Improve productivity while working from home using these easy yet effective hacks
This blog post talks about remote work hacks that have helped me this year. Working from home is becoming more popular, but it may not be suitable for everyone.
However, there are a variety of tricks that can be used to make working from home more comfortable.
Working from home helps connect family and work, especially when the children are young and being away from home full-t ime seems unthinkable, but there is a strong desire or need to work.
The home environment is relaxing, and it saves time and energy that would otherwise be spent on work and moving.
It’s perfect for those who prefer to work alone and know how to motivate themselves.
However, when it comes to the negative sides of working from home, some of them are quite significant. When you work from home by yourself, you may miss socializing with coworkers.
You may find it difficult to concentrate if there are unwashed dishes in the sink, your family’s cute kitten is scratching your feet, and, worst of all, no one is watching over your shoulder what videos you’re watching (meaning: you’ll spend tons of time watching pointless videos).
Working from home necessitates a high level of self-discipline. The distractions here are not the same as the distractions at the office, and it takes some time to get used to them.
Working from home is different for everyone, so it’s important to recognize that what works for one person may not work for another.
However, with the help of the following tips, you’ll be able to perform your duties comfortably and efficiently.
If you want to learn more about how to boost productivity while working from home (aka the best productivity hacks for remote workers), keep reading!
This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase something I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
How to succeed while working from home
1. End the workday at a specific time
Staying focused all day can make time fly by when you’re working from home. It might be tempting to keep working even after your regular work hours if you’re already at home.
To help with this, make a habit of ending your workday by turning off your computer. Start your evening routine by changing from your work clothes to comfy ones like sweatpants.
Take a break by going for a walk with a family member or your dog, or join a virtual class, like art or cooking.
Try to create new positive habits that help you switch off from work and reward yourself when you complete tasks.
2. Set specific working hours
Having a strict timetable is important for staying productive at home. Stick to your daily schedule.
When we typically commute to the office in the morning and return home in the evening, it’s easier to keep work and personal life separate.
The situation is quite the opposite when you work from home.
To overcome this, start your day just like you would if you were heading to the office, even if you’re working from home.
Start at a specific time and wrap up at a specific time. You can even dress as if you were going to the office, if that helps.
By doing this, you create a clear work routine and reduce the temptation to do household tasks and other things alongside your work.
If you procrastinate for most of the day, tasks can pile up in the evening, and you might find yourself dealing with the latest emails instead of winding down for sleep in the last hours of the day.
3. Maintain your regular routine
If you want to be more productive while working from home, don’t change your regular routine.
From a young age, we’ve learned the importance of having a schedule to maintain healthy daily habits like sleeping, eating, studying, and working.
Small adjustments signal to our brains that we’re starting a new task.
For instance, when children put on their school uniforms, they know it’s time to learn, and the rules at home no longer apply.
The same goes for adults. If you’re used to exercising before going to the office, it’s important to continue this routine even when working from home.
Even though it might be tempting to sleep in until your workday begins and start checking emails in bed, it’s not very helpful.
Instead, stick to your regular routine and dress as you would for a normal workday. This signals to your brain that it’s time to get to work.
At the end of the workday, do the same: change out of your “work clothes” and into comfortable home attire to let your brain know it’s time to relax.
Don’t forget to turn off your computer as well.
4. Take a break
Surprisingly, taking breaks from time to time is a key factor in staying productive at home.
Short breaks actually help boost our productivity, as our eyes, bodies, and minds need a refresh about every 40 minutes.
If you’ve worked for a large company, you may have come across software that prompts you to stand up, move around, or even do a quick stretch for a minute.
Working from home offers the advantage of taking short breaks to stretch, refill your water bottle, or even have a work-related call with a colleague.
It’s a good idea to take these small breaks regularly, stand up, walk around, or go for a slightly longer walk. Who knows? You might get your best ideas while on one of these short walks.
This is actually one of my favorite hacks for remote work. I’m sure that in the office, you sometimes step away from your desk to make some coffee or chat with a coworker.
So do the same in your home office.
Visit the kitchen and prepare a cup of coffee or tea. Step outside for a moment or do at least ten quick exercises. These short breaks are important to keep you active.
5. Keep your work area and personal area separate
Trying to do multiple things at the same time, like watching Netflix while working, can lead to chaos and hurt your productivity.
If you work all day in bed using your computer, it can make it feel like your bedroom is also your office, making it hard to relax. So, what should you do?
Create clear boundaries, either physically or mentally, between your work and personal life.
You can achieve this by having a set work schedule or keeping non-work-related items out of your workspace.
Turn off the TV and avoid activities that don’t relate to your work during the workday.
If possible, use a screen or divider to separate your workspace from the rest of your living room or bedroom.
6. Be positive
At the end of the day, consider what you did and what you learned. If something didn’t go as planned, use it as an opportunity to make a change and try again the next day.
Also, tell your colleagues to share something positive about each day’s activities.
7. Add personality and create a pleasant atmosphere
To create a pleasant mood and boost productivity while working from home, place an object on the home office desk that always puts you in a good mood—be it a family picture, a souvenir from a nice trip, etc.
Music also contributes significantly to creating the atmosphere. Many studies have shown that listening to music boosts productivity and increases levels of positive emotions.
The more music we listen to throughout the day, the better our emotional state. You can listen to your favorite music while working.
8. Put on your clothes
Wearing proper clothes can greatly boost your productivity when working from home.
While it’s tempting to stay in your bathrobe and work behind your computer without getting dressed, it’s not the best approach.
Starting your workday dressed appropriately sets a positive tone and makes it easier to get started.
Think about it: How do you dress when you work at home? What’s your morning routine like now that you don’t have to leave the house for the rest of the day?
Remember to get dressed in the morning before you start working. Wearing sweatpants, stained t-shirts, and messy hair doesn’t signal productivity and energy.
Choose comfortable yet stylish clothing, as if you were expecting a colleague or client to visit at any moment. Your clothing can have a significant impact on how you feel.
The more effort you put into your appearance, the more motivated you’ll be to accomplish your tasks.
9. Consume nutritious foods
It’s important to stick to a meal plan. We all grab a sandwich or whatever we have on hand for lunch.
Also, it’s perfectly fine to take a nap after a meal. Life should be enjoyable, and you have the power to make it that way.
10. Listen to some good music
As I mentioned before, listening to good music contributes to being productive at home. Rhythmic music helps to maintain the tempo and mood. Unless you’re a fan of silence.
It’s important that your entire environment supports you so that you can calmly focus on your work and maintain a positive attitude.
11. Keep your workplace tidy and save time
You might discover that you are the type of person who collects a lot of things and keeps them close to you.
But have you tried to arrange these items in a logical and pleasing manner? It’s one of the best remote work hacks.
Books, pencils, pens, old printed guides, and so on surround you and your main tool, your computer.
But what about items that you never find? How much time do you spend looking for different items?
Put all of your pens, scissors, rulers, sharpeners, staplers, and so on in appropriate containers like this one or drawers.
Once a week, clean your computer’s home screen by deleting any files you no longer need and placing the necessary documents in the appropriate folders.
Installing a compact organizer box under the table is a space-saving solution.
If your floor space is limited and your table is therefore smaller than usual, this organizer box may not fit under the table.
Consider a smaller wall shelf where you can place all of the necessary home office items without taking up any floor space.
12. Prepare meals the night before and prepare a weekly meal plan
Think about the nutritious snacks and meals you would typically have with your colleagues during a regular workday.
By preparing your meals the night before, you can ensure that you won’t forget to take your lunch break and that you’ll have a healthy meal ready, so you won’t be tempted by a candy bowl.
Keep a bowl of healthy snacks on your desk, and have a bottle of water and an apple handy, so you don’t need to step away from your computer frequently.
I’ve come across suggestions where you plan your meals for the whole week, and I believe it’s one of those fantastic strategies for remote work.
Cook a few different dishes in larger quantities and store them in the fridge or freezer. This meal planner is a lifesaver. It has grocery lists in it, so it has saved me tons of time, for sure.
Besides, when working from home, it’s critical to eat a decent (read: healthy) breakfast, and because we frequently tend to skip lunch when we’re busy (which you shouldn’t do, but that happens), keep some fruit or nuts in a visible place.
13. Plan your day or week in advance
Stop and think about what you need to do during the day; it will help you stay productive.
Find a small whiteboard or another visible location where you can write down all of the important activities, calls, etc. that you need to keep in front of your eyes all of the time so that you can stay focused and goal-oriented.
Close all unnecessary windows on your computer, clear all notifications on your phone, and hide your computer’s clock and calendar bar so you won’t get distracted.
Come up with a daily plan. If you have a plan for what needs to be done during the day, you’re much more likely to get everything done.
It’s especially beneficial to create a written schedule for yourself. The trick, of course, is to not put more things on your list than you can handle; otherwise, you will lose motivation.
14. Set up your home office or work area
It’s much easier to focus on work tasks and boost productivity while working from home when the surrounding environment encourages it.
While reading a newspaper at the dinner table is enjoyable, this isn’t the place to do work on a computer that requires precision and dedication.
It’s easier to concentrate when you’re using a computer desk (doesn’t this one look gorgeous?) instead of a dining table.
It’s far more convenient to work behind a piece of furniture designed specifically for working.
It’s understandable that not every computer desk would be suitable for a living room. I’d like the object to blend in with the rest of the decor rather than stand out.
Today’s office furniture comes in a variety of styles and designs, so you should be able to find some that suit your needs. I suggest you visit this Amazon page for that purpose.
The traditional office environment is intended to provide natural light, ergonomic office chairs, air movement, and heating and cooling.
Look around your house for the best natural light, and place your desk there.
Maintain a clean desk and ensure that you have all of the necessary tools. If you work with confidential information, put it in a separate folder, either physically or electronically.
15. Think about air circulation
Even in a small office, there’s typically a ventilation system that maintains fresh air and a comfortable indoor environment.
The significance of air circulation and ventilation in establishing a pleasant workspace is essential.
At home, it can be challenging to maintain clean air because the scents from cooking and other daily activities can spread throughout the living area.
To avoid this “stuffy” feeling behind the computer, use a desk or ceiling fan like this one and open the window occasionally to refresh the air.
16. Discuss the rules and expectations with everyone who is at home
This is a useful tip for remote work. For adults working from home, you may need a quiet room with good Wi-Fi for conference calls.
Using visible cues, like a “I’m working” sign on the door, can help prevent interruptions during important meetings.
If you have friends or acquaintances who call you at any time, think about how your boss would react if you took personal calls at the office.
It’s a good idea to silence your phone and let your loved ones know when you’re available.
In a sense, act as if you’re not at home. Also, consider ignoring the home phone. Lock the door, turn off the doorbell, and put your phone on silent mode.
17. Use technology to connect with colleagues
Zoom is an excellent tool for hosting virtual meetings. It gives you the feeling of being in the office with your colleagues since you can see them on your computer screen.
We can still exchange files, documents, and spreadsheets, and thanks to cloud-based technology, we can also share comments.
However, it’s crucial to set boundaries when working online, which leads us to the next point: daily planning and priorities.
Maintaining a sense of teamwork and strengthening relationships with colleagues is essential when working from home.
If you’re used to daily interaction with others, working from home can be quite isolating.
It’s worth finding ways to connect with people to avoid loneliness and maintain your mood and motivation.
Engaging with others can alleviate feelings of solitude and boost your spirits and motivation.
18. Limit your time spent on social media
Check how much time you’re actually spending on social media by going to your phone’s settings and looking at your screen time.
If you’re worried about missing out (FOMO) and your phone is distracting you, you can set app limits.
Also, there are helpful apps like Circle or Moment that can help you limit your screen time on specific apps. Consider logging out of all your social media and email accounts.
Social media and incoming emails can be quite tempting distractions. The simplest way to boost your productivity while working from home is to just log out.
If you don’t, you might end up breaking your focus by constantly checking and responding to emails or scrolling through social media.
19. If you have the option to take it more freely, do it
After carefully managing your time and finishing your tasks, you might find yourself with some free hours.
In such situations, don’t feel guilty, but make the most of the opportunity to do as you please. Take a walk in the park, engage in your hobby, and interact with others.
Although it’s probably not one of those remote work hacks you expected to see here, you should still try to remember that time is the most valuable commodity in our lives.
20. Don’t forget the ergonomic chair
Any chair, be it a stool without a backrest or a plush armchair, isn’t suitable for prolonged desk work.
Home chairs typically lack proper back support and fail to maintain the correct posture, which results in discomfort.
When used as office chairs, they offer no comfort, causing fatigue in muscles and joints and impacting productivity.
Working on a computer at home is no different from working in a corporate office; your body still needs the same support while sitting.
An ergonomic office chair like this one with headrests and armrests, as well as a backrest that provides full-length spine support, is essential for the home office.
You will find a large selection of office chairs here.
If you work eight hours a day in a home office similar to a regular office, it’s definitely worth investing in a good office chair with all the necessary features, such as armrests, a height-adjustable backrest, a seat mechanism that moves with the body, and so on.
The height-adjustable balance chair is a good alternative to a desk chair because it teaches you how to sit and stand properly. There are lots of color options available.
21. Make sure there is enough light
Lighting is extremely important. Your home office could be located somewhere where you can take advantage of natural light.
When it’s dark, find a good table lamp (this one’s pretty cool and affordable) that provides just the right amount of light for you.
However, your room shouldn’t be too dark, as the contrast between the brightness of the computer screen and the surrounding light strains your eyes.
However, your desk shouldn’t be overexposed either, because too much light is also tiring on the eyes.
It’s also important to ensure that the light from the lamp doesn’t shine directly into your eyes.
The best option is a lamp with an adjustable shade and/or an articulated arm, which allows the light to be adjusted to your needs.
22. Select an appropriate table
Standard-sized desks don’t often provide enough room for your office computer. Thankfully, many furniture companies offer desks with the right height, even in more compact sizes.
However, your desk shouldn’t be too small, like those tiny ones that can barely fit a computer and a table lamp.
A good depth is around 70 cm; with this size, you can comfortably rest your hands while working on a computer and still have space for papers.
But why not work in a home office that allows you to sit and stand?
You can move the workstation up and down, which allows you to work either upright or sitting. This alleviates the health risks associated with the forced position.
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22 remote work hacks that worked for me this year
That’s it for this blog post about productivity hacks for remote workers. Do you know any other hacks I didn’t mention here? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!