Business

How to Maintain Your Productivity Working From Home 

With the advent of the digital age, there has been an increase in online job opportunities. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic shifted how offices operate. Where once one was required to go to the office without fail, hybrid systems and fully remote systems have been introduced where employees can work from home.

Working from the office and working from home, however, differs drastically in that the success of one’s workday solely depends on the environment the individual has created. While at the office there is a supervisor who you look out for and who keeps you in check, when working from home you are at your mercy. 

Just like at the office, structures are necessary when working from the comfort of your home to allow for productivity. One must find ways to avoid the distractions that home life may present to ensure they operate at optimum levels. 

Below are several tips to help you stay productive when working from home;

  1. Communicate expectations with family/roommates
  2. Create designated working areas
  3. Stay in contact with colleagues
  4. Take advantage of high-productivity times
  5. Invest in productivity-enhancing tools and equipment
  6. Incorporate Music
  7. Take breaks
  1. Communicate expectations with family/roommates

Before you started working from home, family and roommates were probably used to constantly interacting with you without it being a big deal. When you start working from home this is bound to change. Communicating is necessary to avoid unnecessary disagreements and maximise productivity.

Noise and interruptions can make being productive difficult. Explaining to roommates, children, and spouses that you’re engaging in an activity that requires great focus is necessary. At the same breath, don’t forget that this is home and you still need to create time to be with your family.

  1. Create designated working areas

Many areas in the home often scream comfort. From the couch to the bed, these spaces can make you want to relax and get cosy, maybe even binge-watch your favourite show. Sometimes, however, we want to convince ourselves that we can be just as productive in these same spaces.

It is advisable, however, that you get a designated area in the home that you will associate with work. This way whenever you sit in that area you know it’s time to get busy. This could be a desk and a chair in the corner of a room to convert one of your rooms into a home office. 

Additionally, you can choose to leave the house once in a while and work from spaces such as coffee shops or coworking spaces. The idea is to have an area that is purely for work.

  1. Stay in contact with your colleagues

When working from home, it’s easy to feel alone, particularly when you live on your own. Temptations to get on social media platforms usually occur during such weak moments. When there are no meetings lined up, one can feel isolated and slacking can come pretty easily. Unlike the office where you can raise your head and see others busy at work, when working from home you’re often on your own. 

It helps to know that your colleagues are equally busy at work. By using platforms such as Slack to stay in communication with colleagues, maintaining focus is easier.  

  1. Take advantage of high-productivity times

We all have times when we are more productive. For some, it’s early morning while for others it’s in the evening. Once you establish what time you are most productive you should schedule that time to work on high-value tasks.

On a day-to-day basis, one has high-value tasks and low-value tasks on their schedule. In most cases, high-value tasks require deep concentration with minimal interruptions. Also, these tasks often have a great impact on a company or freelancer’s goals. 

Low-value tasks such as responding to emails and meetings can be scheduled for lower-productivity times. The key here is to have a clear distinction between these two types of tasks and plan your day based on when you’re more focused and energetic.

  1. Invest in productivity-enhancing tools and equipment. 

Internet connection is a critical factor for all those working from home. Watching tasks lag due to poor internet speed can be frustrating. This may cause one to fall back into bad habits of getting comfortable or getting distracted with other home-related tasks. Investing, therefore, in good internet plans accords you the peace of mind of working seamlessly.

If living in a busy home environment or neighbourhood where escaping noise is impossible one should invest in tools such as noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones allow you to concentrate and stay in the zone for the entire time you’re working.

  1. Incorporate Music

When it comes to listening to music, it’s important to tread lightly. Incorporating music can be beneficial in that it can get you relaxed and in a good mood. All these are good recipes for focus. However, if you’re likely to get lost in the music and forget about the task at hand then this will hurt you more than it will help you. 

At the end of the day, the aim is to stay productive. If music proves counterproductive, you can opt for silence. Alternatively, you can choose to listen to instrumentals rather than music with lyrics.

  1. Take breaks

Finally, but most importantly, remember to take breaks. When working from home it can be easy to get carried away and become lost in your work. It’s in your best interest to stay conscious of the work that you do. 

Ensure you make time for breaks just like you would have a lunch break at work or a designated time when the work day is ending. It would also do you some good to get off your chair every so often for stretching and moving your body. By doing this you will avoid health issues that may arise such as back problems. 

Bottom Line

Working from home can be exciting and very rewarding. Remote working is here to stay. Taking the time to figure out your schedule and how you will be most productive will be crucial in ensuring you’re successful and meet all your work-from-home goals. 

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