Working from home can have a few drawbacks, and one of them is being less productive. With all the distractions and the differences in working from an office, it isn’t always simple to be effective.
A report by Gallup revealed that a third of employees would change jobs if that meant being able to work remotely and being more flexible. In addition, a study from Gartner found that organizations that gave the option to work remotely saw a 10% increase in employee retention rates.
Needless to say, employees love to work remotely. But do they know how to work at home effectively? Not always. For this reason, in this article, we will list all the best tips and tricks to work from home effectively at all times, making time for yourself, and get a better work-life balance.
How Difficult Is It to Remain Productive When Working From Home?
Staying productive when working from home isn’t the most challenging part of remote employees. In fact, there are a few ways and techniques that work very well and can improve the whole work from home experience.
Before we start with the most effective ways to work from home effectively, let’s talk about one of the most popular ways to boost productivity, the 52/17 Method.
It consists of working non-stop for 52 minutes and taking a 17-minute break after that. This allows you to focus on your daily tasks for a longer period of time and be reenergized when going back to your desk after your break.
With all the possible distractions when working from home, remaining focused has become more difficult than ever. For this reason, the 52/17 Method is a great way to make you look forward to the next break.
To conclude, increasing productivity when working from home isn’t that challenging if you know how to do it. Stop procrastinating, embrace your free time to exercise, take in some fresh air, and let’s see the rest here below.
Don’t Wake Up Late
Waking up late should be a habit to avoid and can make our working day much less effective and productive. This should remain an exclusivity to important days in life.
When waking up early, you have the day ahead and can focus on doing simple things to get prepared for your shift. For example, you can eat a healthy breakfast, do some yoga, run outside, or even prepare a to-do list.
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, talked about his experience of waking up early to increase productivity. He shared “ I go to bed early and I wake up early in the morning. The morning hours are good”. Bezos is a role model and built an empire creating Amazon, and that’s the reason why we can only take him as an example.
To conclude, wake up early in the morning, get prepared for your shift, exercise, and embrace the day ahead to work from home effectively.
Dress Casually and Be Confident
To dress casually is to tell your brain that you’re actually going to work but also make you feel more confident. In fact, working in our pajamas can make us feel that we’re ready to go back to bed anytime and that we haven’t really left our home comfort.
Being more confident with ourselves and our clothing improves our focus at work, our productivity, and our self-image at home and when having business meetings online.
Fisher Investments shared that 41% of employees state that dressing casually improved their productivity, and 51% say that they work better when they dress casually.
Write a To-Do List and Organize Your Schedule
Writing a to-do list is just as useful and practical when working from home as at the office. In fact, waking up early can give you the chance to write an efficient to-do list with all the meetings, urgent things to do, and important reminders.
Of course, there are specific ways to write effective to-do lists to boost productivity to the max. The best is to divide the list into specific parts. The first part should be the most urgent task to prioritize. After that, leave some room to plan reminders in advance so that you can organize things ahead of time. Lastly, keep a small space for some important thoughts you had and that can be beneficial in both your private and professional life.
Other than that, you can also use a productivity app on your phone or computer in order to organize your tasks, check-marking them when done, and scheduling your day or week the right way.
Last but not least, organizing your schedule planning your breaks and important events of the day can greatly help to be more efficient at work. This takes us to the following point, don’t skip breaks when working from home.
Keep Your House and Work Station Tidy
This is one of the parts of working from home that can seriously harm your productivity. Whether you’re working from your work station, your kitchen, or bedroom, clutter around the house will always remind you that it needs to be clean.
Creating a clutter-free area to work properly or simply cleaning the house before your shift in the morning is a great way to avoid further distractions when working. Also, having a cluttered desk has proved to have a big impact at work.
A study by Brother reported that 41% of employees think that a tidy and organized work station is essential to improve productivity. In addition, 2 out of 5, or 40% of employees, admit that a cluttered desk directly affects their performance at work.
In addition, 49% of respondents claim that having an untidy workstation impact the way they feel about going to work every day. Also, 31% state that clutter on their desk increases their stress.
Needless to say, having a clean and organized desk and workplace can highly impact your shift, your health, and ultimately your productivity at work.
Don’t Skip Your Breaks
Breaks are an extremely important part of our business life and skipping them can be a massive mistake, especially when working from home.
There are several ways proven to increase productivity when working from home that involve breaks. For instance, the Pomodoro Technique focuses on working at a high pace, taking small breaks throughout the day, and longer breaks once per hour.
A survey by Airtasker found that the absolute best way to stay productive when working remotely is to take breaks, with 37% of respondents selecting it. In addition, having set , have a to-do list, and listening to music are good ways to remain productive.
In conclusion, taking breaks at work is one of the most effective ways to remain productive when working from home.
Harper Reed, American Entrepreneur and former Head of Commerce at Braintree, covered this topic and said “The opportunity to step away and take a break is something that shouldn't be wasted.“. We can only agree that taking a break is essential in a successful working environment.
Get Fresh Air Outside
Taking in fresh air from outside is essential to keep our brain awake, to get more refreshed, and to work from home effectively. Also, fresh air has many health benefits that can’t be underestimated such as cleaning our lungs and give us more mental focus.
Moreover, taking in some fresh air outside translates to providing more energy, improving our digestive system, strengthen our immune system, and make us happier in the long run. Of course, working effectively is important, but remaining mentally and physically healthy is also essential in a home working environment.
Miriam Herst, Beauty Editor at All Things Hair US mentioned this topic when sharing her experience of working from home. She says “It’s common to get caught up in work and forget to take breaks during the day. I used my lunch break to get some fresh air and I come back to my work station reenergized. It’s simply my best tip for staying productive while working from home!”
Exercise Before or After Work
Exercising on a regular basis is not only great for your physical and mental health, but also for your professional life. In fact, it can clear your mind, make you feel better with yourself and obviously healthier. While exercising can take personal time in our schedule, it is essential to remain both productive and healthy in the longer term.
It’s easy to wake up early in the morning and go for a short run or go to the gym after our shift. These 2 options won’t take too much of our time and will definitely help to work more effectively at work.
In addition, there are exercises that everyone can do from home. For instance, you can practice Yoga or Pilates from the comfort of your living room, or do some squats during your breaks. Also, Planks don’t take much time and train the whole body, while Push-ups help with lower back problems and are great when having to sit down the whole day.
This is one of the worst parts of working from home as employees can become inattentive, don’t pay enough attention to details, and make their organization lose money.
A workplace survey by Regus revealed that some of the biggest distractions when working from home are family demanding attention and difficulty focusing on work issues. Also, unreliable internet connection, no access to specific documents, and house noises are on the list. Needless to say, these are issues that definitely make employees waste time when working from home.
To sum this up, avoiding distractions, turning off notifications on your cell phone, blocking notifications on your computer, and keeping your workstations are some of the things to do to remain productive at work.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking a lot of water is a tip for working from home effectively that many employees and freelancers should consider. There are many benefits to staying hydrated that every one of us should be aware of. First of all, it can help reduce headaches, and sugar cravings, and help to maintain weight.
In addition, it helps reduce the risk of cancer, boost energy, and prevent joint pains. Of course, all these benefits are incredibly helpful when working from home and sitting all day at our desks. Moreover, drinking water is one of the keys to working from home effectively and increasing productivity.
Lastly, a survey by Waterlogic asked employees what drink they think could “highly” improve productivity, and water is by far the most selected response by 73%. Straight after that comes coffee, and following it, energy drinks, tea, and juices.
In conclusion, drinking water is an essential benefit to staying productive at work that all employees and freelancers should be doing.
Communicate Effectively with Colleagues
Communication is one of the biggest challenges when working from home. First of all, it can be difficult for remote workers to get used to sending chat messages or calling colleagues rather than stopping by their desks.
Secondly, you may become less of a team player when working from home, depending on your working situation and the time zone you work in.
A good way to improve communication when working from home is to use team software and apps, such as internal chats or programs such as Slack or Asana. These will not only help you stay in touch with colleagues but also ask for a second opinion when needed and get more organized with your tasks. Use useful tools like free video capture software for screen recording if you're afraid of missing something in an online meeting to come back to it later at any time.
The State of Remote Work 2020 by Buffer revealed that 20% of remote employees find collaboration and communication being the biggest challenge when working from home, together with loneliness.
To sum up, improving communication can greatly help in increasing productivity when working from home. Use team chats, talk about your daily tasks ask for second opinions, and be more effective during the day.
Create Your Working Space
To create a dedicated working space when working from home is to get in the right mindset out of your living room and bedroom. It indicates to your brain that it’s time to get to work, it’s the right place to stick notes with reminders, and it’s where you’ll potentially be less distracted.
A dedicated workspace makes you feel more professional, can make you feel more diligent, and definitely more comfortable than working on the sofa.
As remote workers, there are also other options such as working from a cafe, a library, or a coworking space. These options are also brilliant alternatives to get in the right mood for your shift, to remain focused, and definitely more productive.
The State of Remote Work 2019 by Buffer shared that 84% of remote employees work from home, while 12% work either from coworking spaces or cafes, while 3.5% work from libraries, campers, and more. Needless to say, the location per se doesn’t matter that much, rather, the workspace does matter a lot.
Tips for Working From Home Effectively - The Bottom Line
These were the absolute best tips for working from home effectively that will increase both productivity, work-life balance, and overall well-being. Productivity can always be increased and it’s not difficult to do, you only need to know how to do it properly.
Working more effectively from home will not only increase trust from your manager but will also increase your image in the company you work for. Overall, there are distractions when working from home, however, managers in the entire world believe that their employees are more productive work from their home.
From avoiding distractions, drinking lots of water, exercising on a regular basis, and taking regular breaks, there are many ways to increase productivity at work that will change the whole experience.
In conclusion, whether you were forced to work from home due to the pandemic or if it was your choice, remaining just as productive as in an office environment is totally possible.