At the start of 2020, the world was introduced to work in a new way as the COVID pandemic took over by storm. Millions of people working in different positions were asked to start working from home full time. Although most of these working professionals were unprepared and didn’t have any other choice, so decided to go with the flow. At the same time, for some others, the idea of working remotely from their comfort of homes was an absolute dream coming true. Scrambling to meet project deadlines, wearing ten different headsets, answering a slew of emails and phones… you get the point. We will help increase productivity while working remotely. If you are an employee struggling with this transition, then we have some fantastic tips for you. These hacks will not only increase the productivity of remote working but also make your quarantine less annoying.
Adapt The New Normal – WFH (Work From Home)
Working from home is new to most of us; everyone might have observed bringing significant changes into our daily routine and habits. To be productive and strike a balance between work and personal life, these changes are essential. However, everyone who started to work from home for the first time found it quite challenging. Things like personal space and distractions make remote working methods difficult. Everyone might have folks around, a house to clean, laundry to do, a pet to feed, groceries to be bought, and a pile of official work to accomplish.
Most of the workers might also find themselves putting effort into additional hours too. Recent research shows that remote workers who work full time will be putting in an additional 26 hours of work in a month, which is an entire day’s work adding to output. However, with the increase in the number of work hours, the stress level is also expected to increase. Another survey by experts says that 91% of employees working from home have to face moderate to extreme stress levels during the pandemic. Thus, all remote workers have to figure out when to work, where to work from, what office environment is required, and how to set boundaries to distinguish between work and personal life.
10 Tips To Increase Productivity While Working From Home
1. Start your Day with a Reflection
Self-reflection is the most powerful tool to increase your work productivity while working from home. You should start your day with a short time of prayer and meditation. It is recommended to start the day in this way as it helps calm your mind, align your thoughts and actions and prepare you for the day ahead.
The next step you have to follow is to keep a journal and list priorities of the things you have to do. Moreover, you should set yourself to achieve small goals during the day. It simply means how much of the total work you intend to complete and by when.
According to a recent study by Harvard Business School, nearly 25% of people practicing journaling showed better performance when compared to their counterparts who failed to adopt a healthy habit of daily reflection.
So, by setting aside a couple of minutes, you can start your day with the right state of mind to attain goals. Furthermore, it will give an idea of where you are, where you have to move, and what it will take to get you there.
2. Schedule a Routine and Stick to it
When you are working from home, you have a more flexible structure for your day. It depends upon you whether you are getting lazy with this flexibility option or using it in the right way to organize things. Thus, having a routine in place with an appropriate balance between work and fun can bring a lot of positivity. Besides staying more productive, you can also increase your motivation level.
Find out and point to one thing which will indicate that you are about to start your work. This spark to start the work can be as simple as making a cup of coffee in the morning or returning after a walk, showering, or putting on the dress and makeup you carry in your everyday routine. Long, in short, choose that one existing habit you have to make you feel you are ready to start your work. It is a very simple rule to maintain consistent work at your home by following this:
- Set the alarm for the time you wake up one hour before the office timings
- Get fresh and do all the needful things you do in the morning before sitting in your workspace.
- Before diving deep into the work, set the timer to alert you with the end of your work time
- Accomplish all your task with entire dedication
- Shut your laptop down as soon as the timer rings up
- Move away from your home workspace and call it a whole workday.
3. Scale-up “Deep Work Time” and “Meeting Time”
As mentioned above, following a schedule to maximize your productivity is essential to make you able to regulate your work better. While organizing your plan, you can take into account the following factors:
- Your casual workload of a typical day
- That time of a day when you are most productive
- The routine of your spouses who are also working and your children to avoid distractions
Deep work time is when you immerse yourself in the most critical tasks of the day without any interruption. This is the only possible way when you focus on the work at hand.
“Research and study show that when there is an interruption, it takes up to 25 minutes or more to get back to the flow of work.”
So, once after finding out the best time when you are most productive, you can schedule the most critical task of the day accordingly. If you are an early rising bird and prefer to get work earlier, then you should try to get as much work done as possible in the morning hours. And then, you can leave less intense work for the rest of the day and schedule your meetings for then.
4. Start Task Batching
One of the work from home tips for productivity is task batching, which is the act of grouping tasks with similar nature together. For instance, you can group the task of writing a blog and composing an email together. Thinking about what’s the connecting factor? The common thread of these tasks is writing.
You can also execute task batching by splitting large projects into smaller tasks with sections sorted by similarity. Task batching is a handy tip of work from home productivity as it reduces the stress level as you know what you have to do next and how the workflow will go. So, it is that one work from home productivity tip you cannot miss at any cost.
5. Stay at Designated Workspace
One of the biggest problems that most workers working remotely face is keeping themselves away from distractions. The first thing you have to do is choose a space in your home where you can do work without interruptions of household and other stuff. It should be that room of your house, where you don’t hear any noise of children playing or the traffic off the roads. Secondly, you should restrict the visiting of other household members to that room. In this way, you can keep your mind focused and attend meetings peacefully. Thus, another creative work from the home tip is to find a quiet, stress-free zone for yourself to concentrate entirely on work. To set up a good workspace in your home, all you have to do is:
- Choose that corner of the room where there is a good amount of light.
- Set it up just like your office workstation with the comfortable chair to sin for around 8 hours a day
- Put your best system and all other required accessories to it.
- To give it an excellent working environment, keep your required material like a diary, pen, a bottle of water, and lamp right by the flow.
6. Track Your Time for Every Task
Time management is that one problem that workers face both working remotely and while working in-house. A productivity tip for a work-from-home routine is to track your time effectively with a technique called the Pomodoro technique.
In this time management technique, the whole work tasks are broken down into short intervals, typically 25 mins long. Each interval of this breakdown is called a Pomodoro, which means Tomato in the Italian language. This technique is helpful when working remotely and you don’t know how long the task will take and want to do repetitive tasks. Following this work from home productivity tip, you will set the time for 25 minutes of continuous work and then take 5 minutes to break to check your mobile or have a sip of fresh juice, and then repeat the same routine. You can also adjust short naps or breathing exercises for a peaceful mind and efficient body:
- Add proper break time in your scheduled planner
- Specify how much duration is assigned to each break and what you intend to do in that time.
- When the clock strikes for a break, stop working instantly.
7. Put on Your Devices to “Do not Disturb” Mode.
We all tend to check our mobile phones each time a notification pops up, which eventually eats up your time. To avoid these interruptions, you can choose to turn off all notifications or switch all your devices to the “do not disturb” mode. You can also set your Slack and Google Meet notifications to this mode when you are in the middle of your work. Thus, improving your work from home efficiency by leaps and bounds.
8. Use Latest Communication and Other tools to make work easier.
There are many tools available to enhance your productivity during remote work. Moreover, many pieces of research show that due to lack of communication between the employees and resultantly low-quality outputs. So, for better communication, sharing of data and live of working environment we have some of the best tools like:
- Google Drive – Cloud storage facility for all types of data
- Evernote – To organize your notes in the cloud
- Slack or Skype – Team communication tool for discussion and ideas exchanging
- RescueTime – For tracking time and activities
- Trello – To help you organize and manage the status of your tasks
9. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for What You Need.
If you are an employee of such a company that supports work-from-home setup throughout, you can request the equipment you want at the start of the work-from-home routine. And within a few days of working, you realized that you needed something else. It is essential to gather and get all the necessary resources in one place before starting to work on it. So, one of the work from home productivity tips is to ask your organization for the help you require to give desired outcomes. These resources might include the right monitor, keyword, mouse headsets, or wireless internet connection. Most organizations working on a large scale like Clustox have accustomed their remote employees to collect all required equipment. You should freely ask if any of your devices needs repairing or maintenance.
Furthermore, some organizations also take the initiative to call up consultants to guide their employees with best practices to increase productivity at their workspace.
10. Stay in a Loop
Collaboration and socialization are among the most vital things that make every worker prefer an office environment. You don’t have to miss this factor from your professional life just because you are working from home. So, when you are working remotely, you can check in with your coworkers at least once a day, whether by email, phone, video conference, social media, or even in person whenever convenient. Here are some of the video conferencing applications available:
- Google Hangouts
- Google Duo
- Microsoft team
Furthermore, you have to make sure to keep up on a personal level and professional level. You can do this without investing any extra effort and time. Just share those things that are relevant to work and work-related matters. Whether you are at work or in non-work activities, a to-do list and planner are always essential for positive reinforcement.
- Write your To-Do list and planner as remembering so many things gives you a severe headache.
- Organize it systematically so that it is easy to understand and follow.
- Share your planner with your coworkers to notify them of time you have set to spend with them, meetings, and that time when you have blocked out the calendar for official work.
So Relax & Chill while giving your best!
So, if you are working from home, setting specific goals to multiply your efficiency by a factor of two. Implementing the above-stated work-from-home productivity tips unlocks the benefits of remote work and makes you enjoy your stay during this critical time.