One of the biggest challenges for people who are working from home for the first time is staying on task. Your home offers a variety of distractions that can pull you away from your work at any point, affecting your productivity. It is a known fact that your working space plays an essential role in your productivity. Regardless of the location, there will always be points of distractions and setbacks.
Addressing distractions and unproductivity might be more of a trial-and-error thing for you. You can always test and try things as you explore more on your work habits and preference. Nonetheless, it is good to have some guidelines to set for yourself so you can have a headstart in facing these distractions.
Here are some tips to address the lack of productivity in a remote work setup:
Coordinate With Your Family (or Roommates)
When your kids or spouse are at home while you are trying to work you need to get your family on board. Talk with them about giving you the space and time you need to do your work.
Let them know it is important for your career and to keep the bills paid. Remind them that it takes money to take vacations and enjoy all of the fun things they have and do.
Set up a signal system that tells your family when it is ok to interrupt and when it isn’t. Make placards to hang on your closed office door. Green means it’s ok to disturb you, yellow means ask first, and red means not to come in right now.
Stay Away From Your Phone
Mobile phones are extremely distracting while working and even more so when employees are without a supervisor’s watchful eyes. Encourage your employees to put their mobile phones down during work hours and avoid checking on them unless necessary. Without the continuous distractions of mobile phones, employees will be able to concentrate on their tasks better and be more productive and creative.
Due to constant notifications, people frequently tend to pick up their phones to scroll through social media platforms. Doing so can be very addictive and can take away a lot of time. Employees can restrict such habits by keeping their phones silent.
Set Up A Dedicated Workspace
To keep noisy distractions at a minimum, set up a designated workspace. If possible, in a separate room set up as a dedicated office. Having a permanent home for your computer, printer, filing system, and other necessary work supplies away from noise and interruptions will increase your productivity.
If you don’t have a separate room available, establish a space that is devoted only to your work. Or, invest in noise-canceling headphones.
Scheduled breaks can help you to avoid the temptation of walking away from your desk prematurely. The exact timing and frequency are up to you, but make sure to find that balance.
If you have kids who are home, you can schedule those breaks around them and take advantage of your time together. Have them occupied with schoolwork for an hour and a half while you work or are in a meeting, then do something with them for 45 minutes. Find what works for you and your family, and you’ll find yourself as productive as you should be.
Work With A Routine
Since you’re only a few meters away from the other rooms of your house, you’re prone to distractions. If you walk a few steps, you have the opportunity to lie on the couch and turn on your favorite TV show Friends. A few more steps and you can grab some popcorn and diet soda too. Even if you spend the next two hours binge-watching on Netflix, no one would know.
Work locations create social accountability where people on their desks spend most of their time working. Therefore, sticking to the end-of-the-day schedule becomes a straightforward routine. But during a work-from-home situation, the interruptions throughout the day can push your end of the day right before the time you go to bed.
Working from home has offered the comfort of reduced commute time. Several people are quick to mention that they’re more productive at home than at the office. While that statement is true for many, the question you must ask yourself isn’t if you’re more productive at home or office. Rather, in the current circumstances, you must ponder if you’re as productive at home as you could be.