Many of us need tips to stay productive while working from home as remote workers are more and more in-demand these days. Working from home has become a new trend as the nature of work has changed over recent years. As a matter of fact, a recent study on www.mckinsey.com shows that about 74% of financial leaders intend to assign some employees to work from home forever.
Follow these tips to stay productive while working from home if you are one of these employees or a manager who needs to inspire the team that has remote workers:
1. Make your space productive
Call it your home office, workspace, or anything else! We call it the center of your professionalism and productivity. It is visible in video calls and it shows how prepared you are for your role. Is it comfortable, real, and productive?
These tips to stay productive while working from home can help you to make your space more practical.
Camera: Find a way to raise the camera to the level of your eyes. It’s important to make eye contact during your video calls.
Lighting: If you don’t have a window in your place, place a light in front of you so that you can be seen clearly. Don’t place it behind yourself (backlighting) or you’ll end up with a silhouette.
Background: Keep it simple. Instead of a pile of books, opt for something that defines you with minimum distraction.
Headphones: Put them on to minimize the echo and noises. Mute your microphone before joining the call.
Minimize interruptions: It’s OK if your child/pet comes in or the power/internet goes out in the middle of your video call. Try to manage these things as quickly as possible and always have a backup plan.
Video calls: Be prepared for your video calls the same way you’d be in the office (slides, rehearsing,…).
Chair: Get an ergonomic chair for your home. After all, it is your new office now!
2. Keep your morning rituals right
When you go to the office, you probably have a get-ready routine because you need to go somewhere; but, when you’re a remote worker working from home, there is a chance that you just directly start your workday still wearing your pajamas. Maybe your commuting time has been reduced to 30 steps instead of 30 mins. You need to find out a new morning routine and ritual to get more things done in a day.
3. Plan tasks for your day
Allocate time for planning tasks for your day as a part of your daily routine. There are several time management apps that help you manage your time effectively. To stay productive try to prioritize your tasks based on importance and urgency.
4. Keep a healthy meeting routine
Meetings can be boring, unnecessary, and take your precious time away from more crucial works that could be done. Right? But if you plan them early and right they can be really effective and make you stay so much more productive. Take these tips for awesome meetings to stay productive while working from home:
- Decide if you really need one.
- Have them in the hours that you are less productive (if applicable).
- Be clear about what the meeting is about.
- Send a reminder to participants.
- Keep them short.
- Send out a summary (if necessary).
5. Use time management apps to help you plan
Time-management apps can really level up your game while trying to stay productive while working from home. Track your time down, set reminders, manage your projects, set goals, and just be productive! The only thing that you, as a remote worker need to do, is to choose the best one based on your needs. To find what works best for you, check 15 Best Time Management Apps to help you manage your time.
Hate working out? Too tired to go to the gym after work? Our bodies are designed to move not to sit for long hours. Try short exercise sets of 30 minutes before your breakfast and lunch (make it a part of your morning routine). You’ll notice that after a good set you think much faster than you would in a calm state. We guarantee that the right exercise makes anyone more productive throughout the day.
7. Stay focused during each task
Staying focused and productive while working from home may be more difficult than usual if it’s a temporary situation for you. Try to find the times in which you are the most productive and schedule the most demanding tasks in these hours.
Don’t check email or your messenger while you are doing your most important tasks until it comes to some logical conclusion or a goal that you set. Many productive people who work from home use the Pomodoro technique based on intervals of work time followed by a few-minutes-break. However, you can put off your recess time to the end of completing a task. After all, as Vala Afshar, author, and digital marketing evangelist, once said, “focus is not about doing less. Focus is doing more of what matters most.”
8. Take a break between tasks once they are completed
You need to distract yourself between tasks to be reenergized and recharged if you want to stay productive while working from home. Overworking is not sustainable and results in a decline in focus level and productivity. Keep thinking about a problem and you come up with fewer answers!
9. Reward yourself for completing your tasks
Reward yourself as soon as you complete an important objective. Your reward can be anything from watching two episodes of your favorite show guilt-free to buying something fancy for yourself. But why does rewarding yourself matter while trying to stay productive while working from home? It’s all about Dopamine. 😉
“Dopamine regulates the motivation to act, causing individuals to initiate and persevere to obtain something either positive or negative” (Sciencedaily.com). In other words, Dopamine creates a feeling of motivation. This is why depressed people–with low levels of Dopamine– don’t feel like doing anything. Reward yourself regularly to increase your Dopamine levels, and enjoy staying the most productive throughout the day while working on distance or from home.
10. Try to complete your tasks within work hours
According to Bloomberg, people are reporting that they are working an average of three more hours each day while working from home. Try to find out if it’s a time management or fundamental problem. Are you managing your time or the time is managing you? There are time management tips to control your time besides tips to stay productive while working from home. If the workload or deadline is not reasonable, speak openly.
11. Avoid external distractions
“Good fences make good neighbors.” Your rituals, routines, and boundaries are your keys to success while on the way to being productive while working from home; never let them be interrupted by anyone. Kids or other family members at home can wait until you’re available. Plan your time in such a way that you stay focused on your most productive hours and take time for other family members in such a way that they don’t distract you during your working hours.
12. Find a new transition
What would you do when you left the office every day? Walking to the bus station? Listening to music? Give yourself some time after work to give your brain permission to leave work. Your laptop may tempt you to work more because work is always on and easily available for remote workers. But if you’d read our tips to stay productive while working from home carefully you’d realized that this is counterproductive.
13. Keep a good touch with your team
Arrange social events to keep the team tight and united. If your team members are living in different countries or a get together doesn’t sound feasible, use our online team-building games designed to engage your team members. We also have exciting office party game scripts: Game of Thrones, Let’s go to Hawaii, The Barman’s Secret, and more that could be held in any venue of your choice. We also have selections of online games that are great for a remote team to play. Check them out.
14. Take time to recharge
Oprah Winfrey says, “If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. If you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.” Are you taking care of your life battery? It’s crucial on your way to staying the most productive.
Take some time for yourself to freshen up; read a book, do sports, do anything that helps you to keep going. We may have mentioned this tip multiple times in our tips to stay productive while working from home and we hope that you really take this one seriously!
“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before,” says Kafka. Some of these tips to stay productive while working from home —like scheduling— may seem energy and time consuming at first. But remember that productivity is all about identifying the things that we need to focus on more.
We offer a variety of services that can increase your productivity as a remote worker. Don’t forget to check them here.
Please leave a comment or contact us in case you have any questions. We’d be thrilled to help.
Editor: Michael Mitryakov | Writer: Negin P