We are no novices when it comes to working from home. We have all worked from home at some point in time. Truth to be told, many of us love that occasional break from the office space to work from home. Working amidst family and children, the constant distractions, and various other restrictions have made work from home a herculean task that questions productivity. Well, you have to bite the bullet. There is no other go and if you try, you can definitely overcome the challenges of working from home.
Here are tips for staying productive when working from home.
1. Stick to an organized work schedule
Let’s face the fact. Most of us fail to maintain a regular work schedule when working from home. Well, it may not seem to make much of a difference in the earlier days, but gradually such ignorance can take a toll on your productivity. Chances are that you could be underworking or overworking, both of which make you less productive. So, it is imperative to organize your work hours.
See to it that you have a definite idea about when to commence the work and when to call it a day. Such a step not only increases your productivity but also helps you find a work-life balance. At the same time, while working remotely you may lose track of time. So, it’s best that you use a tool or something of the like to overcome it.
2. Keep burnouts at bay
This is one productivity tip that should be taken seriously, especially if you are working from home. Burnout is no trivial issue. It can leave your work and personal life in a huge confusing clutter, which eventually creates an imbalance. Such developments can have a bad impact on your mental and physical health. The toxicity of burnouts can make you feel overly exhausted, detached, short-tempered, and of course, unproductive as well. You need to stay out of trouble. Avoid burnouts at all costs.
Make sure you take measures to get over or dodge burnout. You can set a proper work schedule, change your workstation or maintain a to-do list for each day, so that you can keep track of your work progress and avoid work from piling up. You could also try meditating so that it calms and refreshes the mind. Make sure you perform meditation before starting off with work.
3. Find a comfortable workspace at home
You probably had a cabin for yourself at the office where you could work peacefully without any disturbance at all. Everyone there strived towards a single objective and therefore, was easy to work with. Fast forward to the present scenario. You work at home, where you are surrounded by family members who are from different age groups and obviously have goals that are a whole lot different from yours. As a result, you will come across many challenges that can threaten your productivity.
You need to overcome these challenges. Ideally, for remote work, it is often secure to have an office at home with two separate computers, one for work and the other for personal use. Well, it is not a practical option always. So, you will have to find a place at home, that you feel will help you be comparatively more productive and set up a workstation. Also, clearly differentiate work and personal needs while using the computer. You can make separate user accounts for different requirements.
4. Communicate excessively and extensively
Communicate, communicate, and communicate! Be it for a manager or employee, this is surely one of the best tips for working remotely with a team. Over-communication helps you keep your work in sync with that of your team members. Get on a call with your team members, notify them of your work schedule and availability, the progress of each work, the deadline of a particular project, and other important tasks.
It is necessary to communicate excessively so that you cover all the aspects of work in order to facilitate a frictionless workflow. Over-communication not only helps you sync your work with that of the team members’ efficiently but also lets you get the better of boredom and reduces work fatigue as well. You get a chance to socialize and connect with your colleagues. Find out how they are faring, pass a few funny comments, and get back to work feeling all rejuvenated.
5. Have access to all the required tools
It is very much essential to be equipped with all the required tools while you work from home. The sudden shift to remote work might have left you without access to certain necessary tools. When that’s the case, make sure you get access to every tool needed. If not contact the concerned members of your IT team to help you with accessing all the tools needed for working from home, be it softphone, VPN, or even project management software. You need to carry out your work as efficiently and painlessly as possible and for the very reason, you need powerful tools to help you.
6. Do not be vulnerable to distractions
To be honest, you cannot expect solitude while working from home. Well, many of you might have realized it by now. There’s always a distraction. But work is work and you have to find solutions to stay away from any sort of disturbance if maximum productivity is what you aim for. One way is to find a comfortable and peaceful place at home and convert it into your workstation.
The next thing that you can do is to keep safe a distance from your social media handles and phone calls. It can be harder than it sounds, but well, as they say, no pain no gain. You will have to strictly stay away from such distractions during your work time. You can always browse through your social media after work hours.
7. Schedule your tasks beforehand
Create micro to-do lists for the next day before you hit the bed. Make it a habit. It does a great deal of good when it comes to organizing work. We know, there are many who start the day without scheduling tasks properly. Are you one amongst them? If so, here’s what you probably do. In a hurry, you scribble out a vague list and try to perform the tasks for the day.
You might have also noticed that such a practice delays work as you have to sit and think about the details involved, sort out tasks, and then proceed accordingly. It can also affect the efficiency of work. Whereas if you set your calendar the day before, half your work is sorted out and you don’t have to spend extra time brooding over the details. You can also resort to project management tools, as they make the process a walk in the park.
8. Turn up for meetings
You should definitely pay heed to this tip if you are working from home. A company’s goal is achieved when an entire team works together. So, your availability for meetings is the need of the hour. Meetings and conference calls are the binding knots that keep you and your team on the same page.
It helps you stay updated on any new requirements or bottlenecks and aids you in navigating the situation with ease along with your colleagues. So, make sure you don’t miss out on any meetings. Always be available for a call meet unless there’s an emergency circumstance that hinders you from doing so.
9. Do not hesitate to take breaks
Sitting in front of your computer for hours on end does not promise you productivity, though it would seem so. On the contrary, it could burn you out. You should take a break in between when working remotely. Study your company’s policy and let yourself go for a break time accordingly.
Ideally, an hour’s lunch break or a 15-minute break every four hours will do. Ironically, doing nothing for some time can be productive. Your body needs these breaks to revitalize itself so that it supports you in doing your work efficiently. So, do gift yourself a break or two every day to work better.
10. Exercise every day
When working from home, you are constrained to your house, doing minimal activities. Thus, inclining towards a lethargic lifestyle that can affect your physical as well as emotional well-being, it will have a bad impact on your work as well. Exercise not only helps you break a sweat but refreshes your mind, pacifies depression, and enhances your cognitive capacity as it triggers the release of endorphin, a chemical that promotes a positive feeling in your body. Make sure you take at least half an hour of your day to do yoga or any basic exercise for that matter. You will see that it makes a whole world of difference the next time when you sit down to work. Remember, a healthy body and mind are key to productive work.
As you work from home, pay attention to what’s distracting you and plan around it. When you log off for the day, clean up your home environment so it’s not a distraction. Pack your lunch every morning (or the night before) so you don’t have to figure it out on your lunch break. And if your interruptions come from a barking dog, put a sign on your door telling delivery workers not to ring the doorbell. Working from home may require a new set of skills and some unique considerations, but with planning and persistence, you can keep work on track and continue to deliver results from home.
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