ensures that a) my work doesn’t bleed into all aspects of my life and b) that I’m more productive because I’ve given myself a defined period of time to get things done. I have a certain set of things I’m trying to accomplish on any given day, and now I am essentially trying to beat the clock, which kicks me into high gear.”
- Erin Schwab
Certified Professional Coach at ErinSchwabcoaching.com has these work from home tips to share:
“To stay productive and work best from home I like a space dedicated to work so I can keep work-related documents separate from home documents. It can be a room or a part of a room that is your “workspace.”
It helps if the room has a door that can be closed, especially if you are on Zoom regularly like I am. A desk, file cabinet, good lighting, and strong internet connection are also essential for creating a good and productive work environment.
I have also found a computer stand and lighting rigged up for Zoom sessions to keep the day flowing more smoothly. A window to the outdoors is a big bonus!
Also, setting a specific work schedule helps me stay on track. Planning detailed times dedicated to my work helps me not to get distracted by other projects that may tempt me from around my home. I set definite “office hours” where clients can schedule sessions with me and this structure helps me to stay in a rhythm of work.
I know when I am working and when I am “at home.”
Additionally, I practice taking regular breaks between sessions, stretching, moving around, grabbing some tea or coffee, and even stepping outside for a few minutes, if possible, to clear my head.
I also like to get away from my desk to eat lunch in a separate area, taking a break from that work environment, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In addition, keeping my family aware of my work hours helps keep the work-family interactions, communication, and expectations running smoothly.
Being disciplined about when I choose to check work emails is a challenge. But setting parameters for checking work emails helps me separate work from personal life.
When I intentionally choose to separate my personal life from my work life, it makes work hours more productive and effective and my personal life more refreshing and free.”
With these work from home tips above, you will be able to work smarter, better, and increase your productivity, when working from home, or anywhere else out of a traditional office.
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