In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is quickly becoming the new normal for many companies. Understandably, the main concern with allowing people to work remotely has been productivity. But, it seems that those who work at home are more consistent and get more done. In fact, a recent study has shown that people who work remotely are around 9% more productive at home than they were in the office. This is an increase from the summer of 2020s 5%.
Let’s take a closer look at how working remotely impacts employee productivity and the top 10 strategies that can help you join the top performers.
How Does Working From Home Increase Worker Productivity?
Working from home can be a more productive work environment than the typical office setting. Here are the three major contributing factors.
- No commute. Not having to spend a lot of time on the road getting to and from work is one of the biggest benefits of working from home. This gives you additional time you can devote to activities such as getting more sleep in the morning or exercising. As a result, you can be fully energized to do your job and be more productive.
- Better work-life balance. Remote working arrangements come with a lot of flexibility. This means that you may choose your own working hours and spend more time with your friends and family. Having a good work-life balance has a favorable effect on mood, which in turn enhances interest and energizes you, enabling better productivity and performance.
- Less stress. Working from home is considerably less stressful, preventing you from losing focus and helping you be more productive. Less than 30% of respondents who worked remotely reported being moderately stressed at work, which is a notable decrease from 33% in 2019 when office work was the standard. Also, 56% of employees have reported their mental health had improved due to remote work.
How to Improve Productivity When Working Remotely
The remote work environment is here to stay, so let’s uncover the top 10 strategies that can help you make the most out of your working hours and increase your productivity.
Set Deadlines and Goals
Humans are more likely to postpone tasks until it’s absolutely necessary to get them done. Setting deadlines for tasks and projects will help you understand how much time you need to complete them and prevent procrastination.
Also, set realistic goals. The OKR framework can help you with it. When there is a reward or an objective to achieve after finishing a task, work becomes easier by nature. The reason is simple — when a goal is achieved, the employee feels delighted and accomplished. As a result, procrastination naturally begins to decline.
Leave Time for Repetitive Tasks
Every job often includes routine, repetitive tasks. Set aside time in advance for these tasks to create a strong foundation for your weekly schedule. This practice can help you ensure that these activities get done and that they don’t get put off in favor of more important things.
Additionally, you’ll have a strong feeling of organization which can help you cope with feeling overwhelmed. Of course, there will always be tasks that come up from time to time that throw the schedule off, but building a solid foundation can ensure that you have a decent starting place.
Create a Schedule
Making the effort to plan ahead will certainly help you work more effectively. While it’s vital to be flexible with your schedule as needed, it’s as crucial to commit to a plan that clearly lays out each assignment before you get started. With careful preparation, you can greatly reduce superfluous tasks with excellent benefits.
Try outlining your weekly plan, for instance. Describe your daily activities in detail so that you are aware of what you must do to be productive and successful. Then, determine which tasks should be completed first and then assign a deadline to each.
You might be concerned that organizing your day will be restrictive, but developing a personal routine can considerably enhance your engagement, work habits, and overall remote work productivity. By intentionally organizing your day, you can choose a daily setup that plays to your strengths and enables you to get the most out of your working hours.
Set your alarm and proceed with your regular morning routine as though you were heading to the office. Also, try to take your lunch break at the same time every day. This way, you’ll get a healthy routine going that gets your body used to a scheduled eating plan. Finally, try to finish the working day at a specified time to prevent yourself from overworking.
Take Regular Breaks
Humans aren’t made to work eight hours straight with uninterrupted concentration. This could lead to tension, mental weariness, muscle soreness, and eye impairment, among other harmful effects. In fact, nearly 50% of employees and 53% of managers are burned out at work.
Therefore, it’s crucial to take breaks throughout the day. As a general rule of thumb, you should take a break every 90-120 minutes. Use your breaks to leave your desk rather than opening YouTube and watching some comforting videos. Take a walk, breathe in the fresh air, or interact with family or friends. This practice contributes to general employee well-being, including enhanced memory, information retention, better attention, less stress, and no fatigue.
Establish a Dedicated Home Workspace
Working in a chaotic environment can cause a significant drop in productivity. Even though 75% of work-from-home employees claim to have a dedicated home office, close to 40% of them admit that they sometimes work from their dining tooms, bedrooms, or couches. Moreover, one in 5 people admit to working occasionally in their kitchen or closet!
When working from home, having a designated place helps you be more productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance by helping you focus and put your mind in a working mode. Choose a workspace that offers seclusion, access to natural light, and a location where you won’t be distracted by other family members’ activities. It’s also important to maintain a clutter-free workspace and create a method for keeping documents organized. This will help you eliminate distractions and also form effective organizational habits.
Working remotely comes with a set of potential distractions. The best course of action is to recognize these distractions and learn how to get rid of them. This is an excellent way to avoid being distracted from the task you’re currently working on by a not-so-important alert.
One foolproof tactic is to avoid using any needless electronics. For instance, leave your phone in a drawer or at least disable push notifications for emails, texts, and social media. Additionally, switch the TV off to increase remote work productivity and maintain your schedule.
The proper digital tools are necessary for today’s remote employees to flourish and be productive. By incorporating contemporary technologies, you can easily stay organized, connected, and safe.
Luckily, there’s a wide range of cloud-based, functional tools like Focus, designed specifically to help remote teams with task management, streamlining communication, enhancing remote work productivity, and easing information sharing.
When working in a remote setting, you must stay in touch with your team to stay productive. Remote workers who lose touch with their colleagues frequently are unaware of what needs to be done and miss out on important chances to offer their opinion.
Make sure to maintain open lines of communication and participate in virtual meetings regularly. Also, regardless of whether your job needs it or not, it’s also a good idea to occasionally interact with your coworkers in person. The importance of face-to-face communication persists even in this digital age.
Block Out Your Free Time
It’s crucial that you block out your free time. Doing so can make it easier for you to unplug once your business day is over and establish a distinct line between work and home life. Because you don’t feel like you have plenty of time to be idle, having strict work hours also helps you finish more tasks in less time.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels
Enhancing Remote Work Productivity: Final Thoughts
When it comes to becoming a more productive remote worker, these strategies are only the start. Try out a few of them and see what works for you and your coworkers. As you proceed, make adjustments as needed, take lessons from your mistakes, and monitor your productivity growth over time. Making the right decisions for yourself can help you be very productive, which will make you happy, less anxious, more motivated, and more successful.