By | Elaine Bennett | Editor in Chief, Bizzmark Blog
With the worldwide pandemic and the efforts to contain it, the number of people working remotely rises significantly. It was a significant change for many employees, and it influenced their daily work and rest habits. It also influenced productivity – around 77% of remote employees claim that they are more productive when working from home. As big companies are not in a hurry to get their workers back in the office, you need to cultivate your productivity. So here are the tips on how to be and stay productive.
Separate work from home
One of the best features of working from home is that you can get comfortable – work in your favorite pajama or sweatsuit while enjoying tea and coffee from your favorite mug. It also may turn into a problem – it can be hard to stop working, as there is no clear boundary between home and office! It can also make it hard to start working, as our homes are places where we rest and enjoy ourselves, so it is easy to get distracted from work.
To boost your productivity, choose a house location – a separate room or kitchen table if space is an issue. From now on, that is your office space, and only you do your work there and nowhere else. Before your work time begins, change into business-like clothes to get into a business mindset. Do not forget to switch back to your home clothes when you finish! And when the time is up, close your laptop and leave it there. Do not check it after dinner or before sleep.
Improve your internet
Staying at home for an extended period will probably change the way you use the internet. If you have packages with pre-set gigabytes to spend, think about expanding it or even upgrading it. Video calls can wipe out limited data plans quickly. It would also be wise to look for other broadband internet options if you think your connection is not good enough. It is not only about stability but the speed as well. A fiber internet connection should be both stable and fast enough for all professional needs. If you send or receive big sized files, or stream or view videos in high resolution, fiber is the way to go.
Take care of yourself
Productivity is not just about delivering work or finishing the job. It is also about staying healthy with less physical activity and social contact. Try to establish a physical practice routine every day and look for a partner, either in the house or online, to support each other. Stretching exercises or an exercise machine can do wonders in just 15 minutes each day.
Do not forget to stay in touch with your social circle. Short calls to check in on the family and friends can clear your mind and elevate your mood. Also, do not go to bed late. Rest is vital for general wellbeing, and lack of sleep can create various problems. Lastly, whenever it’s possible, go out for a walk. That’s an excellent combination of physical activity with mental rest and recovery.
Work from home can make it hard to prioritize tasks and organize your work. The first step is to separate actionable tasks from non-actionable ones. If you can do the task in a short amount of time, do it. If not, delegate it to someone else. If it is not urgent, set it aside and do it later. This system is part of David Allen’s method, but you can use the one that works best for you. Use various tools to help yourself organize better – post-it notes, notebooks, calendar reminders. There is no right or wrong method – just the one that makes you efficient. Try to be realistic about what you can and cannot do in your home and be transparent with your manager about it. Everyday family life influences all remote workers, so be clear about what you can do in a reasonable amount of time.
Limit meeting times
With many people staying at home in comfortable surroundings, meetings can easily take so much time. The lack of direct communication in the office is hard to replace with online video or text. It often leads to a lot of information that needs to be shared, and it can take so much time. To prevent it, Write or ask for an agenda before the meeting. In the beginning, state clearly that you have other obligations after the meeting to leave it when appropriate. Offer to do timekeeping or ask someone from the group to do it. Set the clock on your mobile phone or calendar as a reminder. Sometimes the only way to focus the meeting is to create firm boundaries around it.
In the end, the most important tip is to keep yourself safe and watch your health. Working from home can be beneficial in many ways, but you need to establish clear borders. And do not forget to save some of the energy for the family and friends as well.