HR, Thought Leaders

How to Be Productive When Working From Home

February 3, 2020

by Lori Wade

Content Writer, EduBirdies

It’s easy to get into a rut when working remotely because you’re responsible for staying on top of your responsibilities. Keep yourself accountable by organizing your tasks, managing your time, and avoiding distractions.

It’s clear that remote work can be mutually beneficial to companies and employees alike. Working from home benefits not only the employee by eliminating their daily commute but also the company.

One the employee side, some studies suggest that remote work can increase productivity. A two-year report from Stanford University showed that there was a tremendous increase in work productivity among individuals who worked from home.

As for employers, remote work also shows significant cost-saving potential. Companies have saved approximately $5 billion by allowing their workers to work from home part time. This is because they can save on overhead such as office space rental, commuter benefits, and more.

But how can employees make the most of the time at home when bombarded by domestic distractions? Try following some of our tips to be more productive when working remotely.

1. Start Your Work Early

One of the hardest parts of working from home is the transition from your pillow to your desk. It’s tempting to wake up anytime you want, but you need to keep in mind that you’re still working on the clock.

At the start of the day, take 30 minutes (at most) to make a to-do list. Having a regular schedule can keep you accountable for your work. And it can help you feel accomplished when you complete tasks.

time management tips

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When making a to-do list, batch similar tasks together and minimize meetings to give yourself ample work time. This is also an effective way of turning regular tasks into habits, which helps establish productive routines.

It is best to check your to-do list as soon as you wake up. This will help you get up and start working early. Try taping the list on a wall where you can see easily.

Starting your work early is the key to making progress. If you let morning sluggishness erode your drive to work from the get-go, you won’t be able to complete any of your tasks.

2. Designate a Working Area

We know that working in bed or on the couch can be alluring. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong way to work at home because it’s less productive and slows down your work.

The best thing to do is to set up a specific workspace in your home. This is the area where you’ll keep everything you need to do your job well. Doing this can help you save valuable time, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

Your area doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be big enough to perform your tasks. Look for quiet places that promote concentration. That way, it’ll be easier for you to converse via video chat or phone.

3. Reduce Distractions

Distractions still exist at home, and they can cause you to waste time and miss important deadlines. If you want to be productive, you’ll have to know how to deal with them.

Personal distractions such as social media are one of the most persistent culprits. It doesn’t help that businesses are investing highly in social media marketing to grab your attention.

how frequently small businesses post on social media

A 2018 Clutch survey of small businesses found that 52% of companies post daily with 79% posting weekly. That’s a lot of potential for distraction!

So how can you get rid of distractions?

Block temptations. Consider using web browsers plug-ins that won’t allow you to access social media sites during working hours. Beyond that, make sure your working area doesn’t have a TV.

To avoid person disturbances, let people in your home know that you’re working on an important task and that you need to complete it fast. That way, they won’t interrupt you.

4. Download and Install Helpful Tools

There are lots of online tools that can help you become productive. Find an app that will meet your specific needs.

Explore some timesheet apps for your team to better manage your time. Good tracking apps will let you see how much time you’re spending on one task. It’s also a great way to see if you’re being productive based on your current habits.

Other tools can help you create a central calendar for personal and professional obligations. By color coding your tasks, you can better organize your schedule to make sure that you’re not booking a personal matter over a business meeting.

If you are too caught up with work, make sure to take a break. Install an app on your smartphone to remind yourself when to get and stretch.

5. Work at Your Most Productive Time

No matter how hard you try to be productive, your motivation naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day. When working at home, it is vital to know when you’re most productive and schedule your time accordingly.

most productive time to work

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A study by City A.M. shows most people are productive between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. From there, workers under 34 tend to do the most work in the afternoon while workers over 35 prefer to work in the morning. Regardless of your age, take the time to understand when you work best.

Save the hardest tasks for when you’re in the right headspace. Then, set more manageable tasks during the slower points of the day.

6. Know When to Stop Working

The most challenging aspect of working remotely is maintaining a healthy balance between your work and personal life. You may receive chat notifications and emails at any time of the day, and it’s hard to disconnect.

An essential habit to develop is setting boundaries. Working from home doesn’t change your working hours, just the location. Keep work-related issues confined to the standard work day. Then, disengage when it’s time to stop.

Being Productive at Home Means Building Healthy Habits

Whether you are new to remote work or have been doing it for years, these tips are sure to help you optimize your work habits. It’s all about setting up your environment for success.

Make a to-do list and stick to it. Use tools to help manage your time and build a schedule around your most productive moments. Finally, set up work boundaries by working in a specific area that’s devoid of distractions.

With these tips, you’ll be working smoothly in no time!

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