Working from home is something you will either love or hate. Regardless of what that may be, some of you don’t have a choice but to spend an increased amount of time working from the confines of your house.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused working remotely to become a necessity for many work professionals. Which raises the question, which environment allows one to be more productive? Your work office or your home office?
First and foremost, your home office can easily become your worst nightmare. Before you know it, some of you may find yourself succumbing to the detrimental effects of procrastination. After all, no one is watching you, and so, you no longer have that pressure or communal obligation to get what you need to get done.
If this happens to be the case, below are over 20 effective work from home tips and tricks to help boost your productivity and beat procrastination once and for all. Whether you are in this situation temporarily or for the long haul, these work-from-home productivity tips are feasible for all at-home workers.
How to Work from Home Productively
1. Set a Schedule
Typically, when a person begins to work from home, the first thing they will notice is that no one is paying attention to their arrival or departure times or anything else they do in between. This alone may make it extremely hard for some of you to stay on track. Therefore, if you want to maintain a good work-life balance, you need to ensure that you have a set schedule, and you need to ensure that you stick to it.
2. Get Dressed
Here is another work from home tip for you. Get dressed even if it is just you at home! Psychologically, it is extremely hard to feel productive in pajamas. You want to be able to establish a line between work and the rest of your life, and let's face it, you can’t do that if you don’t get dressed. This is not to say you have to show up every day in your finest clothes, but it most definitely should not be what you slept in the night before.
3. Stay Connected
While this how to work from home tip will depend on your specific line of work, staying connected most definitely helps one maintain some semblance of a remote work culture. Some of you may feel connected through virtual team meetings and conference calls. However, those that are independent and don’t join as many should be having regular virtual check-ins with key colleges. You miss out on a lot of water-cooler conversations when you work from home, and staying connected will help you make up for missing out on such.
4. Take a Walk
The chances of you living a more sedentary lifestyle than you would otherwise lead are a lot higher when working from home. Something as simple as taking a walk – up and down your apartment building stairs or around the neighborhood, even in your backyard – can provide one with that much-needed break to get their blood flowing, clear their head, and, most importantly, look at something other than a computer screen.
Light exercise is one of many effective remote work tips that improve mental health, boost leadership effectiveness, and achieve overall productivity.
5. Designate a Home Workspace
If you want to work from home effectively, it is not the best idea to roll over in bed and grab your laptop from your bedside table. As previously mentioned, you need to establish boundaries between your work life and your home one. A good way to do so is by establishing a work-from-home office setup.
6. Limit Distractions
By far, one of the biggest challenges in this work from home guide is trying to find a way to limit distractions, and working from home means it is more likely that you will be interrupted by things that are not usually a part of your routine. Fortunately, having a designated home space can also help in limiting any unnecessary distractions.
7. Adjust Sound
When it comes to sound, for some their home is too quiet, and they miss that office buzz; but for others, their home is way too nosey, and they need to find a way to cut out noise from loud family members or roommates. In this work from home tip, you need to figure out what works for you, whether this is complete silence or quiet background noise from a playlist or a TV.
8. Create House Rules and Communicate Expectations
Just because you are now working from home doesn’t mean you are home. Boundaries are important, and you need to ensure that any family members or roommates understand your reasons to work from home and respect your space during these working hours. Laying ground rules concerning meeting times, quiet times, and shared desks and chairs is one of the ways in which you can go about this.
9. Take Clear Breaks
When you are working from home, it can be so easy to forget to take a five-minute breather. Use your breaks to get away from your desk, and go take that walk that was mentioned in work from home tip five, or simply enjoy some fresh air. Regardless of what it may be, don’t let guilt prevent you from avoiding breaks altogether.
10. Interact with Other Humans
Since most of your workday is solitary when you begin to work from home, you could also use your breaks to interact with others. Remember, you’re working from home, not in jail. It’s not a crime to interact with other people, even if they aren’t your fellow work colleagues. It is always a good idea to see another face and socialize with other people to help you feel less alone.
11. Prepare Meals the Night Before
To work from home effectively does not mean spending hours upon hours of your time cooking a nice breakfast and lunch for yourself. Instead, cook these meals the night before. By preparing food ahead of time you can ensure that you are using your mealtime to eat, instead of wasting energy performing non-work tasks that could be better used at your desk.
12. Pick a Definitive Finishing Time
Many of you fall under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but this work-from-home guide is here to tell you that you can easily get so caught up in an activity that you lose track of time. You may end up letting your work-life bleed into your personal life, and most of the time, you don’t even realize it until it’s too late.
However, there is a quick fix to this problem. All you have to do is set an alarm for the end of the day to remind you that your workday is coming to an end. While you don’t exactly have to stop working at that exact moment, knowing that your workday is over may help you start saving your work and calling it quits for the evening.
13. Get Started Early
You cannot miss this one in our work from home guide. Just like an end time, you need a start time too. When you work in an office, morning commutes are a great way to help one wake up and prepare to start working by the time they have reached their desk. However, when you’re at home, the transition from your pillow to a computer is a lot more jarring.
Believe it or not, one of the effective work from home tips is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Starting that project first thing in the morning is the very key to making progress on it throughout your day.
14. Eat Properly
One of the biggest perks to working from home is complete access to your kitchen, which means unlimited snacking during your workday. However, an unhealthy diet can negatively affect your productivity and drain your energy. This is why it is vital that you are eating well when working from home and sticking to a healthy diet.
15. Sleep Properly
Unfortunately, to be able to work from home effectively, you are still going to have to save binge-watching your favorite shows for the weekend. As important as it is to maintain a healthy diet, the same is said for a proper sleep schedule. If you want to refresh your body and mind, you need sound sleep. Only then will you reap the benefits of successfully working from home.
16. Pretend like You Are Going into the Office
One way in which you can make yourself more productive is by mentally associating your work with an office. This means that you should be doing all the things you would normally do when you are preparing yourself for an office role – setting an alarm, making coffee, and wearing nice clothes.
By giving your brain a reason as to why you are doing all of these things, you are more likely to be pumped throughout your work hours. Otherwise, you may very well find yourself right back in bed.
17. Don’t Stay at Home
Sometimes, you can have a designated home office, but this may not always get it done for you. Should this be the case, then you need to get out of the house. Libraries, coffee shops, public lounges, and all Wi-Fi-enabled spaces provide the perfect environment to help you stimulate the energy of an office and stay productive, even when you are not sitting in an official modern office workspace.
18. Make It Harder to Use Social Media
Social media can be a detriment to your productivity. After all, it was designed for you to be able to easily open and browse quickly. To counteract your social media use during work hours, remote work tips suggest that you log out of every account on all devices and remove them from your browser shortcuts. Additionally, you may find it useful to turn off any social media notifications for the time being.
19. Work When You Are Most Productive
What many people fail to realize is that nobody is motivated from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. Throughout the day, your motivation will naturally come and go. This is why when you work from home, it is necessary to know at what times you are most motivated so that you can plan your schedule around those times. Capitalize on your most productive periods by saving your most challenging tasks for a time when you know you will have the required motivation to tackle such tasks.
20. Talk to Your Employer
If you enjoy where you work, but for some reason, you need to go remote, you need to make sure that you inform your boss about your intention to pivot. That way, you are effectively able to communicate remote work stipends and find common ground.
More so, if you are unsure as to whether your employer will agree to the idea of working completely remotely, suggest the option of a trial first. If you use these work from home tips that have been provided in this article, your boss is guaranteed to notice your productivity and may possibly provide you with the option of working from home more often.
21. Join a Remote-Friendly Company
If the above tip didn’t go as planned, and your current boss does not allow you the option of working from home even though your work can be done remotely, then you might need to find a new job.
Finding a work-from-home job requires you to use the same methods you used when you found your current regular office job. Job sites, local ads, and social media platforms are all channels that you can use to aid yourself in this home job search.
The Bottom Line
While you may miss the office at times, working from home can also be very good for you. You don’t have to worry about getting to work every day, and you can be around your loved ones more often. To help you make the most of your new routine, or fix your current one, these work from home tips have got you covered. Try them out, stick to them, and you may very well find yourself being as productive as you once were in the office. Who knows, maybe you even find yourself more productive when working from home.
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