While many companies have brought their employees back to the office over the past year, remote work is here to stay. In fact, Ladder projects that 25% of all professional jobs in the U.S. will be remote by the end of 2022.
Working from home has its perks, but it can be difficult for many people to remain on-task and productive. With the remote trend set to continue, equip yourself with tips and tools to keep on top of your to-do list and engage with your remote team. Here are 10 tips to maximize your working-from-home productivity.
1. Create and Fine Tune Your Workspace
A proper workspace isn’t just good for working from home productivity—it also helps you maintain a healthy work/life boundary. Ideally, your workspace should be in a low-traffic area with minimal distractions.
If you find you experience an afternoon slump, have some backup places to work in your rotation. For example, you may want to pack up and spend half a day at the quiet cafe around the corner or log on outside for a change of scenery and some fresh air.
2. Set Your Schedule
Set specific business and home hours for colleagues and family members. Keeping a consistent schedule will also keep colleagues in the loop regarding when you’re available to chat and attend meetings. If you have a habit of working well past your working hours, set an alarm for the end of the day to avoid burnout.
3. Prioritize Your Work with Productivity Apps
When working from home, it can be easy to slip into unrealistic productivity standards. Check with your manager or project manager for clear communication on what needs to be done, and prioritize your tasks accordingly using a productivity app.
Once you’ve organized your to-do list, set timers and track your performance to better understand what you can reasonably accomplish in the day or week.
4. Start Your Day with a Consistent Routine
While working in your pajamas may sound tempting, getting ready in the morning will help you get into your work mindset. The same applies to ending your work day and pivoting to your after-work life. Introduce a short routine to start your day: change out of your pajamas, and complete the same get-ready routine you would if you were heading to the office.
5. Take Healthy Breaks
Organized to-do lists, designated workspaces, and consistent routines are all great ways of improving your working-from-home productivity, but taking regular breaks is just as important.
Whether it’s a quick walk around the block, a five-minute stretching session, or some jumping jacks, make time to step away for your physical and mental health.
6. Maximize Meeting Times
Remote meeting fatigue is real and can be a total productivity zapper. If you’re invited to meetings that aren't pertinent to your role or current projects, speak to your manager about a solution. You may be able to request a transcript of the Zoom meeting instead or quickly glean the key talk points in a 15-minute group micro-meeting.
Ensuring you and your team are using strong remote work communication will also help cut down on unnecessary meetings.
7. Interact with Others
Although remote work may tether you to your tech, it’s common to feel disconnected from the world at times. Make it a point to periodically check in with your colleagues and other work-from-home friends throughout the day.
Having an accountability buddy can also be a great way of keeping your productivity in check. You can “co-work” with someone via Zoom or another workplace communication platform, discuss what’s on each other’s plate for the day, daily goals, and more. Chat with them in the morning and check in later in the day to check each other’s progress.
8. End Your Day with a Consistent Routine
When the day is wrapping up, check tomorrow’s schedule, review and update your to-do list, tidy your workspace, and, if needed, tell your coworkers you’re logging off for the day. If you don’t have a dedicated home office, pack away your work tech so you won’t be tempted to keep working.
9. Pinpoint Your Procrastination Triggers
Working from home has its perks, but it also means more distractions to steer you away from your tasks. If you find yourself scrolling social media in the afternoon or clicking through your Netflix queue for “background noise” only for it to turn into a streaming marathon, it’s time to revisit your workspace requirements.
If you find yourself scrolling and streaming your favorite shows in the middle of the workday, consider listening to music instead. One study from Harvard Medical School showed that music can reduce stress, boost mood, and enhance cognitive performance.
10. Reward Yourself
Rewards help us stay productive, as we know we’ll get something great after marking something off our to-do list. After you accomplish a heavy task or goal, treat yourself to a reward for a job well done. This could be a healthy snack, a quick coffee or tea run, or a five-minute midday chat with a friend or loved one.
Working-from-Home Productivity Tips: A Recap
Remote work has its perks, but it takes discipline to remain productive and focused. If you find yourself distracted or stressed, you may want to revisit your current work routines to work out what’s working and what needs improvement.
A stricter morning and evening schedule or fewer meetings may be the solution. Alternatively, the key to your productivity may be more effective communication with your remote team. If this is the case, you need a proper plan in place to ensure your virtual communication meets its goals.
Use online tools, such as Otter.ai, to store and note the essential aspects of your remote work communication. To better facilitate productivity across remote teams and projects, contact our experts today.