The COVID-19 pandemic left people with no choice but to work remotely. Working from home is now the new normal for the majority of America’s workforce. Employees are enjoying benefits like having a flexible working schedule and the simple luxury of working from home. However, it also led to lesser productivity for some.
For entrepreneurs, working from home can come as a challenge. This is especially true for business owners who are juggling home and work life. Aside from taking care of your company from home, they also have to attend to the needs of their family. Most of the time, these simple distractions can affect the quality of the work you put in.
But even with the pandemic, competition never stops. If you let distractions take the best of you, you risk other businesses outperforming your company. As others adapt to the new normal, it’s also vital that you do the same. Work from home arrangements don’t have to be hard. You can still run your business even with the current crisis and maintain productivity.
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5 Productivity Tips While Working from Home
It’s easy to get distracted by everything happening in your home. If you don’t want your productivity to suffer because of this, here are some tips to take note of:
1. Create a Schedule and Enforce it
Working at home can disrupt your schedule. Constant interruptions can affect your thought process and productivity. To avoid that, you have to reestablish your work-schedule and let the surrounding people know about it. Segment your day like you would on a typical day in the office. If you can, write all your tasks down and assign a specific time-frame at which you’ll do it.
Creating a schedule lets you stick to a time-table intended for work alone. It lets you set goals and program your mind to achieve those goals before the end of your workday. With that, you will accomplish a lot of things before reverting to your home life.
The hardest part about having a schedule is finding ways to enforce it. It becomes more difficult when other people try constantly to get your attention. It helps to try establishing visual cues. For instance, if you don’t want to avoid interruptions, lock the doors in your office. Or, you can post a “do not disturb” sign on the door. If you have kids, have your partner help with letting them understand.
2. Dedicate a Workspace
Do you ever wonder why you’re most productive when you’re at the office? The environment often plays a role in your productivity. When you’re at home, you’re less likely to get any work done because your mind is wired to think that your home is a place to relax. On the other hand, an office is a place of work, so your mind focuses more on getting things done.
But as much as you want to go to the office now, the option isn’t feasible considering the current situation. To make up for that, you can create a home office instead. Ideally, you should have a separate room for that. But if space is a problem, you can pick one corner of your house and use it as your working space.
Work on creating an office-vibe and decorate your desk as if you’re bringing your desk from work to your house. Add office supplies and anything-related to work. Make sure that your workspace is free from distractions that can affect productivity.
3. Declutter Your Work Area
Now that you have a reliable working space, the next thing to do is make sure that it’s clutter-free. If you have a lot of important documents, books, etc., it’s important to keep them organized. If these are all over the place, your working environment can get distracting.
It might also not bode well to the surrounding people (i.e. partner, kids, roommates). It can also compel you to take some precious time off your work schedule to organize the mess.
Your workspace can get cluttered after work. So before officially calling it a day, make it a habit to put all paperwork away. If you don’t know where to start, consider these tips:
- Find a home for your pens, pencils, scissors, cutters, etc.
- Discard papers that are of no use for you anymore (receipt, sticky notes)
- Organize your desktop. Delete all unnecessary files.
- Throw snack wrappers and soda/water bottles
- Shred documents that you no longer need.
4. Establish Effective Communication
Even if you’re working from home, it’s still possible to collaborate and meet with your employees. Thanks to technology, we can now meet and talk with anyone, anytime.
Now that you’re working from home, you need to strengthen your communication strategy even more. As Brie Weiler Reynolds says, “Communication is really the foundation of good remote work.”. You have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and targeting the same goals. The only way to do that is to effectively communicate with them.
This also means you have to do progress checks more. Since you’re unable to conduct face-to-face meetings, you have to check on them online instead. It’s important to set-up a conference call using a reliable platform now and then.
5. Take Breaks
Finally, don’t forget to take breaks between work. Unlike being in the office where break time is part of your workday, it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re at home. Before you know it, you’re almost at the end of your shift and you’ve worked 8 hours straight without taking a break. This isn’t only detrimental to your health, but it can also affect your productivity.
Work can be draining. If you don’t take breaks in between, you could easily become a part of the workaholic statistic in the country. So as much as you can, try to schedule breaks between your working hours. If you’re working in front of a computer all day, take screen breaks to avoid eyestrain. Give your mind a chance to recuperate and refill your creative juices.
Increased Productivity Means Better Chances of Success
The new remote work arrangements created a big challenge for many entrepreneurs. But if you want to succeed, you have no choice but to adapt to the new normal to ensure the safety of your employees, too. As you continue to work from home, make sure to maintain your company’s productivity. Embrace certain practices to avoid compromising the company’s progress.
Work from home arrangements can be tough. But you have to overcome the challenge to make sure that your company remains competitive. Memorize these tips by heart and in time, you’ll see your productivity levels shoot up.
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