While working from home can be enjoyable, it can also be challenging to stay on task without the accountability of coworkers. However, studies show that a remarkable 83% of employees report increased productivity while working remotely, even during the pandemic. Is there a secret to this success? Looking closer at the data, a pattern emerges – there are strategies on how to improve productivity.
Top 10 Tips To Improve Work Efficiency
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies worldwide to adopt a remote workforce. This change was already happening before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has accelerated it. Pre-pandemic, around 5.7 million employees worked from home at least half the time, which was 4.1% of the total U.S. workforce. However, in 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, an astonishing 69% of the workforce worked remotely. Surprisingly, productivity did not suffer. Owl Labs’ 2021 State of Remote Work report discovered that 90% of remote workers maintained their productivity.
#1 Create a dedicated workspace
To ensure productivity and focus, it’s important for remote workers to establish a dedicated workspace in their homes. However, a significant percentage of WFH employees work in less-than-ideal locations such as their bedrooms, dining rooms, or even closets and kitchens. This can impact productivity adversely. A better approach is to assist and motivate your staff to set up a dedicated home office. One way to do this is by offering work-issued laptops and printers, rather than relying on employees to use their less secure personal devices. Additionally, if necessary, consider investing in or partially subsidizing home office equipment for those who would otherwise be working from unconventional spaces such as kitchen counters or living room couches.
#2 Get ready to start your work day
When you work remotely, what do you prefer to wear? Maybe it’s a comfortable pair of pajamas, and that’s totally fine! But it’s important to remember that dressing appropriately can help you stay focused and productive. While casual attire like sweatpants can provide comfort and flexibility, it’s not always the best choice for long-term productivity. So, find a balance between comfort and professionalism to ensure success while working from home.
#3 Use a VPN
Among work from home tips, two categories can be distinguished: developing good habits and providing technological support. VPN is the necessary technology that will allow you to access any site with ease. All you need is the best VPN and 1 minute to install and configure it. Just install VeePN for Edge and you can open any site, even with regional restrictions, and protect your virtual workspace from strangers. VeePN protects against tracking by both Wi-Fi network owners and the government or provider.
#4 Stick to time management
Proper planning is key to efficiency and success. By developing a schedule, you can anticipate any obstacles and potential issues. This saves you time and effort in the long run. Take a look at how I plan my day to maximize productivity:
- 6:00am-10:00am: Tackle the top priority on my project schedule, with a 10-minute break at 8:00am.
- 10:00am-10:30am: Take a well-deserved lunch break and catch up on social media or take a power nap.
- 10:30am-12:00pm: Wrap up and perfect the top priority. Check for mistakes and be thorough.
- 12:00pm-1:00pm: Attend scheduled Zoom meetings to stay on track.
- 1:00pm-1:10pm: Take a 10-minute break to recharge.
- 1:10pm-1:30pm: Check emails and respond efficiently.
- 1:30pm-2:30pm: Begin working on the next prioritized item on my list, ensuring a productive day.
#5 Provide effective document management
Remote workers need to access essential files and documents, just like onsite staff. However, relying on paper documents and email sharing can create difficulties. To overcome this challenge, a strong document management system (DMS) like FileCenter is the solution. By storing documents digitally, usually in the cloud, remote employees can readily access all company files. Real-time collaboration among teams with secure file sharing improves productivity. Remote access capabilities for a DMS are essential for a thriving remote workforce.
#6 Actively participate in virtual meetings
Stay productive while working from home by avoiding common unproductive meeting behaviors like daydreaming and multitasking. Make a conscious effort to participate in virtual meetings by preparing talking points, sharing your ideas, asking questions, and engaging in problem-solving. By actively contributing to the conversation, you’ll feel more involved in your work and have a greater sense of contribution to the team.
#7 Manage notifications
To maximize your productivity while working from home, it’s essential to manage business chat distractions. While we strive to connect with others and feel a sense of community, remote teams struggle to find opportunities for casual conversation. While technology provides a means of virtually connecting, excessive notifications can disrupt our ability to focus. Research shows that consistent interruptions can significantly impact productivity. Limiting distractions from your company team chat app is crucial for effective work.
#8 Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can enhance cognitive abilities, promote overall well-being, and increase blood flow to the brain. With remote work causing social isolation, prioritizing fitness has become crucial for maintaining mental health. Furthermore, working out releases endorphins, amplifying feelings of happiness, contentment, and motivation. These factors are essential for achieving success both personally and professionally.
#9 Eat & Sleep right
Working from home can make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Unlike in an office setting, you don’t have easy access to nutritious options and may be tempted to snack on unhealthy foods. However, choosing healthier meals can benefit you in the long run. By fueling your body with the right foods, you’ll improve your energy levels, productivity, and overall well-being. Say goodbye to mindless snacking and hello to a more nourishing diet for your remote workdays.
#10 Prepare a To-do list/Planner
If you don’t know what a to-do list is, it’s a list of tasks that need to be accomplished the following day, listed by priority. This is similar to a planner. When working remotely, keeping track of how you spend your time is crucial. By monitoring your activity, you can determine the most efficient times to work and identify areas where time is being wasted.
Creating a prioritized to-do list can help you efficiently track your progress and tackle important tasks during your most productive hours. Customize your list to your liking, but be sure to prioritize critical tasks and check them off as you complete them.
#11 Promote informal discussions
As a remote worker, the lack of informal interactions can hinder your ability to build teamwork and improve productivity. However, by using a free fast VPN you can ensure secure and seamless communication during informal online discussions outside of official video meetings, fostering team connectivity and efficient collaboration.
That’s why it’s essential to provide a platform for informal online discussions outside of official video meetings. Consider utilizing tools like Zoom meetings and text chats to keep your team connected and working efficiently.
#12 Make working from home fun
Remote work can be flexible and spontaneous, but often lacks social interaction with teammates. Luckily, you can recreate that in-office environment through an accountability work buddy challenge with your favorite coworker. Track each other’s progress and help remind each other to take regular breaks. Spice it up by hopping on a video call during lunch. Use the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time efficiently and establish a healthy work-to-rest ratio. Start today with a weekly challenge and supercharge your productivity!
#13 Take breaks
Discover how taking breaks throughout your workday can enhance your overall well-being, despite the common myth that it’s a sign of laziness. Breaks are crucial in preventing stress, mental fatigue, muscular strain, and eye damage. Additionally, our bodies are simply not designed to concentrate for eight hours straight.
But how often should you take breaks? I suggest aiming for a break every 90 to 120 minutes, or even as frequently as every 75 minutes if necessary. Regular breaks can reduce burnout and stress, common concerns for many employees. In fact, 61% of employees have reported feeling burned out and 31% experience high levels of stress.
So, what are the benefits of taking breaks? Taking a breather can help boost productivity, creativity, and focus, as well as promote better physical health. Look after yourself by taking regular, well-deserved breaks.
#14 Eliminate distractions
Distractions can throw you off your game, whether you’re working in an office or from home. But the solution is simple: identify and eliminate them.
One effective way to stay focused is by turning off all push notifications on your mobile devices. I’ve found this to be a game-changer when it comes to staying on task. Specifically, I turn off notifications for social media, text messages, and emails.
To ensure I’m not missing anything important, I schedule specific times during the day to check these notifications. If you’re working from home, the temptation to turn on the TV can be strong. But resist! It’s best to decrease any additional distractions that may come your way.
#15 Don’t hesitate
Maximize your productivity while working from home by prioritizing workplace ergonomics. Don’t compromise your health for convenience. Request necessary equipment such as monitors, keyboards, and controllers from your employer instead of using your personal computer. Keep in mind that many companies have a separate budget for work from home equipment. Take care of yourself and work comfortably to achieve success in your remote work environment.
Remote work can be a great way to increase productivity and stay connected with colleagues. But it’s important to remember that it comes with its own set of unique challenges, including maintaining focus and staying motivated. By following the tips above-including setting boundaries, scheduling breaks, eating healthily, and more, you’ll be able to better organize your workflow and become more efficient.