Learning & Development

How to Maximize Your Productivity When Working from Home

Working remotely seems like a dream come true, but there are some challenges to working in your comfort space. When working from the office, there is usually less room for distraction, and depending on your work environment, management is on the floor to ensure you and your coworkers are doing your tasks. 

Remote work provides more autonomy and less supervision, so you’re more prone to distracting yourself or moving at a more relaxed pace. Daydreaming every now and then doesn’t hurt, but what if your constant need to pay attention to everything else besides your work started affecting your productivity? It may be time to lessen those distractions and build a productive space. How do you maximize your productivity when working remotely?

Quality Technology

Quality technology is imperative when working from home. Without your essentials like a computer, decent Wi-Fi, and reliable electricity, you won’t be able to complete your job. Not only is it frustrating having to spend your workday fixing your equipment, but you also run the risk of losing your job if you have no way of keeping up with work. You can prevent this by having a backup such as a hot spot when the Wi-Fi goes out.

You may also want to have a laptop and/or tablet you can use if your desktop gives out or you lose power, as well as a backup generator that provides you with a few hours of electricity until your main source kicks back in. It’s worth asking about connection in the area you plan to reside in and how frequent natural disasters are that might affect your electricity and Wi-Fi/cellular service so you have what you need to keep you up and running in case of these unfortunate events.

Choosing The Right Workspace

Because your workspace could be the main source of distraction, it’s important to choose the right one. You’ll want to avoid the noisiest area of your home if you have frequent meetings or a job that requires you to be on the phone for long periods of time. What about where the sun is for most of the day? You don’t want to have to squint to see through the vibrant rays for hours on end because the sun is either hitting your face or hitting your computer screen so badly that reading or navigating is nearly impossible.

You may have found the quietest and least sunny space, but what if you set up in the living room and live with other people who are bound to pass by multiple times a day? If you have little control over your workspace, you could invest in noise-canceling headphones or sunshades for laptops and computers, as well as set up a Zoom background during meetings to secure your workspace on video.

Maintain Working Hours

Depending on your line of work, you may not be held to the same schedule every day, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a routine. When your brain can’t distinguish a designated work time, you may be less distraction-free, so it’s important to find a daily routine to commit to during your workdays. There are several benefits to sticking to routines, including their positive impact on your mental health, decreased anxiety over unpredictability, and the ability to make time for things that matter to you. Maintaining a set number of work hours also helps you separate work time and leisure time.

Organizing & Keeping Your Workspace Clean

If your space is cluttered, it may also clutter your mind. If you keep not only your desk but also your entire workspace clean, you’ll be more likely to think more clearly, see better, and find work essentials easier without having to navigate the mess. Keeping your space clean can also involve making it smell cleaner; consider using a wax melt or an essential oil diffuser. You could also add a little greenery to reap further benefits.

Organization can be extended to more than just your workspace; make sure your computer files are organized and labeled correctly for easier access, and update your devices, if necessary, before your next workday so your devices are ready to go for your next shift. It’s also a good idea to label and back up your files for the day and store them somewhere secure.

Set Boundaries & Devices on Do Not Disturb

When living with family or friends, it’s easy to get caught up in conversation during work, just as you would in the office. But is this conversation affecting your ability to focus? If so, you may need to inform your loved ones that you’re working and have limited time to talk. Maybe put a schedule on the fridge or somewhere near your workspace with your work hours, or put your phone on “do not disturb” or generate an auto-response that lets others who are trying to reach you know you’re busy. Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you have open availability, so it’s OK to wait until after your normal work hours to respond to friends and family. 

It may not be easy, but with many companies moving toward a 100% remote work culture, it’s important to transition your space from one you associate with relaxation and sleep to one that’s productive.

Eric Plam is VP of Solis, the world’s first Wi-Fi smart hot spot.

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