Tips to Help You Stay Focused and Productive While Working From Home

Tips to Help You Stay Focused and Productive While Working From Home

Many workplace changes took place due to Covid-19. Many employees started working remotely from their homes. Even when the quarantine ended, many companies allowed employees to continue working remotely. Part of allowing employees to work remotely was to easily maintain social distance guidelines, which would otherwise be impossible in a cramped office. It also helped many companies cut down on cleaning costs, which drastically increased as a result of Covid-19.

There are many benefits associated with working from home, but there are also some downsides as well. Maintaining the same level of productivity at home versus at an office is difficult for many employees. There are many more distractions at home, and it is easy for your personal life to bleed into your professional one. Listed below are some of the top tips for maintaining productivity while remotely working from home.

Create a Work Schedule

One of the most important tips to remain productive at work is setting a regular schedule. Many employees struggle with working at home because it is so easy to put off work. By creating a schedule, you are setting aside a specific block of time where you focus solely on work. It is easier to fall back into a normal working routine with this schedule.

It is also important to maintain a work schedule because some employees have the opposite problem. Instead of putting off work, they hyper-fixate on their job. This is because, without the separation of home and a workspace, their minds stay in work mode. Setting a schedule allows you to relax without feeling unproductive. 

Most employees use the same work schedule before they start working at home. While this is a valid option, it is not the only one. If you are not normally a morning person but had to get up early to get into the office, consider starting your day later. You may also have other responsibilities which require you to change your schedule, such as taking care of a child. 

The most important part of your schedule is consistency. If you normally have a hard time sticking to a schedule, consider using an app. There are even apps available which track your most productive hours, so you can plan an optimal work schedule. This also allows you to fine-tune your work schedule. For example, you can schedule your hardest assignments during your most productive hours, then save the lighter assignments for the start of your day, when you are less productive.

Sharing Space

Working from home is much easier if you live alone, but many employees share a living space with a roommate or family member who is also working from home. In order to remain productive, it is important to set ground rules. The last thing you want is a friend or family member trying to talk to you about weekend plans while you are working on an assignment.

A common rule is designating quiet time. This is especially important in smaller living spaces, where someone watching television or loudly cooking in the kitchen can be a huge distraction. You must also take space into consideration. If you live with another worker, you must decide who works where. Otherwise, you risk getting in each other’s space, hurting productivity and creating tension.

Getting What you Need

One of the challenges for many workers is figuring out how to work from home. Many jobs require specialized tools or equipment, which you may not have access to at home. With how sudden the shift to working remotely was, businesses did not have a chance to properly prepare employees. If you are missing something to complete your job, do not be afraid to ask your boss for assistance.

Many businesses have a budget to help remote employees get set up. These requests do not have to be for specialized equipment. For example, you may need an extra monitor or printer to properly set up your workspace. Even if your work cannot directly provide you with the items, they may cover a portion of the costs.

Leave the House

It is easy to fall into a slump if you spend the entire day in one location. To avoid feeling trapped, try and schedule a time to leave your house. You do not have to go on a far trip. Even getting outside and walking around the block is a good break. This also keeps you from staying cooped up in front of your computer for too long.

Walking is a good way to get your blood circulating, plus you are enjoying fresh air and sunlight. It also gives you the chance to clear your mind. Many employees find they are most productive after taking a short break to stretch their legs.

Get Clear Instructions

If you are not used to working at home, it is important to maintain communication with your boss or manager. Many companies were forced to quickly transition into remote working. As a result, many workplaces did not have a clear policy in place. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you are unclear about your assignments.

If you need a direct answer, try to call your boss or arrange a video chat instead of communicating over email. Make sure there is a clear line of communication in place, especially if you are working as part of a team.

Socialize with Colleagues

Many remote workers end up feeling isolated without going into the office. Even if you do not normally work as part of a team, it is often helpful to have a coworker to bounce ideas off of. Socializing with employees is important, but can prove challenging while working from home. You do not want to spend too much time talking on the phone or making video calls.

Email is one way to stay in touch, but it is not always easy to quickly respond to an email. There are many text-based apps perfect for socializing. Many apps even allow you to create different rooms, so you can have one channel dedicated to workplace discussions and others for more relaxed conversations.

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