More professionals and businesses are embracing remote work arrangements in today’s evolving work landscape. Although working from home allows more flexibility, maintaining productive periods can sometimes be very challenging. Let’s delve into ten essential work from home tips remote employees can use to spark productivity.
Here are 10 tips for staying productive when working from home
There are a lot of factors to consider in maintaining an efficient workflow in a remote environment. Distractions such as pets, noises, and social media can tempt even the most diligent remote employee. Here are some tips for working from home designed to enhance focus, manage time efficiently, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
1. Have breakfast or morning coffee
Breakfast provides the body with essential nutrients and energy to stay focused and get the work done. A study from Cambridge University discovered that early birds who take a nutritious breakfast tend to have a healthier nutrient profile, body weight, and cognitive performance than those who don’t eat early.
In addition, regular coffee consumption has been linked to improved cognitive function and dopamine production. This dopamine boost can serve as an effective “pick-me-up,” making coffee an excellent choice for those needing a mood enhancement window to keep going during work time.
Breakfast and coffee can also provide a structured start to your day, which people tend to lose when they start working from home. If you’re not used to eating breakfast or looking for a new coffee blend, try experimenting with different foods and coffee types until you find what works best.
2. Take a shower
Taking a morning shower can jumpstart your work day, providing a boost to stay on track with your day-to-day activities. The fresh feeling after a shower can wake you up, preparing you both physically and mentally for the challenging work day ahead.
As reported by Badeloft USA, a cold shower helps a lot in putting you in “work mode” by improving blood circulation. Getting an early bath can also bolster immunity, potentially reducing sick days. By getting an early boost, you can stay on top of your tasks.
You can optimize your daily routine by setting your alarm earlier to accommodate this personal time. Make it a part of your routine, like checking emails or having breakfast.
3. Set up a designated workspace
Corporate spaces are often designed to minimize distractions, get work done, and optimize team collaboration. Meanwhile, space in your home often associates with “comfort” or “rest”, making it difficult to keep working. Hence, transitioning from an office-based to a remote setup is often quite challenging for employees who work from home for the first time.
If you’re having a hard time focusing on your tasks, it’s time to put work on optimizing your space for work. Minimizing exposure to non-work-related tasks can increase your productivity. This can be done by incorporating the right equipment, home office furniture, and layout.
You should also inform your family members regarding your designated work schedule to reduce non-work-related interactions. Small changes using noise-cancelling headphones can help create a more focused environment if space is limited. Make sure to keep your work separate from your home activities.
4. Maintain consistent working hours
Creating a set time working from home and sticking to it can bring a sense of organization, keeping your work schedule well-structured. Establishing a clear routine can immensely help remote workers stay committed to the task and manage time effectively while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
In addition, regular hours can help prevent overwork and burnout while promoting a healthier work-life balance. Structured hours encourage remote staff to work more productively during work hours in an innate effort to keep work life and home life priorities separate.
Map out your daily tasks and activities, set a schedule for work, breaks, and personal activities, and adhere to the routine you created to really get the best out of the arrangement.
5. Dress up for work
Dressing up for work at home may seem counterintuitive, but it plays a psychological role in boosting productivity. When putting your work attire at home, you’re tricking your brain into “work mode”, making it tempting to work your way to the top of your checklist. This habit can also come in handy to make a great impression for surprise video conferencing and virtual engagements.
Wearing clothes that you identify as “work attire” can positively influence your work mood. When dressed for success, you’re likely to feel more competent and better about your work overall, making you feel more motivated and focused on your tasks. This is one of the reasons why some companies require uniforms when working in the office.
Start your workday by changing out of your casual or sleepwear and into clothes you’d typically wear to a physical workplace. This action alone can shift your mindset from relaxation to work, creating a conducive environment for productivity right in your home.
6. Have a to-do-list
A to-do list is a highly effective strategy for staying productive while working from home or in an office. It allows you to map out your tasks and set aside time to focus on important goals. A set plan makes you less likely to get sidetracked and more likely to accomplish tasks with the set limit.
Forbes suggests breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable parts based on your long-term and short-term goals. Use digital tools like Ahsuite, or traditional pen and paper based on your preference to manage your home work priorities. Remember to tick off tasks as you complete them. This small action can provide a sense of accomplishment and propel you on top of your stack of paperwork.
7. Eliminate distractions
Remote work environments can provide numerous distractions that disrupt your workflow and concentration. From social media notifications to household chores and pets trying to get warm on your desk or keyboard, these distractions can consume a large chunk of your daily workday.
By minimizing interruptions, you can complete tasks faster while maintaining a high quality of work. This not only makes your day more productive but also provides greater time for personal activities, as you’re able to finish your work within regular work hours.
Consider removing digital distractions by logging out of social media accounts and turning off non-essential notifications during your work schedule. These steps will help maintain focus even though you’re working from home. Vice versa, make sure to follow your boundaries, including the set time to put work away.
8. Take breaks
Studies have shown that our minds and bodies need breaks to function optimally. Pausing from work can replenish the brain’s attention and motivation stores, alleviating mental fog, confusion, and negative focus often required from continuous work.
Brief pauses throughout the workday, like grabbing a beverage or stepping outside, can transform one’s perspective on work challenges and relieve stress. This diversification of stimuli exercises the brain in ways that prevent work frustrations and promotes creativity.
Consider breaking away from your desk for lunch or going for a walk. You can also take longer time-offs, like utilizing your vacation days for relaxation or engaging in fulfilling activities that bring you renewed energy.
9. Build social connections
Building a healthy communication culture is a beneficial strategy in team building and work culture. Virtual face-to-face meetings and video calls at least once a week can help teams stay connected and prevent feelings of isolation. Regular interactions with colleagues can mimic the social benefits similar to a day at the office, thus, enhancing overall well-being and productivity.
When more establishments decided to start working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, first-time remote workers have been reported to feel isolated due to reduced social interactions. One of the louder discussions is maintaining team cohesion during a remote work arrangement.
Incorporating tools like Slack or a virtual workspace can facilitate face-to-face interactions with teams. Productive virtual meetings can facilitate open discussion and brainstorming, fostering a supportive and interactive work environment similar to an in-person office setting.
10. Take care of your physical and mental well-being
Prioritizing your physical and mental well-being is essential when working from home. Studies suggest that maintaining a good physical and mental state can significantly impact work efficiency, creativity, and overall job satisfaction.
Exercising is one of the most popular tips to help make working from home more productive, and that’s for a good reason. Regular exercise and a balanced diet provide numerous benefits, such as increased energy levels, improved cognitive function, and reduced disease risk. This can translate to improved focus and higher work efficiency.
Activities such as meditation, reading, or pursuing a hobby can help reduce stress and anxiety. Incorporating wellness into your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Start small with habits that can easily blend into your workday.
Maximize your productivity with these working from home tips
The transition from working in an office to working from home can feel daunting. However, certain tips can help you navigate this new way to work. Habits such as establishing a designated workspace at home, committing to a certain time for work, and taking breaks are crucial to help you stay social and productive.
Even outside of work hours, finding ways to separate work and personal life is important. Improve your habits remote work habits by taking these steps to boost your productivity and stay focused throughout your day of work. No matter your type of work, these strategies can help you get back to work effectively, even when you’re not in an office.