Is working from home more productive? Well, it’s complicated. You’re definitely saving time on the commute (not to mention the long line for your morning coffee), but there can be downsides, too, like a less-than-ideal work from home desk setup. In recent years, remote working has gone from an emerging trend to the new normal for many of us. The benefits: You can dress in your coziest “office casual” (i.e., sweats) and enjoy the quickest commute ever. But your work from home office setup can come with some challenges, like figuring out how to make the most of your day while surrounded by distractions. Fortunately, with these five key tips for being productive when working from home, you can get your job done more efficiently and comfortably. Here are some smart ways to make your work from home setup work for you.
June 4, 2021 in Life
To stay productive while working from home, try finding a dedicated space just for your work from home setup. To choose an ideal spot, think about how much foot traffic and noise you’ll experience. Will kids be scampering at your feet when you’re video chatting with your boss? Can you create a do-not-disturb system (like a sign on the door when you’re in a meeting)? Can you share an office with your partner and still concentrate, or would a small solo corner be better?
If your work from home office setup is organized well, even a compact space, like the corner of a room, can enable you to be highly productive.
Your IT department probably can’t pop by your desk to fix your tech problems right now. But getting your Wi-Fi connection sorted and ensuring your programs are up-to-date (and not crashing) are some of the most basic ways to increase productivity working from home.
If you’re using a new tool for the first time, take it for a test drive when the stakes are low. Maybe your company has decided to use a new software app for an important virtual meeting. Give yourself time to try it out in advance with a friendly colleague so you’re not scrambling to adjust settings partway through a crucial client presentation.
If you find that personal errands often grab your attention and eat up work time, implement a system for keeping track of non-urgent to-dos you’ll handle later. It can be as simple as old-school pen and paper — or you can go digital and use one of the many productivity or notetaking apps to jot down your running “later list.”
Does working from home increase productivity? Sometimes, but not always. With more flexibility in your schedule, you might run into one of the cons of working where you live: the “always-on” mindset. When you don’t have to call it quits by a certain hour, it’s easy to get distracted during office hours, because you assume you can just catch up later.
A useful strategy for avoiding productivity-sapping burnout is setting boundaries. Create a schedule that includes time for both completing tasks and going on breaks. This adds structure to your work from home setup and breaks your schedule into manageable chunks, which can help boost your productivity. Last, but not least, create a daily alert on your phone to signal when it’s time to log off, get some downtime and recharge for tomorrow.