Important Productivity Tips When Working from Home

Trista - April 22, 2020

Working from home is a new concept for many people and companies. However, thanks to technology, it is something that most employees can do. On the other hand, workers are slowly but surely learning to make the most of it and enjoy working from home.

One downside about working from home is the distractions. Working away from home in an office means you are surrounded by coworkers and bosses who are watching us get our work done. When you’re at home, it’s all up to you. Plus, if you children and pets, it can be that much more challenging to focus. Luckily, some tips can make working from home more productive.

Make sure that you are still productive even when working from home and being in charge of yourself. Shutterstock.

Keep Your Productivity Up

Do you think you are more productive when you work from home or when you’re in the office? When we are in the office, our coworkers help to motivate us when we feel like procrastinating, and we enjoy many social benefits in this space too.

When you’re working from home, you are in charge of yourself. It could go one of two ways. Either you become incredibly productive because you aren’t distracted by conversations with coworkers, or you distract yourself with home comforts and get no work done.

Working from home means you can work wisely with your time to have an excellent work-life balance. Shutterstock.

Use Your Time Wisely

There are some useful tips for working from home that can help get you into a productive workday and use your time wisely. Are you someone who is struggling with your at-home office? Make sure you start to incorporate these tips into your work life at home.

Start the working from home process by choosing where you want to set up your workspace. Please do not fall into the trap of working from the couch or even worse, your comfy and warm bed. Walk throughout your house and figure out a good spot.

Working from your couch or bed will leave you feeling sluggish. Shutterstock.

Don’t Become A Couch Potato

The problem with working from the couch is that you associate this spot with relaxation and TV watching. You’ll be more inclined to deviate from your work if you’re in this spot. Set up a place on the dining room table instead.

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, maybe invest in a nice desk or build one yourself. Pick a spot that has good energy as well. It will make you more productive in the long run. If you have a spare room, this is a great spot to work.

Being able to close out distractions when working from home can be essential for your productivity. Shutterstock.

Utilize A Room With A Door

Having an at-home office with a door that can close is a real bonus. If you need to conduct a conference call, but there are other people in the house, you can shut out the noise and concentrate on anything important being spoken.

If you can pick a coffee shop that has good Wi-Fi and work from there a couple of days a week. This change of scenery will do you good and give you some extra stimulation and a great cup of coffee too. However, it might be restricted during the current crisis.

Take advantage of being able to work in a different environment, such as a coffee shop. Shutterstock.

Get Out And About (After the Current Crisis)

Getting out and about to complete freelance work is an excellent idea if your home office isn’t working for you. There are a plethora of places where you can work from if you can’t work from home. It includes coffee shops, libraries, and maybe even flexible working space.

Doing this can help to simulate a work environment if you are finding being alone boring at home. You also won’t have at home distractions such as the television, taking a bath, or even going on a cleaning spree – because anything is better than work sometimes!

Feel like you’re in the office when you’re at a coffee shop to increase your work motivation. Shutterstock.

Work In Public

If you decide to complete freelance work in public, you will most likely be surrounded by others who are doing the same type of work as you. It will increase your motivation and productivity, and who knows – maybe you’ll even have the opportunity to network while you’re there.

Interacting with other people during your workday can be a very positive thing. Being solitary might not be beneficial to everyone; you need to figure out what works best for you. Go outside for a walk if you don’t want to go to a coffee shop and say hi to someone.

Use your work breaks to get your body moving, as this will release some incredible hormones. Shutterstock.

Exercise During Your Break

The bonus of working from home is that you have options for your breaks. This tip means you can use it for exercise as well – going to the gym would give you some people interaction and give you the boost of energy you need to finish the day.

Perhaps you should set up an office for the day at your gym if there is a spot there. You can sit and drink smoothies, have lunch, get your workout and work done. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Keep to your routine of getting up at your usual time you would to leave for work. Shutterstock.

Set Your Alarm

The next step is to make your brain believe that you are going into the office. You should not lose this feeling when you are working from home. Start by setting your alarm to wake up at the usual time you would if you were going into work.

Continue with your usual routine of things like making coffee, putting on some cute clothes, and putting your phone on silent. If you make the mistake of spending the day in your pajamas, you might notice a significant dip in your productivity levels.

Go into the “office” early and start your day off properly with a shower and a cup of coffee. Shutterstock.

Get Into The Routine

You should also continue to get started in the home office early. When you are going into work, you have time on your commute to wake up and prepare for the day ahead of you. We often take this time for granted, but it is very beneficial.

If you’re working from home, you’ll feel like you aren’t ready for work if you go straight to your home office from your bed. Wake up, shower, and put on your coffee pot. Slowly, you’ll get into the routine of going to work a lot earlier than usual.

Working from home as a morning person can increase your motivation levels in your work. Shutterstock.

Are You A Morning Person?

Eventually, you’ll find that you are losing your sluggishness in the morning and are feeling more motivated. You now have the opportunity to start working a lot earlier than you usually do, and you should take full advantage of this.

If you’re a morning person, this is excellent, and you’ll feel more productive than you ever have before. You might not be a morning person, in any case. You will have natural motivation highs and lows throughout the day.

We go through highs and lows of productivity levels in the day, so you should work around these. Shutterstock.

When Is Your Production Peak?

If you’re working from the office, you have a specific time when you are expected to be productive. When you are working from home, you have the opportunity to find out when you are at your production peak and schedule your work around this.

Make the most of your productive hours. You can do this by keeping tasks that you find more difficult for when you know you are at your production peak. You can then use times that you aren’t as productive for projects that you find easier.

Maximize your working abilities by planning your day around when you feel most motivated. Shutterstock.

Work Your Way To Harder Tasks

Even by doing these more manageable tasks through periods that don’t have you feeling as motivated will spur you on as you get them done. Essentially, they are helping to build up your momentum to work on the more laborious tasks at a later point in your workday.

Some people find that they are most productive in the day, and others are at night. You might even be a mixture of the two, and working from home gives you the freedom to figure this out and plan your working schedule around it to be your most productive self.

Pretend you are still in the office and stick to the schedule that you are used to there. Shutterstock.

Keep Your Day Structured

Another tip is to structure your day as if you were in the office. If you’re used to working in an office space, your day might seem out of sorts without the meetings in between that seem to break up your workload during the day.

It can lead to you losing your focus or feeling burned out from all the non-stop work. Make sure you stay on your schedule and figure out when you want to do things during the day. There are many great tools online for this.

Keep on track by using online calendar tools if you find you are losing track of what work needs to be done. Shutterstock.

Try Out Google Calendar

There are online calendars such as Google Calendar that can help to keep you on track and focused during your workday at home. Stick to what you’re used to if you’re struggling, and you will get things done at your usual office pace.

If you are used to having meetings in the morning, set up your virtual meetings for the morning instead of switching them around, Alternatively, if you go through all your emails first thing when you get into the office, continue to do this when you are working from home.

Try getting your work calls done in the afternoon so that you aren’t distracted from more important tasks. Shutterstock.

Don’t Get Distracted By Other Colleagues

With that being said, it might be better for you to save work calls for the afternoon. Why? You are tired in the morning, especially if you aren’t the early bird who loves to catch the worm.

Take advantage of not having to be in contact with people first thing in the morning. It could lead to you being more productive as you aren’t distracted with other tasks that people may discuss, and you can stick to your schedule for the day.

Save things to look forward to in the day, such as a chat with a colleague to motivate you. Shutterstock.

Get Solitary Tasks Out The Way

If you’re struggling with working from home, get all of your solitary work done first. You can then save things like phone calls, virtual meetings, and other work that requires a group effort for when you are feeling more awake and productive.

If you’re someone who enjoys interacting with colleagues, this also gives you something to look forward to later in your day.

Social media is our worst enemy when we want to procrastinate, so you need to eliminate this as an option. Shutterstock.

Eliminate Your Distractions At Home

At home, we are aware that there are so many distractions. You need to start eliminating these from your home-work environment. One of the biggest distractions is social media. It’s so easy to get lost in endless scrolling on Instagram when you’re at home.

When you’re meant to be working, this is counterproductive and can disrupt your workflow in an instant. You need to make it harder to access social media if you find yourself mindlessly clicking on the link or opening the app on your phone.

Remove any social media shortcuts from your computer, so you are less inclined to press the button. Shutterstock.

Say Goodbye To Social Media

One way to eliminate this distraction is to remove any social media shortcuts from your browser. If that doesn’t stop you and you still find yourself typing in the URL, log out of your accounts. Without that instant access to social media, you’ll be less inclined to use it.

You could also work in a private browser or “incognito” mode, which doesn’t autocomplete a word or URL. Social media breaks are allowed when working at home as long as it isn’t during the hours that you’ve set aside to work.

Take a break during your at-home working day to refresh your mind and fill your coffee cup. Shutterstock.

Coffee Breaks Are Vital

It is important to take clear breaks during your working hours at home. You might be so used to coffee breaks in the office that you forget to take this time out when you are working from home. Don’t avoid breaks; you need them.

Take those five minutes to relax, and you could use this time to scroll through social media if that’s something that relaxes you. You could also use this time to move away from your desk and get the blood flowing by going outside.

Taking breaks at home is very important to keep you focused on your work. Shutterstock.

Recharge Your Energy

Breaks are essential to help recharge your energy and productivity levels. Having a cup of coffee or taking a lunch break can refuel you and make your work even better than you would without taking a break.

Don’t get carried away in your break, though – it doesn’t mean that you should take advantage of people not judging you for taking a break from work. Set yourself a time limit for your break and stick to it and be strict about the time.

Prevent yourself from feeling alone at home by staying in touch with colleagues with technology. Shutterstock.

When You’re Feeling Disconnected

You might get into the swing of things when you are working from home, and you’ll start feeling incredibly productive. But, there is a possibility that you begin to feel disconnected from what is happening in the office.

Thank goodness for technology because this will help you feel connected to your colleagues and workspace. You can use tools like instant messaging and videoconferencing to check-in and be filled in on what is happening, along with the office gossip.

Choose a communication program that suits your needs and helps you to stay connected. Shutterstock.

Take Advantage Of Technology

Technology is what is genuinely allowing so many people to work these days remotely, and you should use these tools to their full advantage. You need to make sure that you are using the tools that suit your needs and your company’s.

There are so many options, including Slack, Trello, Teams, and Zoom. You can use these tools to communicate efficiently, check who is online, and also to schedule and host meetings to discuss relevant topics.

If you are stressed that you don’t know what is happening at the office, keep in touch with someone who keeps you up to date. Shutterstock.

Keep In Touch With Your Coworkers

This productivity tip means that you will never be out of the office loop, and you can stop worrying about it. It will make a big difference if you are experiencing any feeling of isolation from not being able to interact with people at work physically.

When you start your day and end up spending it planning out what you should spend your time on, you will end up taking away valuable time from the tasks that you intended to do. What is a way to solve this problem at home?

Creating a list of things you want to get done will help you to stay on track during the day. Shutterstock.

Create A Task List

Have a planned task list and stick to this. But, you also need to let your plan change if it needs to. Create an agenda that has what you need to work on before you begin. It’s best if you do this the day before you start working on it.

If you aren’t permanently working from home, but you know when you will be, plan the work that you are going to get done from home. There might be things you need to get done in the office and others that can be done from home.

Figure out what you need to do in the office and what can be done at home to maximize your at-home work experience. Shutterstock.

Plan Your Time Both In And Out Of The Office

If you need to interact with colleagues or maybe need a bigger workspace, schedule these tasks for when you will be in at the office and not at home. Save more admin-like projects for when you are working out of office.

You could also schedule things that you need to concentrate on for when you’re at home so that you can get totally into the zone. Planning out your time and schedule for in-office and out of office will optimize the way you work.

Working from home may be a negative thing for you as you’ll get consumed by your work. Shutterstock.

Don’t Get Consumed By Your Work

When working from home, it’s also effortless to get entirely consumed by your work and work late into the night. Working past your office hours can sometimes be suitable as you’re getting ahead with your work.

Other times, it will just burn you out. This notion is why it is so essential to make sure that you pick a time to finish work each day. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have the perfect work-life balance.

Remind yourself when work is coming to an end with an alarm on your phone or computer. Shutterstock.

Set An End-Of-Day Alarm

Do you find yourself losing track of time because you aren’t surrounded by colleagues who are packing up and heading home or taking a lunch break? You need to set a reminder for yourself to do just that.

Just as you set the alarm to start your day, you should set one to end it too. Set one for about 30 minutes before the end of your workday so that you can start getting things wrapped up and finished so you can “leave” work.

Use this work from home experience to enhance your personal life and not detract from it. Shutterstock.

Work And Personal Lives

However, you don’t have to stop working precisely at the time your alarm goes off. If there is something you are busy working on and you’re in the zone, get it finished and then end your day. It might mean you end earlier the next day.

Don’t let your work-life blend too much with your personal life. Boundaries in a work-from-home situation are crucial. Working from home will give you a better work-life balance if you know how to work it.

Using something like a laundry cycle could help you to motivate yourself to get tasks done within a time frame. Shutterstock.

Use At-Home Timers

Timers are also useful at other points during your day. You can even use your laundry as a timer. This tip is a win-win situation as you’re using that time to get an at-home task done and use the timer to set your productivity levels.

When you set your laundry to start, go, and do something on your to-do list before the load finishes. Decide on something you want to get done during the washing and drying cycles.

Setting imaginary deadlines for yourself could be beneficial for your at-home work life. Shutterstock.

Work Smarter From Home

This method is, in essence, helping to train you to work smarter on tasks. You know the timing of your washing and how long it takes to get it done. Figure out a job that you can complete during that time frame and get to work.

Using time productively can inspire you and motivate you for the rest of your workday. You also won’t have to waste time after work doing your laundry as it will already be done.

Make sure your family at home understands that you are at work and aren’t available to interact with them. Shutterstock.

Communicate Boundaries At Home

One of the most vital things when working from home is to communicate your expectations with people who are in the house as well. You may have to share a house with roommates, parents, children, and spouses.

You need to discuss with them that they need to respect your working hours and your space during this time of the day. Even though you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean life goes on just as it would on the weekend.

Use a “do not disturb” sign for a door when you are busy and shouldn’t be bothered by people in the house. Shutterstock.

When You’re In The Office

It can be simple things like telling your family that when you have your earphones in, they should consider you are at the office. When you take them out, they can interact with you but still shouldn’t pull you away from work.

It’s easy to get distracted by other people who are also at home. However, with discipline and respect, this is a problem that can be overcome and can be an enjoyable experience for everyone present.

Expecting more from yourself will push you to achieve more than you think you are capable of doing. Shutterstock.

Push Yourself With What You Can Achieve

A great tip to increase productivity from wherever you may be working is to commit to doing more than you think you can. Because work often takes longer than you estimate it will, you get less done than you plan on sometimes.

Just as you should overestimate how much time a project will take you, you should also apply this to how much you think you’ll get done. If you don’t manage to meet your set out goal, you’ll still have achieved a lot of the things you needed to.

Set goals for yourself and tell these to someone so that they can hold you accountable for them. Shutterstock.

Make Yourself Accountable

Remain accountable for what you are doing. This idea could be telling a coworker what you plan on getting done when working from home. If you have committed to getting something done, you will be less likely to ignore this and be distracted.

If you’re someone who finds that music is a significant contributor to feeling motivated, pop on a great playlist and let it play while you are working. You could even match your music to your energy or what task you need to get done.

A great playlist could change your mood and put you in a productive mindset to get work done. Shutterstock.

Get Your Playlist Ready

Lyric-free music is great when you are working so that you aren’t distracted by singing along or by thinking about the meaning behind the song. Use a streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music, or even YouTube to get you feeling excited to work.

Working from home can be a wonderful thing in your life. It gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility than you would have in an office environment. If you plan your time wisely, keep motivated, and remain dedicated, it will be the best thing for your productivity and career.