Working from home is nothing new in the tech industry. But the Coronavirus pandemic took it to a new height. Because of the pandemic, many companies with 100% office-based working history adopted work from home culture. Some top brands, like Twitter and Square, are allowing employees to continue working from home forever. No matter the company you work for, staying productive in a remote job is a challenge. This is why we bring you 12 working from home productivity hacks to stay ahead in the game.
People who previously worked in an office, challenges may come in many forms for them in a remote job. It’s a completely different working environment, different workstations, and different people to have around who are not your colleague. It is difficult to find a perfect balance between family time and office time for people who are working from home for the first time. But things get easy when you follow some proven working from home productivity hacks and have complete control over your time. That’s why we will be talking about remote job productivity tips today.
So, without further ado, let’s shed light on some working from home aspects and know what it takes to stay productive in a remote job.
Difference Between Remote Job and Work From Home
Generally, remote work and work from home are the same. But they can be different in some cases. First of all, working remotely means working from anywhere without having a fixed office. On the other hand, working from home mostly means working from home.
The remote work environment is different from that of an office, where employees have desks and workspaces provided by the company they work for. Remote employees who work from their homes also set up their workstation in a dedicated room or a place away from family disturbance.
Why Working From Home is Good for Businesses and Employees
The popularity of remote jobs continues to grow. There are some good reasons for this growth. Talented people are not available in a single place. They can come from different parts of the world. It’s not easy to have them under a single roof and get them to work for your company. This is why modern technology companies are going for remote work.
Even if you manage to get a large pool of talented people for your office, it’s going to be hard for them to come to the office timely as all major cities go through traffic issues.
Plus, your employees will be happy taking care of their families as well as working for your company simultaneously.
How to Stay Productive While Working From Home
Staying productive in a remote job is a challenge because there are so many things around you that might distract you. But if you follow our working from home productivity hacks, you can overcome this challenge and do well in your job. Whether you are working from home or working remotely in a coworking space, these productivity tips are applicable for everyone working remotely.
1. Maintain Regular Office Hours
Remote jobs in most of the cases have flexible office hours meaning that you can start working any time of the day and finish the day job within the day. Since you are not in the office you can choose your office hours according to your wishes. But this flexibility sometimes becomes the main reason behind productivity declining. This is why experts suggest that you maintain regular office hours. That means you should define when you should start working when to take breaks, and how long you will be at your desk to finish your office work for the day.
Make sure you match your office hours with most of your colleagues especially with the ones you might need to work with. Despite having time flexibility, some companies determine the office time so that employees can meet each other’s dependency easily.
No matter whether your company wants it if you don’t maintain regular fixed office hours you might feel you are working all day long. This way you will lose interest in your office and might end up being an underperforming employee.
2. Start Your Day Early
Getting started earlier means getting ahead. If you start earlier, you will have some time at the end of your day to decompress. And you will gain more energy to work for the day next. You can exercise before you begin working.
The earlier you start, the faster you will feel you are finishing your day’s job. When you have started earlier you will have fewer worries of running out of time. This will help you focus more on your work and stay productive. While you are working in a team starting a little earlier would give you one kind of pleasure as human beings are by default competitive. Trust me it works.
If you are in software support or similar job roles taking care of an international audience, you may need to extend your day to make up someone else’s time zone. In such cases, you can wrap up earlier or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it.
3. Plan Out Day’s Task and Schedule Them
You should plan out your day’s task at the very start of your day. Take a deep breath and think about the task you will have to do today. Like the office, you can have some sticky notes to write them down or maintain a special notebook like me to write down your day’s plans and start working accordingly. This way, you can keep track of your work and prioritize them according to their importance before you even start working on them.
And you know as people say planing is not enough. Yes, you have to schedule your works and put them in different time slots. So schedule work defining time and hours. You should have a fixed time to start your work every day. Decide when to go for a shower and lunch.
4. Wear Semi-casual Comfortable Dresses
What you wear has a clear impact on what you do. And if you work on anything for a longer period, wearing comfortable dresses is very crucial. Most of the software companies turned their back on formal dress code. Because no matter where your work, your dresses have an impact on them. This is why you must wear comfortable dresses while working. As we will be at your home or somewhere comfortable, you will have the chance to avoid formal code and go casual.
Since you can be on a video call with your colleague sometimes, it’s better to wear semi-casual dresses but make sure they are comfortable in the first place.
5. Track Your Time
Tracking time is essential too. If you are working remotely, your time might be tracked by your company by time tracking software like Desktime, Hubstaff, and Time Doctor. Keeping track of your time helps you be more productive. Time tracking applications keep track of which websites you visit and how long you stay there. You can check live reports of how productive you are.
Time spent on social media and other unnecessary websites is considered unproductive in these apps. These time tracking apps are designed to help employees be productive with their detailed reports and suggestions. Whether you track your time manually or with any of these applications, this is one of the essential elements of our working from home productivity hacks.
6. Define Home Time and Work Time
If you are working from home, you should have some time for your family members. You can not always stick to your desk and keep working. They might need you sometimes, make sure you define your home time and work time.
If your family members are aware of your schedule they can help you focus during your productive hours. Add some exercise and if kids are at home, plan their day too.
7. Schedule Breaks
If you make your office hours all about work you will end up quitting your job someday. Even the employees working in an office don’t always work. They have time for relaxation, some indoor games, and more to have fun. So, why should you hurt yourself working incessantly? Instead, you should take some shorts and long breaks to decompress.
Always remember – relaxing and having fun are the fuel that will keep you going. Have some time for joy, take a walk outside, and talk to your family members. Decide when to have a short break and a long break for shower and lunch. Some time tracking apps like Desktime will remind you to take a break every 50 minutes. You can also apply the Pomodoro technique while taking breaks.
What is Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro technique is a popular time management method introduced by Francesco Cirillo. It is a method of taking a break (3–5 minutes) every 25 minutes or so. It helps you split your working hours into smaller chunks and gives you enough time to rest your brain. After ¾ Pomodoros, you are suggested to take a longer break for 15 to 30 minutes and reset the timer to step one.
8. Work in a Dedicated Work Space
Having a dedicated workspace is so crucial in a remote job. Whether you are working from home or a coworking space, you should set up your workstation according to your need. Have all the necessary things close at hand so that you don’t get distracted by anything that needs you to leave your desk. Get a pen, paper, sticky notes, water bottles, and all other things you usually need while working.
If you are working from home, it’s best to have a dedicated room that keeps you apart from family noises. Keep your work area neat and work-focused. Customize your workspace and create an actual working environment. Working from the couch, dining table, and bedroom is the easiest way to get distracted.
What is an Ideal Remote Workstation Like?
A remote work workstation can be different based on the person who is using this. But an ideal one should not be a lot different from an office workstation. Your workstation height should be just like a regular office. Making a regular table as your desk would be a mistake if it does not have a similar height. It’s better to have chest drawers and have all the necessary things in them. Also, make sure you have something to place your foot on.
Regular chairs are not suitable for long time work. Some people prefer chairs with adjustable armrests. Just like an office, you can go for an ergonomic chair that has an adjustable seat height, seat depth, and lumbar support.
9. Socialize With Colleagues
When you are working from home or somewhere remotely, you will not have your colleague around. In most cases, you will be all alone. This can be a cause for frustration and loneliness sometimes. Talking to your coworkers in a video call can be a solution to this problem. You can sometimes arrange group calls to have fun with colleagues with a similar mindset.
It’s always a recommendation for remote employees to have a video chat instead of audio calls as they have less time to see each other in an office.
Even when you are talking to your colleague about your job make sure you talk to them in video chats. It helps remote employees immensely to stay connected and motivated.
10. Take Days Off
Those who work remotely grow a tendency to take fewer days off. Many software companies have unlimited paid days off but their employees end up taking fewer. It’s because remote employees stay home in most cases and they can meet family necessities just by making little changes in their daily work schedule.
But taking days off, going on tours, and relaxing boost your energy and ward off your boredom. This is why you should have some time for yourself to relax. Taking days off is a great way to miss your workstation and fall in love with your work again.
11. Avoid Social Media and Get Website Blocking Chrome Extensions
Social media channels like Facebook are absolute productivity killers. Remember you easy it is to scroll your social media feeds and forget about your work. All social media channels are designed to have users glued to their feeds. You might be there to check what’s happening around but you can easily be distracted by some other things out there.
Unless you are a social media manager, you should always stay away from social media while you are working. The lesser time you spend on social media, the greater it would be. If you can’t help going on social media, there are some websites blocking chrome extensions like StayFocusd that limit the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites.
12. Listen to Music
Listening to music helps you stay focused on your work. You can listen to music that matches your mind and work. Some soothing music or nature sounds like rain in the background works like magic while working.
Make a list of the songs you want to listen to and play them in a playlist so that you don’t have to choose one after another. Otherwise finding music to listen to can be another way of wasting time.
Working remotely needs a different mindset, abilities, resources, and skills. You also need to have a self-starter attitude and time management skills to become a remotely working superhero. It’s a new lifestyle for people who previously worked in an office. If anybody follows these working from home productivity tips, he\she will have greater chances to do better in his/her remote job.
I hope these remote job productivity tips will help you immensely. Do visit Virfice for more of such essential tips, tutorials, and more regularly. Subscribe to our newsletters by placing your email address in the form below for future posts.