Working from Home Increases Productivity
Despite the initial opinions that remote work would cause a drop in the productivity of employees, practice has shown the opposite to be true. In fact, studies suggest that work from home employees even tend to spend more time working compared to employees working in an office. The reasons behind this increase in employee productivity when working from home are manifold.
More flexibility with their daily schedule, more free time thanks to telecommuting, and the ability to organize their working environment, all contribute to the general job satisfaction among employees, which leads to a motivated and productive workforce.
However, remote work also comes with its own set of challenges. While many people have already had significant experience with working from home, for some, transitioning into this work arrangement is an entirely new situation that takes some getting used to, despite the obvious benefits.
How to Maintain Productivity When Working from Home
The most common difficulty remote workers are facing is finding a healthy balance between work and personal life. Although quite understandable, since your work is always within an arm’s reach, failing to establish clear boundaries between work and free time is guaranteed to result in a drop in productivity sooner or later.
Below are several suggestions that can help you with increasing and maintaining your productivity levels when working from home.
1. Take Regular Breaks
Taking breaks away from work has proven to be a very effective way of staying productive during long working hours. When working remotely, sitting in front of a computer, it’s easy to lose focus and feel isolated due to the absence of social interactions, which can lead to reduced productivity. Shifting your focus away from work by taking a short break can help you get back on track.
However, you should try your best not to spend your break in front of a screen. Instead, go for a short walk, chat with someone, or just move to another room and listen to some music. Even better, take the opportunity to get some exercise.
There’s no need to take these breaks at regular intervals. Whenever you feel stuck or struggling with your task, taking a step back and clearing your mind will actually save you time.
2. Maintain Your Schedule
Although remote work allows for a lot of flexibility, it’s still better to stick to a schedule that works for you. Maintaining the same working hours and routines will help you get into the right mentality and start the day off at optimal efficiency. Habits are a powerful thing, so make sure to use them to your advantage when working from home.
Additionally, having an established schedule will also help you detach from work at the end of the day and create boundaries in terms of when you are available to your friends and family on the one hand, and your co-workers on the other. This will go a long way in helping you ensure a healthy work-life balance.
3. Create a Task List for Each Day
Keeping a sort of a to-do list can also be beneficial in terms of your productivity in several ways. First of all, it will help you stay organized and keep track of your tasks and goals. Adding some structure to your work and being able to prioritize tasks and set deadlines and expectations will contribute to your motivation, as well as efficiency.
Further, having a clear overview of your assignments will also help you manage your time, whether the plans are daily, weekly, or monthly, so you can distribute the workload as evenly as possible, or in any manner that suits you.
Finally, setting realistic goals and consistently meeting them in time will build confidence and motivation to keep going. When it comes to daily tasks, completing them will mark the end of the workday, so you can unwind and focus on your personal life, knowing you’ve had a productive day.
4. Create a Distraction-Free Working Area
Many remote workers find it difficult to stay focused on their job when working from home, as distractions are everywhere around them: chores, phones, social media, etc. This is why it’s important to create a distraction-free working area where you’ll be able to stay focused without too many disturbances during your working hours.
Organizing your workspace to resemble an office ambient as closely as possible, instead of working from your couch, is a great way to minimize distractions and ensure productivity. Apart from that, you should also make sure to silence your phone and keep your desk tidy and distraction-free.
While getting distracted every now and then is normal and can’t be avoided, you would be well-advised to be careful and not let small distractions turn into procrastination that could get in the way of your work obligations.
The Advantages of Remote Work
One of the greatest benefits of remote work is the time and money saved on commuting expenses. Long commuting times can significantly contribute to an employee’s dissatisfaction with their job and is one of the most common reasons for people to consider looking for other employment opportunities.
Without the need to travel to and from work, employees have more free time to spend on self-care and their personal life, which leads to a healthier and happier workforce that is bound to be more committed and productive. Apart from saving time, telecommuting also saves money, as it helps employees cut their traveling and maintenance expenses.
For these reasons, most employees say that they would even accept a lower salary if they would be allowed to work from home and have more time to commit to their health and families.
However, the foremost cause behind the sudden switch to the remote work model is the pandemic crisis the world is facing. The traditional office packed with people increases the risk of the disease spreading among co-workers, and companies are quickly adapting to having most of their teams working remotely in an effort to help flatten the curve.
Remote Employee Engagement
Maintaining employee engagement is another challenge of the remote work model, as working from outside of the office can cause staff to feel isolated and struggle to maintain relationships with their co-workers. However, thanks to various digital tools and platforms available, maintaining a team mentality shouldn’t be too hard.
Scheduling regular video conferences with all team members at least once a week and establishing clear communication channels for various purposes can go a long way in terms of alleviating the negative effects the lack of face-to-face communication can have on employee engagement, and help them feel like a part of a team.
While remote work can be challenging in its own right both for employees and employers, the fact is that it also comes with a lot of benefits, especially in these trying times. Of course, fully adapting to this work arrangement may take some time and effort; however, reducing expenses and increasing employee productivity should be enough to justify both.
Interview with Elena Dimoska- Co-founder & CEO @ Ignite Global Media
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