Improve productivity while working from home using these easy yet effective hacks
This blog post talks about remote work hacks that have helped me this year. I’m probably the last one to jump on this train and make a blog post about it, but since it’s a topic that’s very close to my heart, I still decided to give it a go.
Many businesses were forced to close all or part of their operations and send employees home due to the situation. The situation was complicated by the rapid pace of change; within only a few days, people had to adapt to working from home.
Working from home is becoming more popular, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Simultaneously, there are a variety of tricks that can be used to make working from home more comfortable.
Working from home helps connect family and work, especially when the children are young and being away from home full time seems unthinkable, but there is a strong desire or need to work.
The home environment is relaxing, and it saves time and energy that would otherwise be spent on work and moving. It’s ideal for those who prefer to work alone and know how to motivate themselves.
However, when it comes to the negative sides of working from home, some of them are quite significant. When you work from home by yourself, you may miss socializing with coworkers.
You may find it difficult to concentrate if there are unwashed dishes in the sink, your family’s cute kitten is scratching your feet, and, worst of all, no one is watching over your shoulder what videos you’re watching (meaning: you’ll spend tons of time watching pointless videos).
Working from home necessitates a high level of self-discipline. The distractions here are not the same as the distractions at the office, and it takes some time to get used to them.
Working from home is different for everyone, so it’s important to recognize that what works for one person may not work for another. However, with the assistance of the following tips, you’ll be able to perform your duties comfortably and efficiently.
If you want to learn more about how to boost productivity while working from home (aka the best productivity hacks for remote workers), keep reading!
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How to succeed while working from home
1. End the workday at a specific time
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’ve been in the work zone all day. Furthermore, if you already work from home, continuing to work after work may seem appealing.
Take some time at the end of the day to turn off your computer and begin the relaxation ritual of changing from your work pants into sweatpants.
Take a walk with a family member or your dog, or enroll in a virtual art or cooking class. Try to develop new good habits for turning yourself off and rewarding yourself when you accomplish something.
2. Set specific working hours
A strict timetable is an important aspect of being productive at home. Stick to your daily schedule. According to a recent study, the most difficult issue for remote workers is getting off work in the evening.
If we usually drive to work in the morning and return home in the evening, work and private life at home won’t be easily mixed. It’s the exact opposite when you’re working from home.
Start your day as if you were going to work, even if you work from home. Begin at a certain time and end at a certain time. You can even dress like you’re going to work if you want.
In this case, you establish a specific work routine while also limiting the temptation to do household chores and other things in addition to work.
If you spend the majority of the day putting off work, it will all pile up in the evening, and you may end up spending the last hours of the day answering the most recent emails instead of getting ready for sleep.
3. Maintain your regular routine
Want to boost productivity while working from home? Maintain your regular routine no matter what. From a young age, we’ve been taught to stick to a schedule so that our daily habits—sleeping, eating, studying, and working—are healthy.
Small changes notify our brains that we are beginning a new task. When children put on their school uniforms, they immediately know that it is time to learn and that the same rules that apply at home no longer apply at school.
The same is true for adults. If we’re accustomed to exercising before going to work, it’s critical that we continue these activities even when working from home.
As tempting as it may be, sleeping until the start of the working day and grabbing a laptop to check incoming emails from the comfort of your bed is not useful; you should still maintain a normal routine and dress normally for the working day.
It tells the brain that it’s time to get to work.
The same is true at the end of the workday: change out of your “work clothes” and into comfortable home clothes to signal to your brain that it’s time to unwind. Remember to turn off your computer as well.
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4. Take a break
Believe it or not, taking a break every now and then plays a huge part in being productive at home.
Short breaks help us be more productive, and our eyes, bodies, and minds require a refresh every 40 minutes.
If you’ve worked for a larger corporation, you may have been subjected to software that required you to stand up and move, or even stretch for a minute.
Working from home has the added benefit of allowing you to take short breaks to stretch your legs, refill your water bottle, or even call a colleague on business.
It’s preferable to take small breaks on a regular basis, get up, walk around, or go for a slightly longer walk. Who knows, maybe the best idea will come to mind while you’re taking this small walk.
It’s certainly one of my favorite remote work hacks. I’m sure you occasionally get up from behind your desk in the office to make coffee or chat with a coworker.
So, do the same in your home office. Go to the kitchen and make yourself a cup of coffee or tea. Go outside at least once or perform at least ten crunches. Short breaks are essential to keep you moving.
5. Keep your work area and personal area separate
Things can get especially crazy when you try to do multiple things at once, such as watching Netflix while working. Your productivity will suffer.
Or, if you spend your working day using your computer in bed, then when it’s time to sleep, it feels like you’re sleeping in your office.
What are your options? Establish physical or mental boundaries between your professional and personal lives. You can accomplish this by creating a set work schedule or by keeping unnecessary items out of your reach.
Turn off the television and put aside activities that are not related to your workday. If possible, purchase a screen that separates your workspace from the rest of the living room, bedroom, or whatever.
6. Be positive
At the end of the day, consider what you did and what you learned. If something didn’t go as planned, use it as an opportunity to make a change and try again the next day. Also, tell your colleagues to share something positive about each day’s activities.
7. Add personality and create a pleasant atmosphere
To create a pleasant mood and boost productivity while working from home, place an object on the home office desk that always puts you in a good mood—be it a family picture, a souvenir from a nice trip, etc.
Music also contributes significantly to creating the atmosphere. Many studies have shown that listening to music boosts productivity, reduces anxiety, and increases levels of positive emotions.
The more music we listen to throughout the day, the better our emotional state. You can listen to your favorite music while working.
8. Put on your clothes
Putting on your clothes will drastically improve productivity while working from home. Yes, it’s tempting to sit in your bathrobe behind your computer and not bother getting dressed right away when you have the option of working from home.
However, if you start your workday dressed appropriately, it will set the tone for the day and make it much easier to get started.
How are you dressed in the home office? What is your morning routine now that you don’t have to leave the house for the rest of the day?
Don’t forget to get dressed for the day when you wake up in the morning before you start working. Sweatpants, soiled t-shirts, and droopy hair are not indicators of productivity and energy.
Dress comfortably but stylishly, as if you were expecting a partner or client to enter at any time. Clothes have a significant impact on how you feel (here’s how you can dress more confidently).
The more time you spend grooming yourself, the more motivated you will be to finish things.
9. Consume nutritious foods
It’s critical to stick to a meal plan. We all grab a sandwich or whatever we have on hand for lunch. Also, it’s not a sin to take a siesta after a meal. Living should be pleasurable, and you have the ability to make it so.
10. Listen to some good music
As I mentioned before, listening to good music contributes to being productive at home. Rhythmic music helps to maintain the tempo and mood. Unless you’re a fan of silence.
It’s critical that your entire environment supports you so that you can calmly focus on your work and maintain a positive attitude.
11. Keep your workplace tidy and save time
You might discover that you are the type of person who collects a lot of things and keeps them close to you. But have you tried to arrange these items in a logical and pleasing manner? It’s one of the best hacks for remote work.
Books, pencils, pens, old printed guides, and so on surround you and your main tool, your computer. But what about items that you never find? How much time do you spend looking for various items?
Put all of your pens, scissors, rulers, sharpeners, staplers, and so on in appropriate containers like this one or drawers.
Once a week, clean your computer’s home screen by deleting any files you no longer require and placing the necessary documents in the appropriate folders.
Installing a compact organizer box under the table is a space-saving solution. If the floor space is limited and the table is therefore smaller than usual, the organizer box may not fit under the table.
Consider a smaller wall shelf where you can place all of the necessary home office items without taking up any floor space.
If your desk space allows, you could also get a storage basket or a paper organizer to help you organize your workspace.
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12. Prepare meals the night before and prepare a weekly meal plan
Think about healthy snacks and meals that you would share with your coworkers on a typical workday.
When you prepare a meal the day before, you can be certain that you will not forget your lunch break and that you will have access to a healthy meal without having to reach for a candy bowl.
Set a bowl of healthy snacks on the table and bring a bottle of water and an apple with you so you don’t have to leave the computer every now and then. Make this preparation for all family members in order to track food intake.
I’ve seen suggestions where you prepare a menu for the entire week, and I think it’s one of those great hacks for remote working. Cook a few different dishes in bulk and store them in the fridge or freezer.
This meal planner is a lifesaver. It has grocery lists in it, so it has saved me tons of time, for sure.
Furthermore, when working from home, it’s critical to eat a decent (read: healthy) breakfast, and because we frequently tend to skip lunch when we’re busy (which you shouldn’t do, but that happens), keep some fruit or nuts in a visible place.
13. Plan your day or week in advance
Stop and think about what you need to do during the day; it will help you stay productive.
Find a small whiteboard or another visible location where you can write down all of the important activities, calls, etc. that you need to keep in front of your eyes all of the time so that you can stay focused and goal-oriented.
Close all unnecessary windows on your computer, clear all notifications on your phone, and hide your computer’s clock and calendar bar so you won’t get distracted.
Come up with a daily plan. If you have a plan for what needs to be done during the day, you’re much more likely to get everything done. It is especially beneficial to create a written schedule for yourself.
The trick, of course, is to not put more things on your list than you can handle; otherwise, you will lose motivation.
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14. Set up your home office or work area
It’s much easier to focus on work tasks and boost productivity while working from home when the surrounding environment encourages it.
While reading a newspaper at the dinner table is enjoyable, this isn’t the place to do work on a computer that requires precision and dedication.
It’s easier to concentrate when you’re using a computer desk (doesn’t this one look gorgeous?) instead of a dining table. It’s far more convenient to work behind a piece of furniture designed specifically for working.
It’s understandable that not every computer desk would be suitable for a living room. I’d like the object to blend in with the rest of the decor rather than stand out.
Today’s office furniture comes in a variety of styles and designs, so you should be able to find some that suit your needs. I suggest you visit this Amazon page for that purpose.
The traditional office environment is intended to provide natural light, ergonomic office chairs, air movement, and heating and cooling. Look around your house for the best natural light, and place your desk there.
Maintain a clean desk and ensure that you have all of the necessary tools. If you work with confidential information, put it in a separate folder, either physically or electronically.
15. Think about air circulation
Even in the smallest office, modern facilities are equipped with a ventilation system that ensures fresh air and a good indoor climate. The importance of air movement and ventilation in creating a pleasant working environment cannot be overstated.
Cleaning the air at home may be difficult because the smells of food and other aromas from daily activities are dispersed throughout the living space.
To avoid this “thick head” feeling behind the computer, use a desk or ceiling fan like this one and open the window occasionally to refresh the air.
16. Discuss the rules and expectations with everyone who is at home
This is one of those hacks for remote working that are suitable for both children and adults, so let’s start with adults, but if you have children at home, you’ll find some tips below as well.
When staying with adults, a separate room, silence, and good Wi-Fi may be required to conduct conference calls. Visible reminders, such as the “I’m working” sign on the door, help in avoiding unpleasant walks during critical times.
If you have friends or acquaintances who call you at any time, consider how your boss would react if you did it at work. So, turn off your phone and notify your loved ones when you have a free moment.
Literally, pretend you’re not at home. Furthermore, you should disregard, for example, the (home) phone ringing. Lock the door, turn off the doorbell, and set the phone on silent mode.
17. Use technology to connect with colleagues
Webmasters use technology to collaborate with geographically dispersed business partners and teams. Why not pick up a few pointers from them?
Zoom is an excellent tool for hosting virtual meetings. You will have the impression that you are in the office with your coworkers because you can see them on your computer screen.
We can still share files, documents, and spreadsheets, and we can also share comments, thanks to cloud-based technology.
However, it’s still important to set boundaries when working online, which brings us to the next point: daily planning and priorities.
It’s critical to maintain a sense of team and strengthen relationships with coworkers even when working from home. It’s easy to stay connected with modern technology and a little imagination.
Begin with small steps, such as organizing a virtual party or wearing all the same color shirts during a conference call. If you used to go out on Fridays, you can now entertain yourself online instead.
Be inventive! Meetings and virtual communication help employees stay motivated at home and avoid feelings of loneliness.
Working from home can be very inconvenient if you’re used to interacting with others on a daily basis. It’s worth looking for ways to communicate with people if you don’t want to feel lonely or depressed.
Doing things with others alleviates the feeling of being alone and improves your mood and motivation.
18. Limit your time spent on social media
See how much time you actually spend on social media by going to your phone’s settings/screen time. If you have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and your phone is a distraction, you can set limits on your apps if you are an Apple user.
Furthermore, there are useful apps like Circle or Moment that can help you limit your screen time on specific apps. Log out of all social media and email accounts.
Social media and incoming emails are two of the most appealing features. The simplest solution to improving productivity while working from home is to simply log out.
If you don’t, you’ll find yourself interrupting your thought process by responding to emails or scrolling through social media every now and then.
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19. If you have the option to take it more freely, do it
When you have meticulously planned your time and completed all of your responsibilities, you may find yourself with a few hours of free time.
In this case, you should not feel bad but rather take advantage of the opportunity to do whatever you want.
Take a walk in the park or engage in your hobby, and interact with others. Although it’s probably not one of those remote work hacks you expected to see here, you should still try to remember that time is the most valuable commodity in our lives.
20. Don’t forget the ergonomic chair
Any chair, a stool without a backrest, or a soft armchair is not designed to be used for extended periods of time behind a desk. Home chairs do not provide adequate back support and do not keep you in the proper position.
As a result, they provide no comfort when used as an office chair: muscles and joints become tired, and productivity suffers.
At the same time, working on a computer between the walls of your home is no different than working in a large office; your body requires support in the same way that it does when sitting.
An ergonomic office chair like this one with headrests and armrests, as well as a backrest that provides full-length spine support, is essential for the home office. You will find a large selection of office chairs here.
If you work eight hours a day in a home office similar to a regular office, it’s definitely worth investing in a good office chair with all the necessary features, such as armrests, a height-adjustable backrest, a seat mechanism that moves with the body, and so on.
The height-adjustable balance chair is a good alternative to a desk chair because it teaches you how to sit and stand properly. There are numerous color options available.
21. Make sure there is enough light
Lighting is extremely important. Your home office could be located somewhere where you can take advantage of natural light.
When it’s dark, find a good table lamp (this one’s pretty cool and affordable) that provides just the right amount of light for you.
However, your room should not be too dark, as the contrast between the brightness of the computer screen and the surrounding light strains the eyes.
However, your desk should not be overexposed because too much light is also tiring on the eyes.
It’s also important to ensure that the light from the lamp does not shine directly into your eyes.
As a result, the best option is a lamp with an adjustable shade and/or an articulated arm, which allows the light to be adjusted to your needs.
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22. Select an appropriate table
It happens quite often that standard-sized desktops have insufficient space for your office computer. Fortunately, many furniture manufacturers offer desks that are the appropriate height, even in smaller sizes.
The table, however, should not be too small (think about those tables that won’t fit anything other than a computer and a table lamp).
A good depth is 70 cm; on such a table, you can comfortably support your hands while working on a computer, and there is also room for papers.
Why not work in a home office that allows you to sit and stand? Height-adjustable tables like this one and special workstations attached to the table, which include a keyboard, screen, and mouse pad, make this possible.
You can move the workstation up and down, which allows you to work either upright or sitting. This alleviates the health risks associated with the forced position.
22 remote work hacks that worked for me this year
That’s it for this blog post about productivity hacks for remote workers. Do you know any other hacks I didn’t mention here? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!