For most of our lifetimes, almost nothing has affected the whole world on the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic. The world literally stood still for a few months, with everyone plagued by fear and uncertainties about what the future held. There were lockdowns enforced, travel restrictions, jobs lost, and worse the deaths of thousands.
When it became obvious the lockdowns were going to stretch beyond a few days, businesses started looking for ways to keep running without being physically present. Suddenly, working from home that used to be associated with only freelancers, network marketing professionals, or some people in tech, became the order of the day.
This shift has forced almost everyone to re-evaluate the way we approach work. Unfortunately, many have still struggled to come to terms with this, and are barely coping with the new system of work. While a few have actually thrived working from home. After countless hours of research, we have been able to distill strategies people have used to attain their goals while working from home. Here are the top tips to boost your productivity while working from home.
1. Have a dedicated workplace
This is a major secret to boosting productivity at home; setting up your home office. It does not have to be elaborate, but should have the basics such as a desk or table, your working console, and appropriate lighting.
Leaving your bed or the couch to sit behind your dedicated workplace has a psychological effect that invariably sets you in the mood to work. Just being in the mood to work is sure to get you ticking off tasks on your schedule like a hare in a turtle race. You can even take this a step further by actually dressing up like you are going to the office, instead of sitting in your pajamas.
2. Have a daily work schedule
Even the best workers tend to be unproductive with no goals set. As such, it is important to have a list of all the things you want to achieve on a daily basis. Prepare your to-do-list, and put down all the tasks that must be accomplished that day. Then, arrange them in an order of importance.
Combined with having a daily schedule, determining your most productive periods of the day will help you prioritize your tasks better. If your most productive period is in the morning like most people, it will benefit you to schedule your high impact tasks for that same period, and the lesser impact tasks for later in the day.
3. Reduce distractions
4. Work normal hours
It might be helpful if you maintain the normal working hours as when you were going to the office. This helps since for the most part, other members of the family will either be at school or their respective workplaces.
Also, keeping normal working hours will prevent others from trying to take advantage of your time. People have been known to make work requests after normal office hours, with the assumption that everyone is working round the clock since they work from home. Setting your work hours, and communicating it to your colleagues and clients will prevent such misconceptions, and keep you from getting unnecessarily stressed up.
5. Take breaks
6. Multitask wisely
It is unavoidable that by working from home, there are other tasks that would come up that you will not have been concerned with while working in the office. This might include mundane tasks like doing the laundry, getting the groceries, or even helping the children with their homework.
The key is to schedule these tasks in your daily activity when possible. Try to reduce it to the barest minimum, so it does not conflict with your work assignments. And if you must fold the laundry while on a conference call, try to turn off the camera.
7. Be accessible
Some of the benefits of working out of the office in the past was, team leaders knew who was present at work because they could see you, and it was also easy to pass across information among your colleagues.
However, working from home makes those benefits more difficult. Team members can not tell if one is working at home, or lounging on the beach. Hence, it is important that you keep the communication lines open with your team members, leaders, or even clients. Make it a point of duty to check in with everyone frequently. This might be to give updates to your leaders or clients, receive updates from colleagues, or simply to find out how everyone is doing.
The aforementioned tips are by no means exhaustive. However, if properly applied you will find that working from home is not bad, and your productivity levels will likely go up through the roof.