Work From Home Productivity: 5 Proven Ways to Be Efficient

Challenges to work from home productivity

In a new age of hybrid and remote jobs, working from home has become more common (and challenging) than ever. Now, we find ourselves juggling personal and professional responsibilities at the same time. 

Without clear routines and boundaries, work from home productivity can feel impossible. There are also social challenges. A lack of coworkers to help problem-solve or chat with at lunch can feel isolating. 

In the past, I always saw myself as someone who couldn’t work from home. The idea of never leaving my house seemed depressing. But recently, the pandemic forced me into remote work life. Since then, I have learned to create an efficient office environment without the commute.

Here are 5 effective work from home productivity tips. 

1. Create a Work Space 

Have you ever tried working on the couch or at the dining room table? If so, you know how important it is to find an intrusion-free workspace. 

  • First, locate your work from home set up away from distractions. Steer clear of televisions or common spaces. A spare bedroom is ideal, though any well-lit, secluded corner will do. 
  • Next, organize your space.  A 2019 study found that organized work environments improve performance and well-being. Keep your space clutter-free with shelves and trays. Don’t waste precious time searching for lost items.
  • Finally, invest in quality furniture and technology. When setting up your home office, optimize ergonomic comfort with a nice chair. Buy reliable technology. Invest in fast internet for optimal work from home productivity. 

2. Create Routine 

In the first few weeks of working from home, I left my sweats on and kept my camera off in meetings. But, I soon realized that this kept me mentally in “home” mode. To avoid this trap, follow your regular work routine at home. This will make your remote productivity skyrocket. Moreover, you’ll feel more motivated to get things done during working hours so you can enjoy your personal life at the end of the day.

  • Most importantly, start early and stick to regular working hours. If you usually work out and grab coffee before heading to the office, maintain this routine. Get dressed in professional clothes to look and feel your best. 
  • Plan 15-minute breaks. For instance, plan on moving around, grabbing a healthy snack, or stepping outside for some fresh air every 2-3 hours. 

3. Set Household Expectations 

With kids, spouses, or roommates at home during the day, disturbances are bound to happen. Plan for this and communicate ahead of time.

  • Arrange pet or child care. Did you use a dog walker or daycare service before the pandemic? If you feel comfortable with it, consider leveraging these services again. 
  • Have a household meeting. Communicate the importance of your remote productivity. State times during the day that you are available and stick to them. 

4. Schedule In Advance 

A 2017 survey of business leaders reports only 1.5 hours of uninterrupted work time a day. Be efficient and plan to get more done.

  • Create your schedule the night before. There are many useful apps and detailed planners for scheduling.
  • Start with the most difficult tasks first. Labor-intensive and time-consuming activities are best completed earlier in the day. 

5. Care For Mind, Body, and Spirit 

Staring at a screen and being alone all day can be tough. For this reason, you should be aware of burnout, loneliness, and other mental health issues that can arise when working from home. Keep lines of communication open with your co-workers. Use technology to stay engaged and make yourself available for support.

  • Build personal connections. Talk to coworkers during meetings and participate in virtual lunches. You can also stay active in group discussions and give shot-outs to recognize team successes.
  • Above all, take care of yourself. Now that you don’t have to commute, you can use the extra time to start a daily self-care practice. Focus on areas of your personal life that fulfill you and bring you joy. Use these as the foundation for your personal growth journey.

In conclusion, working from home can be very rewarding if you do it with intention. By giving your day structure and routine, you can create a better work/life balance. These steps have helped me find my groove and boost my work from home productivity. And, I know they can help you, too. 

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