Work from Home: 10 Tips for Maximizing Productivity

Work from home jobs are becoming more and more common these days, with companies in all industries recognizing the benefits to them and their employees. Increased productivity and flexibility are two of the most enticing benefits however, it’s not always easy to stay focused and on task.

While each individual will have their own tactics and techniques for staying motivated and being productive, we’ve compiled 10 sure-fire ways to maximize your productivity.

In this article we’ll discuss:

What Does Work From Home Mean?

Working from home, also referred to as telecommuting, means that an employee works from their home rather than in an office building. Some people may also work from coffee shops, restaurants and other public places, in addition to their home office.

For more information on the pros and cons of telecommuting, check out  What Is Telecommuting And What Are The Benefits?”

Work From Home – What Are The Benefits?

Working from home provides many benefits for employees, including increased flexibility, the ability to create one’s own schedule and therefore a better work-life balance. Reduced stress and the ability to avoid a daily commute are also enticing benefits for many employees.

In addition, employers see increased productivity from at-home employees, lower turnover rates in their workforce and a decrease in the overhead costs that are typically associated with having an employee in the office, for example, stationary, tools and food costs, to name a few.

Work at Home Jobs

The tech and marketing industries have typically offered work from home positions. However, many more companies and industries are beginning to jump on the trend, providing more and more opportunities for people from all industries to work from home. 

This is thanks to improved technology and findings which suggest that employers can cut costs and benefit from increased productivity when their employees work from home. 

Today, many of those working in the digital sector are able to take advantage of these new communications technologies to work remotely or as a digital nomad.

Some of the most common jobs working from home or as a digital nomad currently include positions in IT, education, health care, customer service and data entry. 

Positions often include project manager, web designer/developer, writer, case manager, sales representative, customer service representative, consultant, tutor, translator, virtual assistant, transcriber, etc.

With so many industries now adopting this work arrangement there is something for everyone! So, if working from home seems like a good gig take a peek at what is available in your industry.

10 Ways To Maximize Productivity

Working from home may seem like a walk in the park – wake up, walk to the kitchen for some coffee, sit down in your pajamas and do some work – but if you’re going to be productive at home, you’ll need to enforce some strong self-discipline and planning.

Here are 10 tips to help you maximize your productivity:

1. Create a designated workspace

 Create a workspace that is quiet, private and as free from distractions as possible. While it may not always be possible, the best-case scenario is one in which you can separate your personal and work spaces completely with the help of a home office. This will help you to separate your time and activities so that you can focus on work while you’re in your designated work area.

Setting up a designated work area can also help you more easily keep your workspace off limits to others in your household – especially during work hours. This will help with productivity by reducing distractions from others.

2. Eliminate distractions

As much as possible, try to eliminate any distractions. Staying away from the tv and the kitchen, wearing noise-cancelling headphones, setting up childcare and telling your friends and family your work hours are all very helpful ways of avoiding common distractions so that you can stay on task.

3. Set boundaries

Make sure to establish some ground rules and a good understanding between you and your family and others that live in your household. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean that the household tasks, chores, repairs and other responsibilities fall all to you. 

Be sure to establish how your children, partner and other family and friends can communicate with you during work hours and what they can and cannot expect from you. Having too many tasks will definitely leave you feeling overwhelmed at work – especially when you’re at your “workplace” 24/7 now. 

Although you are able to be flexible, it may be helpful to try and schedule appointments and even at-home maintenance and repairs after office hours. This will help you establish a strong boundary between your work and personal life and allow you to be more productive.

4. Develop a schedule and stick to it
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Project management apps such as Asana can help keep your scheduling on track. (asana.com)

Make sure to create a schedule for your work hours. This will not only be helpful to you but also to your friends and family. 

It can be difficult for others to understand what working from home looks like and that it still means you are working and on a schedule. 

Setting up work hours will help them to know when you are not available and when you shouldn’t be disturbed. It will also help you create a better work-life balance by separating your personal and work time.

This doesn’t mean you have to stick to this schedule like glue, after all flexibility is a big benefit of working from home! A schedule will just help you to manage your time and to be more productive.

Is working from home while maintaining the household causing you stress? Consider job sharing. Learn more in Why Job Sharing – What Is It And Is It Right For You?:

5. Create a to-do list

 Start your day with a to-do list. A list will help ensure that you get everything done that needs to be done, regardless of how long it takes or when you do it.

6. Separate your work and personal life as much as possible

If possible, a separate computer can be helpful in establishing when you’re at work and when it’s personal time. A separate phone number can also be helpful to maintain boundaries and separate work and personal affairs.

This can help with productivity by keeping you from being distracted by personal affairs and activities during the workday. Failure to do so could result in you burning out.

7. Make sure you have all the tools and technology you require
work from home tools
Slack lets you communicate with your team without having to hold a meeting or bringing them into your office. (Slack.com)

Be sure to set up proper internet and the tools you need to help you get your job done. Fast internet, communication tools and any other technological necessities are crucial to your success. 

Project management apps like Asana and communication tools such as Slack can help facilitate the transition from the office to the home. 

There’s nothing worse than slow internet when you’re working on a big project (or any project for that matter) – slow internet is sure to decrease productivity and to increase your frustration levels!

Is working from home not scratching the itch for you? It might be time to change up your workplace. Read what our Senior Digital Marketer Mark Galvao has to say about living the digital nomad life.

8. Get dressed

Getting up and getting ready for work, just as you would if you were going into an office, can be very helpful for getting your day started off on the right foot. Sitting around in pjs all day may make you less inclined to feel like you are actually at work and can give the other people in your household the wrong impression.

This doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit or pencil skirt while sitting on the sofa – comfy clothes will do – after all, not having to wear real pants should be a perk to working at home!

9. Take breaks
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10. Get out

If possible, switch up your location whenever you can. Try out a new local coffee shop, take your work to a park, sit on your deck – a fresh location can be just the jolt you need to help you focus your attention and increase your productivity. Getting out also helps to separate work and personal time for a better work-life balance.

Key Takeaways on How To Work From Home

Does working from home sound like something you’d like to pursue? Rather than working in a traditional office space, many companies now offer work-at-home opportunities. Companies in nearly all industries have recognized the financial benefits of having stay-at-home employees therefore, there’s something for everyone in terms of working at home.

People who work from home enjoy the flexibility it provides. They tend to have a better work-life balance and enjoy reduced stress and zero commute time! However, working from home is no walk in the park. It takes planning, dedication and self-control to be productive in your own home.

Are you unsure of the best way to stay on task with Netflix and the fridge calling? Or are you a veteran who thinks they could improve their productivity? Regardless, here are 10 tips to help you be productive when working from home:

  • Create a separate, designated workspace to signify to yourself and others in your household when you’re working and when you are available for personal matters.
  • Eliminate distractions as much as possible. For example, wear noise cancelling headphone and try to stay away from the tv and kitchen.
  • Set boundaries with your friends and family so that they know not to disturb you when you are working.
  • Develop a schedule and stick to it (as much as possible). Setting a regular work schedule can help you stay on task, as well as improve your work-life balance.
  • Create a to-do list to keep yourself accountable and on track for the day.
  • Separate your work and personal life with the help of an additional phone and computer, if possible. This will help you increase productivity by signifying to yourself when you’re at work and by keeping you from delving into apps and other personal activities.
  • Make sure you have all the tools and technology you require in order to get your work done efficiently. Slow internet and a lack of communication tools will do nothing but hurt your productivity.
  • Get up, get dressed and maintain a usual morning routine to help signify to yourself that you are going to work – even though you may just be going to your living room.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. Be sure to take physical and mental breaks, including a lunch break, to ensure you aren’t draining yourself by starring at your screen or talking on the phone all day.
  • Get out for a change of scenery. Sometimes going out to a coffee shop or even a park can be the change that you need to boost your productivity.

 

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to get started with your new job working from home. Get out there and get applying!

Vincent Lee

Written By Vincent Lee

The Managing Editor at Advesa, Vincent is a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, a lover of cats, and a purveyor of fine roasted matcha teas. When not writing, he enjoys exercising and biking around his beautiful hometown of Vancouver. He is also a strong supporter of the oxford comma.