The remote set-up has been widely adopted by companies following safety measures against the pandemic. All of a sudden, many were forced to change the way they work. However, humans adapt pretty fast and pretty well.
Studies have shown that the majority of employees who work from home are more productive. There are fewer distractions, they no longer need to spend time commuting to work and they have more time to do their jobs.
But it’s still important to have a workflow that will keep you highly productive, mentally and physically healthy, and motivated.
Here are the top productivity tips that will help you become more efficient, happier and healthier as you work from home.
1. Have Regular Working Hours
Develop regular working hours and have a consistent work routine.
A consistent work routine will ensure productivity. This will also prevent burnout, which can be caused by poor work-life balance.
Research showed that although remote work has improved the productivity rate for many, there’s also the fact that the pandemic has increased the job burnout rate by 75 percent.
A contributing factor to this pandemic-induced burnout is the inability to to go out as you please. Staying at home most of the time and associating work with home can take a toll on some people. Also, there seems to be no boundary when it comes to doing work or responding to work emails. Of course, other factors like the economy, news, personal finances, and concern for the family’s health are also at play.
To maintain order, start with what you can control at the moment: your work hours.
First, speak to your manager and establish your work hours. If you’re a freelance professional, set a flexible schedule, and inform your client about the time you’ll be available for communications.
Now, for your living situation. If you have children or you live with other people, you also have to take their schedule into consideration.
Consider the factors that will affect the time you’ll spend at work.
2. Optimize Your Desk Set Up
First, location. You have to find a dedicated spot to work in. It’s important to have a comfortable space that your mind solely associates with work. This conditions your whole system in a way that when you’re in your dedicated workspace, you only work. Subsequently, it will condition you to leave when it’s time to clock out. This means that you should avoid the couch or your bed when working.
Next, your desk set up. Adults who work from home spend nearly 40 percent of their day in their work area. If you belong in that group, then you’ll need a comfortable and pleasant desk space because it will increase your productivity:
- Design your desk according to your taste. Put ornaments or things that will tickle your creativity and remind you of moments that inspire you.
- Find a place near the window. It can be directly in front or just near an area where natural light can peak in. This way, you can draw your eyes away from the monitor for a while and stare at something other than your computer screen. This will help you avoid eye strain as well.
- Get a standing desk or an adjustable computer stand that you can put on top of your table. Sitting all day can be unhealthy so it’s important to take small breaks and stand up or walk from time to time. However, some people prefer to just have a standing desk as a way to stay both productive and healthy.
3. Establish Boundaries When it Comes to Interaction
Creating boundaries when it comes to interacting with others will help you stay focused on the task at hand. Otherwise, you won’t be productive, you’ll end up being distracted and burned out.
If you have a room or studio dedicated mainly to work then make it a point to put a sign on the door that tells people you’re working and not to disturb you. Another thing is to always have your door closed.
However, if you share an area with another person or a group of people you can do two things. First, create a work schedule that lets you work alone or with fewer people in the room. Second, you can politely request having peace and quiet during your work hours.
4. Reduce Clutter
Clutter has become a norm for many. We live in an era when what we want is just a click away, leaving us with too much stuff and no place to park them. In the end, it stresses us out and increases anxiety. Psychology Today states that clutter draws our attention from what our focus should be on. It also inhibits productivity and creativity by dominating spaces that inspire most people to think and come up with ideas.
Thankfully, there are now books such as Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy and Becky Rapinchuk’s Simply Clean, which show you methods on how to organize your things and tidy up.
5. Schedule Break Time
Taking a break seems like a normal thing to do, however, not many know how to take design taking breaks to increase productivity.
One of the popular techniques that incorporate breaks into time management is the Pomodoro Method. This technique breaks down work intervals then separates them using very short breaks. A timer, traditionally set at a 25-minuter per work interval, alerts a person. But you can set it any way you want. Many apps encourage this method, like the Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant for Chrome and Firefox or the Promodoneapp for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android.
Remote work will be here for some time. It’s important to know how to optimize your productivity and still be conscious of work-life balance. If you need help, reach out to your boss or a trusted co-worker. Until life goes back to normal, when a return to the office is safe, make the most out of what you have. When you adapt to situations, you’re bound to succeed.