Work from home is quite common nowadays. A survey conducted by Stanford University reveals that people are more productive when they work remotely. The study observed 500 employees, divided into two equal groups of on-job and remote workers. The remote workers showed a high level of productivity compared to a regular office going employee.
Many other studies have shown similar results, which has led several employers to adopt a flexible work policy. Employees themselves appreciate the work from home facility; it not only saves them a lot of money but also a lot of time. However, some are not happy about working from home. Many feel that working from home reduces the barrier between personal and professional life, leading to more stress and less productivity.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become a necessity rather than a choice. Everything is closed due to the virus. Offices, Businesses, and educational institutes have shifted towards teleworking. In such a situation where employees are hard-pressed to escape work from home, its essential to learn a few handy tips to keep yourself motivated and productive.
In this article, I will share some practical and easy tips to keep you productive while working remotely. But before we discuss that, let’s first briefly discuss a few pros and cons of working from home.
Why Businesses Prefer Work from Home
Hiring remote workers is beneficial for a business in many ways. Some of them are;
- Telework reduces the overall costs for companies by reducing overhead.
- A company can choose from a large pool of candidates without being restricted by geographical constraints.
Why People Prefer Work from Home?
- Flexible working hours.
- It saves energy, time, and costs of transportation.
Major Drawbacks of Working Remotely
Hiring remote workers has so many advantages, but still, there are some significant drawbacks. Some of them are:
- Communication is challenging while working remotely. It becomes especially difficult when employees are working from different time zones.
- A business needs highly skilled management to deal with remote workers to keep them engaged.
- A remote worker is usually less-motivated and easily distracted with household activities.
Here are a few tips to keep you productive while you work from home:
Be Disciplined and Prioritize
Even while working from the comfort of your home, you should follow a predetermined routine. If you have a routine, you will be more productive. If you don’t have a plan for the day, you will waste a lot of time figuring out what to do.
Wake up early and go to bed on time. Divide your time according to your workload and personal activities so that you can get everything done in time. Additionally, self-discipline is essential to success. To-Do-lists can be useful. Divide your tasks and priorities for a day into urgent and non-urgent categories and communicate them with your team leader.
Set Work Hours
Work from home allows you to set your work timings according to your suitability, but remote workers are unable to separate their work and personal life most o the time. Work and personal chores often become intermingled, which makes one feel like they are working all the time. It can be frustrating, and it can cause stress and anxiety.
Therefore, even though you are working from home, set work time. Whether morning or evening, set the designated hours that you will give to work. Once you are done, you can relax and enjoy your personal time without worrying about pending work.
Working in your PJs may sound like fun, but for most employees, it can be a productivity dampener. Getting up, taking a shower, and dressing in something professional makes us feel like we are ready to handle the day. On the other hand, if we are in our sweatpants all day, we feel like we are enjoying a lazy weekend, and that affects our midframe.
Therefore, to get yourself in the right state of mind, dress professionally even when you are working from home. I am not saying you should wear a 3-piece suit, but comfortable day clothes or a business casual attire is the right way to go.
Set Meetings with Your Team Leader and Colleagues
You should arrange a regular meeting with your team leader and members. It can be done remotely from your home through Skype, WhatsApp, and many other mediums. It is essential to keep your self-informed and updated about the official tasks assigned to you.
A study conducted by a coaxial cable manufacturer found that their remote employees were more productive when they conducted daily team meetings as compared to weekly employee check-ins. Daily online meetings increase the productivity of the employee by holding them accountable for their work as well as by keeping them engaged with the company.
Keep Your Television and Mobile Phone Turned Off
Stay away from distractions if you want to be productive. The noise of the television is a big distraction in any household. It should be off while you are working, if not, work in a place where noise does not reach your ears.
Working from home doesn’t mean party time. While working, your full concentration should be towards your work. Do not use social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and others. Also, switch off your cell phone, or keep it on silent mode while you are working. Once we pick up our cellphone, we all know that we waste at least 15 minutes before we put it down.
A remote worker is recommended to allocate a specific work area when working from home. You can either choose an in-house library if there is any or a study room. Working in your bedroom, a TV lounge, or the kitchen is not recommended.
Working from home is not a new concept anymore. Studies reveal that remote workers are as beneficial for companies as regular ones. But usually, remote workers become less productive as they are unable to demarcate their home and professional life.
In our opinion, the most crucial step before you do office work from home is to allocate a proper work area, free of distraction. It is crucial to achieve daily tasks and communicate them to other team members and the team leader. Participate in official meetings to give feedback and keep your self-updated.
Moreover, while remote work gives you the flexibility to choose your hours, avoid working in your night suit as it might affect your frame of mind. Finally, remove distractions such as television or smartphone from your workplace to get more done in less time.
Which tip did you find most useful?