4 Ways to Improve Your Productivity While Working From Home
Do you enjoy working from home? Are you able to be as productive and efficient as when you are working from your company’s office or lab? Today, the number of remote employees is higher than it’s ever been and due to recent circumstances such as COVID-19, more employees are shifting to virtual work. While many professionals like the concept of working from home, it’s common for people to feel disconnected from their colleagues and isolated.
Working remotely, also known as telecommuting, is often seen as an incentive of organizations having flexible options. Whether you regularly telecommute 100% of the time, a few times a week or only during emergencies, significant challenges can arise. What if you need some information right away, but your coworker isn’t responding? Perhaps, you are unsure of how to proceed based on an email or other instructions. Miscommunication and lack of communication can cause substantial problems. Here are four ways to improve your productivity while working from home!
1. Keep a set schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to become very relaxed. Without the routine and structure of waking up, getting ready and leaving for the office, many people start to do things more randomly. Some professionals might wake up later and start ignoring other aspects of their regular routine. This can lead to having a lack of focus once they actually start their job duties online. Maintaining a set schedule during remote work can help reinforce clear boundaries when you are on and off the clock.
2. Work in an office or designated area
As tempting as it may be to sit on your couch in front of the TV, multi-tasking has been proven to reduce your productivity level. Doing your work in an office or other designated workspace improves your ability to focus and brainstorm. This also allows you to have more privacy and creates a more professional environment to work in. Many companies utilize video meeting technology to enhance communication among teams. When your co-workers can see you recording from a clean, professional looking area it subconsciously lets them know that you are still getting things done.
3. Limit distractions
Everything including the people, pets and things we love can become distractions when working from home. With many schools in the U.S. closed at the current time, many parents are working, while their children are at home participating in online learning. Limiting distractions can be difficult with so many factors involved. Try implementing some boundaries around your established work area. Can you close the door and use a do not disturb sign? Using headphones to drown out noise can also be beneficial.
4. Pick up the phone
When you are physically apart from your team members, misunderstandings can happen even when everyone is trying their best. We all have different personalities, preferences and skill levels. Your email communication is generally geared towards how you personally think and comprehend information. Others might not understand or view things the way that you do. Long, drawn out email chains can take up a lot of time for everyone involved. If you are unsure of instructions, plans or the tone of written communication, pick up the phone and call your colleague.
While many people have regularly worked remotely for years, current global health regulations have forced the vast majority of people to work from home. Keeping a set schedule and working in a designated room or area can help to improve your productivity. Limiting distractions and picking up the phone to call team members can also cut down on wasted time. What have you done in the past to be effective while working remote?
Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.