Let’s start with some fun facts, shall we? According to StatsCan, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in remote work since mid-March 2020.
Take a look at this graph:
Of those who work remotely, 80% said they would like to work at least half of their hours from home once the pandemic is over. Meanwhile, just over 41% said they’d prefer to work half of their hours from home and the other half elsewhere. A whopping 39% preferred to work most (24%) or all (18%) of their hours at home. The remaining 20% said they’d prefer to work most (11%) or all (9%) of their hours outside of the home.
So, what does this mean? It means remote work positions are likely here to stay. But how do you stay productive working remotely? Good question! Here are 10 tips and tricks to stay productive while working from home.
Keep Regular Work Hours
It’s tempting to give yourself total flexibility as to when you get started, take breaks, and call it a day. However, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t keep your schedule consistent.
Setting yourself regular hours keeps you accountable to yourself and your boss. It makes you more likely to get all your work done, and it makes it easier for people to get in touch with you.
Here are the important factors to consider when you’re setting an at-home work schedule:
- When your boss needs you to be available
- Communication with your coworkers and customers
- Time of day when you are most productive
- Separate work time and personal time
Try Meal Prepping
There are no more vending machines around the corner, and you can’t just walk down the street for a quick lunch with co-workers. When working from home, mealtime responsibilities may fall on your shoulders (and maybe those of your kids and spouse, too).
Meal prepping is a great way to keep all that cooking from bogging you down. On Sundays, make a few healthy meals in bulk and portion them into food storage containers. This can help you from having to stop work and make on-demand meals throughout the week.
Plan Your Day/Week
Before you even start working, make sure you know what your priorities are for the day. Estimate how long you think it will take you to get everything done, and what you will work on if you have extra time.
In your planning, consider the following:
- Do the highest priority tasks first
- Plan your day around your own natural cycles—do the hardest work when you have the most energy throughout the day
- Plan rewards and breaks throughout the day
This way, you can always stay focused and will not get distracted easily.
Make Time for Breaks
You can only work for so long. If you really want to be productive, consider taking regular breaks and give your mind (and body) time to recharge. Every hour or so, take at least a few minutes to stand, water your plants or pet your dog.
A few times a day, take longer breaks to interact with others, too. Spend 20 minutes playing with the kids, take a walk with your partner or pet, or talk to your parents to see how they’re doing. Take your mind off work for a bit, to help yourself recharge.
Dress like You’re at Work
Even if you won’t be interacting with another person all day, it’s important to dress for success. This includes showering and brushing your teeth! Sweatpants and a T-shirt might be more comfortable, but you may also feel sluggish, sleepy, or unmotivated.
It’s also a good opportunity to try out a new outfit—risk-free!
If you have a hard time motivating yourself to get ready in the morning, try laying out your outfit the night before, or planning an outing during the day so that you have to get dressed.
Create a Dedicated at-Home Office
When you’re starting to learn how to work from home, it might be tempting to work from your couch or from your bed. But this could take a huge toll on your productivity.
One of the best working from home tips is to try to always work from a consistent room, desk, or chair to tell your brain that it’s time for work, not relaxation. When you do this, your brain will associate your bed with sleep, your couch with relaxation, and your desk with work, helping shift your energy levels accordingly.
You are likely to feel more alert, more confident, and more organized if you work from a home office. Set yourself up with a comfy, supportive chair, a spacious desk, good Wi-Fi, and consistent workplace tools.
Find Your Motivator
A great advantage of working from home is that you can’t distract your coworkers. Go ahead and play those pumped-up jams loud and proud if that’s what gets you moving. Or try a more soothing soundtrack with nature sounds, instrumental music, or even by leaving the windows open to let the sounds from outside come in. However, some people work better in silence. If you’re one of those people, resist the urge to put on music or have the TV on in the background.
Stay in the Loop
One of the best things about working in an office is the potential for collaboration and socialization. You don’t have to lose this just because you are working from home. When you are learning how to work from home, try to check in with your coworkers at least a couple of times per week, whether by email, phone, video call, social media, or even in person.
Everyone Works Differently
It’s important to remember that not all of these tips will work for everyone. Give yourself time to try each one, be consistent and experiment! But remember, creating a schedule and dedicated workspace are essential to working productively while establishing boundaries between work and home.
We hope these 10 tips help you become more productive while working remotely. We’re always adding new insights on how to be the business powerhouse that you are. Check out our blog to learn more!
Now that you know how to stay productive working from home, here’s a blog for those who want to have a healthy work-life balance. Give it a quick read — you won’t be disappointed!