9 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home
Working from home has some definite advantages over heading to the office – no commute, a flexible schedule, and no dress code.
However, working remotely also means more opportunities for distraction and procrastination which can adversely impact your job productivity.
For many, the adjustment can take some time, but there are ways to speed up your acclimation to your new home office.
Here Are Some Tips to Boost Your Productivity While Working From Home
1. Dress for the Office
It can be tempting to stay in your cozy pajamas while working at your computer but getting changed out of your sleepwear can help you to prepare mentally for the day ahead. Put yourself in a productive frame of mind by dressing for the office.
If you typically wear a business suit or a uniform, you can skip the office attire and choose a comfortable and casual outfit. Just the act of getting dressed, fixing your hair, and brushing your teeth can signify to your brain that it is time to work.
2. Set Regular Hours
While working from home gives you the flexibility to design your schedule, assign yourself regular work hours, and stick to them to avoid falling into bad habits and procrastinating behaviors that inhibit your productivity.
You can choose to stick to the routine you had while working from the office, or, if you have the option, set your hours around the times you feel most alert and productive.
For many people, their most productive hours are early in the morning, while for others, their most creative ideas come to them late at night. Find your ideal work time and create a schedule that works to your advantage.
3. Schedule Breaks
Staring for prolonged periods at your computer screen is not just bad for your eyesight and posture; screen fatigue can also cause mental fogginess and impact your productivity. Taking regular breaks throughout your workday is important to recharge and move your body.
Aim to take a 15-minute break every 75-90 minutes, and a longer 30-minute break for lunch. Do not be tempted to use your phone or tablet during this time – checking your Instagram does not count as a break. Take a stroll around the block or play with your pet.
You can organize a virtual coffee break with a colleague but do it on a laptop or your phone. If you’re going to be using a screen, change your environment, so you are not taking your coffee break where you also do your work.
4. Designate an Office Space
Having a dedicated space to work makes the transition from office work to working from home much easier. It also helps you separate your work life from your home life and reduces distractions that can impede your productivity.
If you don’t already have a home office, set one up in your living room or kitchen. Your workspace does not need to be large, but it does need to offer you enough space to work with your laptop and any other office tools you need, including printers and printer supplies, which can be found at InkJetSuperstore.
Avoid working from your bedroom unless that is the only space you can have privacy while you work. Working from your bedroom transforms it from space to relax to a place of stress, and you may end up thinking about work 24 hours a day.
Additionally, if you are planning to use your home office as a tax write-off, you must have a separate, designated work area. Your bedroom does not count for office space.
5. Minimize Distractions
Working from home often means that you have one eye on the computer and another on your ever-growing To-Do list. The key to staying on task is to minimize the distractions in your home as much as possible.
For parents, this may mean having their kids play in another room or giving them a little extra screen time. For others, it may mean working with your back to the TV and keeping the open tabs on your internet browser to a minimum.
If you have trouble controlling your social media scrolling, try using an app such as Offtime or Flipd, which locks you out of your social media accounts after a specific amount of time.
6. Have the Right Tools for the Job
Set up your office space with all the right tools to boost your productivity. Keep office essentials such as printer toner, replacement ink cartridges, paper, and stationery within easy reach. Use apps or a paper calendar to keep track of deadlines and encourage good time management.
When it comes to productivity when working from home, your office furniture matters. Spending hours sitting at a desk can damage your posture.
Invest in a supportive office chair to prevent neck and spinal pain and buy a desk that has a height-adjustable feature. Alternatively, you can purchase a standing desk to encourage yourself to move more throughout the day.
7. Keep Your Workspace Clutter-Free
A cluttered desk and home can be a distraction that prevents you from working productively. Studies have shown that clutter has a significant impact on your mood and can create a stressful work environment.
Keep your workspace neat and clutter-free by having minimal items on your desk and investing inefficient storage and organization solutions for small items such as ink and toner. You can also buy cable management systems to organize the cords and wires from your PC, laptop, or printer.
8. Add Natural Light
A frequently overlooked element of your office space is lighting. Natural light is important for regulating your circadian rhythms, and studies have shown that office workers feel fatigued and non-productive without exposure to natural light.
Where possible, position your workspace close to a window to take advantage of your home’s natural light source. Alternatively, take your laptop outside onto your patio or to a park to make the most of the sunshine.
9. Don’t Completely Self-Isolate
Although there are huge benefits to working from home, one of the drawbacks is the lack of social and work-related interaction between work colleagues.
Make time to connect with your work colleagues from your virtual office throughout the day, whether it is a quick Facetime meeting to touch base about a project you are working on, or a scheduled virtual coffee break to catch up on the latest news.
Many companies are also scheduling weekly “Social Hours” to encourage employees to get together and chat with each other about topics unrelated to work. Some companies call this a virtual water cooler or a virtual happy hour.
The key to a more productive workday while at home is to compartmentalize and keep your work and home life as separate as possible. Make a few simple changes to your space and your daily work routine for a more productive day.