- Working from home has increased dramatically and is a trend that is here to stay.
- When working from home, it’s important to find methods to stay motivated and maximize productivity.
- The right tools and habits will improve productivity when working from home.
The way we work has changed dramatically in recent years. In 2021, nearly half of U.S. employees were working from home in some capacity and that trend doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. Working from home can be a big change for those who aren’t familiar with the remote environment. To maximize performance in this new way of work, it’s important to find methods to stay productive, help you keep your work organized, and to stoke your motivation. Below are 5 factors that can improve productivity during a work-at-home setup.
Work From Home Hardware
A proper work-from-home hardware setup will empower you to be more productive and perform better. The most important piece of hardware you’ll need to work from home is a computer or laptop. While this may seem like the only piece of equipment you’ll need, there are additional hardware tools that will make doing your job much easier. Below are tools to consider to maximize productivity:
Wireless Keyboard: Wireless keyboards offer portability and flexibility to the user. Users have the freedom to move their keyboards around outside of their desks and provide an ergonomic work environment.
Wireless Mouse: When working from a laptop, users are limited to the mouse pad on the laptop. With a wireless mouse, it provides users with more comfort and more space to use their cursor.
Monitor: An extra monitor provides users with more screen space. Especially when multitasking, users will be able to maximize productivity with the extra space.
Docking Station: Docking stations will bring all of the above tools together seamlessly. For example, some laptops have limited ports to plug in extra hardware. A good docking station will provide you with extra ports to connect all the essential hardware tools and more.
Work From Home Software
Once you have the proper hardware tools in place, next up is setting up the right software tools to maximize productivity. The right set of software tools can streamline tedious tasks and help you allocate your time to the tasks that require the most attention. Below are software tools that can help maximize your productivity when working from home:
Communication Software: If you’re on a team at work or working with a client, communication software is essential to sharing important messages with your colleagues and clients. Video chatting tools like Zoom, instant messaging tools like Slack, and email tools like Microsoft Outlook are all effective communication tools you should have set up. Being reachable not only by instant message and email but by video calls as well will provide more communication channels to reach your manager or team members, creating a more productive remote workflow.
Project Management Software: If you’re working on multiple projects, keeping up with each assignment can be overwhelming. Installing the right project management software will help organize all of your tasks, prioritize your top assignments accordingly, and maximize productivity. Project management tools provide insight into the progress of each assignment and project, and will keep you up to date with where your team is each step of the way. Having a high-level view into your project process will keep you and your team informed on the top tasks to prioritize, and will keep you productive throughout the day.
Shared Online Workspace: If you’re collaborating with others remotely, having a shared online workspace such as Microsoft SharePoint, Google Drive, or Dropbox, is essential. Shared online workspaces allow for seamless methods to share important files, updating documents, and having a single source of truth for all your files. Additionally, shared online workspaces will keep all your documents organized in one shared location and will ensure everyone has access to all files to move a project forward.
Setting Realistic Expectations
When working from home, setting realistic expectations is important for maximizing productivity. Having a to-do list or setting a schedule for the day will keep you organized throughout the workday. When constructing your list or schedule, it’s important to avoid taking on too many tasks than you can handle. Consider starting off with a small set of tasks and adding more as your day goes on. When organizing your to-do list or schedule, it’s important to communicate to your team or manager what they should expect you’ll get done for the day. Setting proper expectations will help avoid any risk of burnout, which can actually hinder productivity. Ensuring you set realistic expectations will benefit both you and your team.
There can be a lot of distractions when working from home that aren’t often seen in the office. Distractions may include phone usage for non-related work activities such as social media, other people you live with such as roommates or family members, or having a television on in the background. Since no one is physically supervising you, it’s easy to succumb to these distractions.
To ensure you maximize productivity when working remotely, it’s important to eliminate any potential distractions. When working from home, set your phone on “do not disturb” to avoid digital distractions, go to a location where you are able to focus and is free from distractions, and lastly, set boundaries with people you live with to ensure they don’t distract you during work hours. Eliminating all potential distractions will keep you focused and productive.
When working from the comfort of your own home, it’s easy to forget to take regular breaks. Regularly timed breaks are important to avoid burnout and to maximize productivity when working from home. Experts recommend taking a 5-10 minute break every hour. Consider setting reminders on your calendar to take these breaks to ensure you take them and don’t forget. When taking breaks, use this time to step away from your computer screen. Going outside and taking a walk will give your eyes a break, clear your mind, and ultimately improve productivity when you return.
The way we work has changed dramatically in recent years and that trend doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. For those who aren’t familiar with working from home, it can be a big change to adapt. To ensure you’re maximizing your performance in this new way of work, it’s important to find methods to stay productive, help you keep your work organized, and to stoke your motivation. The above steps listed will help you remain productive in a remote environment.
Max Panych is a digital marketing entrepreneur, crypto investor, and digital specialist with 10+ years of industry experience. Loves no-fluff data-driven marketing and running his own tests. PR consultant for Sonary, he loves helping businesses grow using the internet and, making bosses happy.