Knowing the 15 tips for staying productive while working from home is a must-have for everyone transitioning from the office. It is predicted that nearly 36.2 million employees in the United States will work from home by 2025.
For this reason, maintaining productivity has never been more important than now.
From making sure you are prepared for morning meetings to submitting projects by their deadline, these tips will help. You might even find a few great options for managing a healthy work/life balance when working from home.
15 Tips for Staying Productive While Working From Home
Gone are the days when distractions take away from your workday. These industry-approved tips will keep you on track, maximizing your at-work performance.
1. Create an Inviting Office Space
The very first thing every work-from-home professional needs to do is design their workspace. When working from home, you’ll find that it is a massive upgrade from the bland aesthetics of your corporate environment. You should take advantage of this new opportunity to customize your office space.
You will want to make sure you have ergonomics and aesthetics in mind. Did you know that standard office layouts can cause a 15% drop in employees’ productivity? Instead of falling victim to a lack of motivation, take this opportunity to create a warm, inviting, and motivating space to work.
Find a spot in your home where you can have quiet times during the day. It is also important to have access to sunlight, as this can assist with productivity levels. Another great tip is to customize your workspace, add pops of color, uplifting photos, and other personalized items to tailor it to you.
2. Establish Family and Work Schedules
If you are a parent, working from home with family can be challenging, especially with small children. This was one of the largest reported issues at the height of the pandemic. Not having established work and family schedules can be a considerable burden for parents working from home.
Surely, there will be times when you’ll have to take a break away from your computer to help with quick tasks. However, it is important to establish work and family schedules when it comes to entertaining your children. You’ll want to allocate a specific chunk of your days to your work and dedicate the other time to your family.
By following this rule, you can ensure you are completing all the work you need for the day. Also, it helps ensure your children get the love and attention they need, just as they would if you were in the office.
3. Take Regular Breaks Outside
Taking breaks is one of the best parts of most employees’ days. It allows you to break away from your computer, have a quick snack, and even run errands. That said, it’s not enough to simply push away from your desk when working from home.
You will want to give your brain a total reset by getting work off your mind for your 15-minute break. A fantastic option is to consider going outside, which offers many benefits. Not only will you be able to get out of your home office, but it can also help boost your motivation and morale.
It is important to note that outdoor breaks are a great way to get your fitness in order. Instead of snacking at your desk, head out for a brisk walk to get your blood and creativity flowing. When you return, you will feel renewed and ready to take on the rest of the day.
4. Eliminate Digital Distractions
You might be wondering, “How am I supposed to limit digital distractions when working from home?” In today’s digital age, we are constantly plugged into our devices. It is important to separate your personal life from your professional one when working.
Each time you check your phone for new texts, you reduce the time you have to complete projects. Even a five-minute scroll through social media can add up at the end of the week. The more time you spend checking for phone calls, the less motivated you will feel throughout the day.
A better alternative is to leave your electronics in your living room or bedroom, away from your office. If you must, check your devices during your breaks, but it can be best to leave them alone until the end of the day. This tip will surely help the day to pass quicker, as you won’t be keeping track of time.
5. Invest in the Right Equipment
Ergonomics plays a massive part in productivity. When designing your home office, it is one of the first things you need to consider. From an ergonomic office chair to a keyboard wrist rest, many options are available.
The premise behind ergonomics is that the more comfortable you are, the more work you can complete in one sitting. Additionally, ergonomic furniture is considerably better for your overall health and well-being. Even though it can be more expensive than standard office furniture, it is well worth the investment.
Ergonomic furniture can help entice you to put more effort into your work while feeling better at the end of the day. It is also a massive contributor to creating an inviting work environment that you’ll look forward to daily.
6. Master Meal Prepping
We all know how long it can take to make meals during the day. Instead of spending your working hours creating healthy breakfasts and lunches, why not consider meal prepping? You can easily cook your lunches for the week on Sunday, putting them in food-safe containers for easy storage.
By meal prepping, all you’ll have to do is walk to your fridge, grab your food for the day, and warm it up.
Doing meal prep is also a fantastic way to stay on top of your health by ensuring you are nourishing your mind and body. The healthier you eat, the more motivated and energetic you will feel throughout the day.
7. Take Advantage of Great Tunes
Music can be one of the best motivators, especially when you have some amazing playlists. Working with music can help put you in the right mood, ready to tackle the day’s projects. You might also find that it is a great way to take your eyes off the clock, helping the day go by faster.
That said, using music during the workday is subjective and can also be distracting. You will want to create work-friendly playlists that keep you motivated and on-task. Opting for peaceful lo-fi tracks or fast-paced ambient music can be a great way to keep your productivity levels high.
8. Design the Perfect Morning Routine
It is true when they say your morning determines how the rest of your day will go. Having a morning routine is something every work-from-home professional needs. It will help you kick the sleep out of your system and prepare for the day ahead.
There are plenty of ways you can establish a fantastic morning routine. Some work from home professionals like waking up, working out, showering, and eating a filling meal. Others prefer to do their morning hygiene, drink coffee, and get straight to it.
As long as you establish a routine and stick to it, it can help prepare your mind for business. After your workday, you can also create a wind-down routine to help destress your system and get ready for leisure time.
9. Keep Regular Working Hours
One of the most challenging parts of working from home is making sure you are putting in the right amount of time. With your office within arm’s reach, it can be tempting to allocate your leisure hours to work.
As much as you want to get a head start on the next day, not keeping regular work hours can do more harm than good.
It is important to keep a healthy work/life balance, which groups have been discussing more now than ever. The more of your leisure time you allocate to work, the less time you will have to yourself. Set a specific number of hours to work each day and stick to it; your mental health will thank you.
10. Stay Organized and Tidy
After spending so much time and effort on designing your perfect home office, keeping it tidy is the next step. The cleaner your workspace, the clearer your mind will be throughout the day.
Adding organization to your home office is a fantastic way to keep everything in its rightful place. When designing, consider file folders, storage cabinets, corkboards, and other tools you can use to maintain organization.
It is also important to put away documents you won’t need the following morning at the end of every workday. When you head into your home office the next day, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated rather than overwhelmed.
11. Keep Up With Social Interactions
Having the ability to work from home can be hugely beneficial when reducing commuting costs. However, one of its largest downfalls is how it interferes with socialization. Instead of chatting with your coworkers at the water cooler, you will be reduced to instant messages and video meetings.
Keeping up with social time is one of the key ways to keep your motivation going. Not only that, but it is an essential tenet to maintaining good mental health, especially during the pandemic.
Whether you plan out-of-work events with your team or spend more time with friends and family, meeting face-to-face is important.
12. Stay Hydrated
Did you know that drinking water has the potential to boost your workday productivity? According to a study at the University of East London, drinking water can increase employee productivity by 14%. The best part is that staying hydrated is as simple as keeping a glass of water or water bottle at your desk.
Like many of the other tips on this list, keeping water near you not only benefits your workplace habits. It is also an essential facet of your everyday health, ensuring you maintain optimal water levels. An excellent recommendation is to invest in a water bottle you can fill once in the morning and finish by the end of the day.
13. Consider Tracking Your Time
Ever wondered how many regular hours you put into specific projects daily? Time tracking is helpful for employers to check on employees and for employees to stay productive. By allocating a certain amount of time per task each day, you can optimize your workflow from home.
It can help you get a better idea of where most of your time is spent throughout the day. With this data at your fingertips, you can refine your work habits to become a more productive worker. For example, spending only one hour on meetings can help you allocate more time to your morning emails.
There are plenty of ways to track your time when working from home. One of the top options is to use time tracking software, which you can typically find for free. Alternatively, you can keep track using a productivity app or create your own task list.
14. Push Yourself When Needed
Assuming every day you are working from home will be productive is a rather naive point of view. There will be days when you don’t want to get out of bed or feel bogged down at your computer. The most important thing to do during these instances is to push yourself harder.
The more often you are able to encourage yourself to work through bad moods and a lack of motivation, the less it will affect you. It is important to establish healthy habits when you are not in the office. Remember to push yourself when needed, and your productivity will increase ten-fold.
15. Implement a Workout Routine
We all know the physical benefits of working out, as it can help you achieve your dream physique. However, did you know that nearly 72% of surveyed individuals noted working out improved their time management skills?
Workouts are inherently beneficial for boosting energy levels throughout the day. The more energy you have, the more you can dedicate to your daily work tasks so that they are completed ahead of time.
Creating a schedule-friendly quick workout routine will give you the extra drive you need to get through the day. Also, it is relatively easy to do, even if you have never worked it out before.
You can quickly pull up a video on YouTube to walk through a brief 15-minute sweat session. Alternatively, you can do low-impact exercises, such as yoga, which have also been said to help productivity.
Work-From-Home Productivity FAQs
Outside of the tips for staying productive while working from home, plenty of topics circulate during the transition out of the office. Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions to help you stay productive in your new workspace.
1. What are work from home productivity challenges?
Every employee is bound to experience unique challenges when they start working from home. This is especially true if an employee has been used to working in the office for years. Staying productive is undoubtedly one of the most challenging parts of the transition in several ways.
- Distractions: There’s nothing more harmful to productivity than distractions. From pets to digital devices, you are surrounded by distractions at home. Giving yourself a private and quiet workplace can help prevent these from interrupting your day.
- Daily Chores: It can be tempting to get pulled away from work to handle chores like doing dishes, laundry, and running errands. However, it is important to draw a line between work and your personal life to ensure your job tasks are completed on time.
- Time Management: Undoubtedly, time management is another massive challenge when working from home. With the help of time management software like time trackers, employees can stay accountable for their assigned tasks.
2. Can I make work from home productive for everyone?
As an employer looking to implement a work-from-home schedule, it’s important to guide your employees. The more comfortable everyone feels, the more likely they are to be productive. It is essential to ensure your team has access to all of the tools to complete their job comfortably from home.
You might want to consider a work-from-home stipend, allowing employees to expense their necessary tools. It can also be beneficial to host daily motivating meetings in the morning, getting everyone ready for their daily assignments.
3. What are the best ways to be productive working from home?
For employees, the best way to be productive when working from home is to separate your everyday life and work. A separate office, instrumental music, and an organized workspace are essential tips.
It is also essential to make sure you are comfortable, fed, and hydrated throughout the day for added brainpower.
4. Does productivity go down working from home?
Most studies show that enacting a work-from-home schedule can help boost employee productivity. However, it begs the question, “Does productivity go down working from home?”
A recent study noted that the more employees work from home, their productivity could slip over time. This is why more employers are wary of transitioning to full work-from-home opportunities.
For this reason, they opt to offer hybrid schedules, where employees are in-office half of the time and home for the other half. This helps create a refreshing experience for everyone, helping keep productivity higher for longer.
5. What are the best work from home productivity tools?
There are many tools you can use to keep your productivity up when working from home. A few examples include:
- Time tracking software
- Project management software
- Video conferencing software
- Ergonomic furniture
- Easy-to-use computer peripherals
- Schedules and calendars
With the help of these 15 tips for staying productive while working from home, your work life will improve drastically. Instead of slipping into a loss of motivation, you can optimize your health, work life, and personal life. It is time to get started today, and we’re sure your company and brain will thank you for it.