Doing home office has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Still, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, leading to an unprecedented number of remote workers. While this working model has many benefits, such as flexibility and comfort, it also presents challenges. For some people, efficiency can be one of them. Playing with your pet, putting laundry on so "it's done," scrolling social media "just for five minutes," etc. Getting distracted and losing focus is easy without a proper structure and routine. So, how to increase productivity at home?
The following work-from-home productivity tips will help your employees stay on track and increase productivity at home. We've got them covered, from creating a separate workspace to setting healthy habits. As an HR professional, looking for ways to support your team members is critical. These tips will help your team members improve productivity at home. Keep reading and discover some practical and easy-to-implement hacks to boost output and achieve goals.
Work-from-home productivity tips related to your working environment
1. Create your own separate office space at home
Designate a specific location of your home as your workspace. Ideally, this area should be separate from the rest of your living space and solely dedicated to work-related tasks. Creating a dedicated workspace can physically and mentally put a barrier between your job and personal life.
2. Design your workspace to enhance well-being and productivity
Designing your workspace in a way that promotes well-being and productivity is essential. Consider using Feng-Shui principles to arrange your desk and office furniture to encourage positive energy flow. Add plants, natural light, and other elements that create a peaceful and inspiring work environment.
A clean and organized workspace creates a more visually appealing environment and helps you stay focused and on-task. Take a few minutes at the end of each labor day to tidy up your workspace so you can start fresh the next day.
4. Mute notifications
Phones, emails, and social media notifications can be significant. To prevent interruptions and maintain focus, muting notifications during designated work hours is essential. This includes switching off the vibrate mode too.
5. Avoid distractions
Outside noise, pets, kids, and partners can all be potential distractions when working from home. Consider using noise-canceling headphones, putting earplugs on, or minimizing distractions during work hours.
6. Put yourself in focus mode thanks to music and white sounds
Music or white noise can help drown out distractions and put you in a focused and productive mindset. Experiment with different types of music or white noise until you find what is best for you.
Healthy habits tips to increase productivity at home
7. Start your day with meditation
Meditation can help you start your day with a clear and focused mind. It's a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, especially when working from home. Take a few minutes every morning to sit quietly, breathe deeply, and clear your mind before starting your daily tasks.
8. Maintain a morning routine
Maintaining a morning routine can make establishing a sense of structure and consistency in your day easier. Whether making your bed, showering, or having breakfast, having a set way can help you prepare mentally for the day ahead.
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9. Don’t start cleaning or other home-related tasks!
It's essential to avoid the temptation of starting a cleaning or other home-related tasks during your business hours. Doing so can cause you to lose focus and derail your productivity. Instead, set aside time outside your job hours to complete these tasks.
10. Do your meal prep in the evenings or batch cooking on the weekends
Preparing your meals in advance can save you time and help you avoid the temptation of unhealthy snacks during your workday. Have you heard about meal prep and batch cooking? Making extra quantities in the evenings or cooking your meals ahead on weekends is a great way to have healthy meals and snacks throughout the week.
11. Schedule your lunch break, and don’t skip it!
Taking a break for lunch is crucial to maintain your energy levels and keep your focus sharp. Schedule a specific time for your lunch break and stick to it. Avoid eating at your desk and take the opportunity to move away from this area.
12. Get everything you need before starting to work
Before starting your tasks, ensure you have everything you need within reaches, such as a bottle of water, tissues, and snacks. This will help you avoid interruptions and distractions while you're working.
13. Go for a walk
Taking a break and going for a walk can help you clear your mind and recharge your energy levels. It's a great way to get some fresh air and switch off from business for a few minutes.
14. Exercise and get your endorphins level up!
Regular exercise helps you stay focused and increase productivity. It's a great way to boost your energy levels and release endorphins, which contributes to reducing stress and anxiety. Incorporate a regular exercise routine into your day, even if it's just a quick 10-minute session. We promise you the benefits are worth it!
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Best working-from-home practices to boost productivity
15. Break down your day into deep work and low-focus periods
One of the most effective ways to increase productivity is by breaking down your day into deep labor and low-focus periods. Turn off all notifications during your deep work periods and focus on your most important and challenging tasks. During low-focus periods, take care of less pressing tasks such as responding to emails or phone calls.
16. List your daily goals and tick them throughout the day
Listing your daily goals can help you stay concentrated and motivated throughout the day. By ticking off your accomplishments as you go, you will get a sense of satisfaction and progress that are key for motivation.
17. Avoid multitasking
Multitasking can be tempting, but there are more effective ways to get work done. Instead, focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention until it is completed. You will find that you are more productive and efficient this way.
18. Try different time management methods and find the one that works for you
Many different time management methods can help you handle your time more effectively. The most famous ones include the Pomodoro technique or time blocking. Try a few different methods and determine the best way that suits you and your work style.
19. Create your own WFH rules
Everyone is unique, and each remote employee needs to consider this aspect. For example, some people are early birds, others night owls. If your company allows flexitime, prioritize working when you are the most productive. Also, set clear boundaries between business and free time to avoid burnout and to ensure a good work-life balance.
20. Take breaks regularly
Taking regular breaks helps keep your mind fresh and focused throughout the day. Use these moments to stretch, exercise, or take a walk. Stopping working for a few minutes can help you recharge your batteries and boost your productivity.
21. Respect your working hours and don’t overwork
It is easy to start working longer hours when operating from home, but in the long run, it becomes an unhealthy pattern leading to stress, anxiety, and sometimes burnout. To prevent this from happening, establish precise limits on when you work and when you don't, and make sure to stick to your designated business hours.
22. Prioritize your tasks efficiently
Prioritizing your tasks efficiently allows you to stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed by your workload. Use tools like project management software or to-do lists to help you figure out your priorities.
Don’t isolate yourself. Interacting with colleagues and talking to them can boost motivation and reduce feelings of isolation. Take advantage of communication platforms like Slack, Microsoft 365, Google Meet, or Zoom to stay connected with your team.
24. Communicate efficiently and clearly with other team members
When working remotely, communication is critical. Ensure you communicate efficiently and clearly with other team members and keep them updated on your progress. This way, you are sure everyone is on the same page, and the team is progressing smoothly.
25. Use remote work tools
Being away from the office implies the use of remote work tools. Ensure you are familiar with your company's software, communication platforms, and cloud-based resources. Some popular tools are project management software like Trello, communication platforms like Slack, video conferencing tools like Zoom, and cloud-based resources like Google Drive.
Remote working can be a challenge, but it can also be a rewarding experience. Knowing how to increase productivity at home is essential. The above tips will help your employees create a productive and healthy environment, establish good habits, and optimize their remote work practices. Remember, everyone has unique needs and styles, so it's essential they discover the most effective approach that suits their needs. They can achieve their goals and enjoy the benefits of working from home with effort and discipline.
Are your team members coming to the office from time to time? Hybrid work is, without a doubt, the best working model for organizations and employees!
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Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.