In this article, we’ll look at working from home: tips, tricks, and hacks that can help you stay sane, safe, and productive as a remote worker.
In the digital age, remote working has become enormously popular.
And for good reason.
Remote working offers a number of benefits to employees, including:
- Increased productivity
- Decreased stress
- Improved well-being
- The ability to spend more time with the family
- Decreased commute times
The ability to work when and where one chooses is an enormous benefit, giving workers a great deal of control over their own schedules and their daily lives.
Traditionally, though, organizations have opposed remote working, since they view remote workers as less productive and more difficult to manage.
However, the opposite is actually true.
Not only are employees more productive, organizations can save more money, be more agile, and attract talented workers who prefer to work remotely.
To work from home productively, however, it is important that workers adopt a few good habits.
Working from Home: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Boosting Productivity
Staying productive when working from home is not always easy.
There are always distractions, which can include everything from family members to background noise.
And it can be difficult to stay disciplined when working alone.
By following these tips, though, you can dramatically boost your productivity – as well as your mental and physical well-being.
Use the Right Digital Tools
The right software can make all the difference.
Effective tools can streamline workflows, improve efficiency, make it easier to collaborate with coworkers, and more.
When working from the office, digital literacy is a must – but it is even more important when working from home.
After all, the ability to collaborate, communicate, and perform your job duties all depend on having the right digital skills and tools.
To work effectively with teams, it is important to:
- Receive product training – ideally, receive online product training, through digital adoption platforms and other online education solutions
- Have established standards and procedures regarding software, communication, and collaboration – and if these don’t exist, it is a good idea to request some from management
- Adopt apps that can improve workflows, such as productivity apps, analytics, and onboarding software
The right digital tools – along with the proper training – can go a long way towards improving productivity, whether one is working from home, the office, or elsewhere.
Buy the Right Hardware and Have a Strong Internet Connection
In most cases, all that most people need to work from home is a working computer and an internet connection.
However, the better the hardware, the more productive the worker.
There are several reasons for this:
Modern hardware responds more quickly, which cuts down on the time it takes for software to load or even operate normally. Over time, hardware-caused lag time can really add up, taking substantial chunks out of the day.
Faster hardware can also decrease software frustration.
After all, everyone has experienced the frustration of waiting for computers to load operating systems, load software, complete tasks, or retrieve a web page.
This also brings up another important point: a strong internet connection is ideal.
A weak connection can make it difficult or impossible to hold online conferences. It can also make internet navigation that much slower.
Create a Suitable Work Environment
When working from home, some people find it difficult to concentrate or avoid distractions.
This is understandable. We associate our house with our home life and a wide range of activities that aren’t related to work.
One solution to this is to not work from home at all – many remote workers prefer coworking spaces, cafes, or renting a private office.
Another solution is to create a work environment within the home.
This can mean several things, such as:
- Transforming an entire room into a home office
- Setting aside a desk or a dedicated section of a room specifically for work
- Creating a temporary work environment at any location, by setting up a computer, office supplies, and strict rules (see below)
Each person has his or her own tastes and needs.
For best results, experiment and choose the approach that is the most satisfying … and that helps you stay the most productive.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Discipline is not always easy when it comes to remote work, especially for those who aren’t used to it.
Freelancers and other veteran workers often spend years experimenting with various solutions, workflows, tips, and hacks before they find an approach that helps them stay disciplined and on track.
Holding yourself accountable is one tip that can help with productivity.
Remote workers take on, to a certain extent, the responsibility of managing themselves.
For some people, accountability systems can help with self-management.
When working from home, this can involve:
- Incentives and rewards for hitting targets or completing tasks
- Penalizing oneself for underperformance
- Using software to track key productivity metrics
With follow-through, these approaches can help maintain self-discipline and accountability – and, as a result, improve productivity.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.