16 tips to improve your work from home productivity

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many people now work remotely, either dividing their time between home and the office or permanently working from home. When you're outside of a typical working environment, maintaining good levels of productivity can be more of a challenge. Knowing some tips and strategies to help you work from home effectively can help you maintain strong performance in your job. In this article, we provide 16 tips to improve your work from home productivity.

What can you do to boost your work from home productivity?

Trying some tips for better work from home productivity can help you work more effectively. If you're aiming to be more productive when you work remotely, you can try these ideas to help things improve. Different strategies are helpful for different people, so it might be worthwhile to try a few strategies to help you reach the right levels of productivity. Try these suggestions to improve productivity when you work remotely.

1. Maintain regular hours

Many remote working jobs give you the flexibility to choose your own hours. Whilst this can have benefits, it can also impact productivity. If you're finding it difficult to be productive, it's advisable to set yourself a fixed schedule. Maintaining regular working hours helps to build a routine and more easily create a healthy work-life balance. Having fixed hours when you know you're working can make it easier to get into the right mindset and work productively.

Related: Genuine work-from-home jobs: salaries and responsibilities

2. Communicate expectations

If there are other people in the house with you, it might be necessary to communicate your expectations. This might mean clarifying what your working hours are and asking that no one disturbs you during this time. It's important to clarify your expectations with both children and adults in your home. If your family or roommates respect your working hours, it can make it easier to work productively without distractions.

3. Limit distractions

It's important to limit distractions when you're working from home because this can have a significant impact on your productivity. This might mean ensuring that others in the house only disturb you if it's really necessary and also removing other distractions like the television or radio. You might find it helpful to set up your workspace away from devices like your television to reduce the risk of you getting distracted.

4. Create a routine

Creating a daily routine for starting work can help you get the right mindset and focus more easily. Doing this can help you prepare for doing your job. You can build your routine around one habit you already have before starting work, for example, brushing your teeth or getting dressed. This routine can signify that it's time to start work and help to prepare you. It can also increase your motivation.

5. Plan your schedule to boost productivity

Remote jobs often give you more flexibility with your working hours and this means you can plan your schedule to boost your productivity. You can organise your working pattern to take advantage of the times that you're most productive and ensure you take breaks or stop working when you're naturally less productive. If you want to change your working hours significantly, it's worthwhile to confirm with your employer that this is acceptable.

6. Set up a dedicated office space

If possible, it's useful to set up a designated office space at home. This might be in a home office or spare room or at a desk or table. An appropriate workspace can support your productivity and help you distinguish between working time and your personal time. A separate space can help you adopt the right mindset when it's time to start work. It also ensures you have everything you require to work.

7. Organise your work space

Organising your workspace is important because clutter can make it more difficult to be productive. When your workspace has clutter, you're likely to spend more time looking for essential equipment or information and this can impact your productivity. It's also helpful to keep your computer desktop and files well-organised so you can quickly access the information you need for work.

Related: How to organise your desk in 15 steps and improve efficiency

8. Prioritise your workload

Prioritising your workload and identifying your most important tasks can make it much easier to be productive. You might find it helpful to write a to-do list at the start of each day or at the end of each day to prepare you for the next. Having a clear understanding of what tasks you have and which ones are the most urgent can help you focus and work more productively.

9. Set goals

You're likely to have assigned goals or targets in your job, but setting yourself smaller targets for each day or week can increase productivity. Meeting one target can make you feel motivated to continue being productive and achieve more of your goals. Breaking your work down into smaller tasks can also help some activities to feel more manageable and make it easier to complete the work.

10. Take breaks

Taking breaks is essential for both productivity and your personal well-being. Taking a brief break away from your work can help to refresh you and increase productivity when you resume working. If you can feel that you're less productive than usual, you can use this as an opportunity to take a break. When you take a break, including lunch breaks, it's important to take the full allotted time you're entitled to.

11. Have a fixed lunch break

Taking your lunch break at a fixed time every day can also help you work productively. Having a fixed time means you're less likely to have distractions, such as thinking about when to take your break. Your body also becomes used to the routine. A fixed lunch break can also help you plan your day to maximise your productivity. If you know you're more productive at a certain time, for example, before or after lunch, you can organise your tasks to work on the most challenging projects when you're at your most productive.

12. Communicate with your employer

If you're struggling to be productive because you need certain equipment, it's important to communicate this to your employer. Telling your employer that a lack of equipment is affecting your productivity is likely to motivate them to support you. You can then get the equipment you require to work successfully. If you're struggling with productivity for any other reason, it's also worthwhile to discuss this with your employer. They might suggest strategies to help you or put other measures in place to support you as you work productively.

13. Over-communicate with colleagues

Communication can be challenging when you and your colleagues are working from separate locations, but over-communicating can help everyone work productively. Sharing information regularly and repeating important updates helps everyone to understand expectations, deadlines and priorities. When everyone has a clear and shared understanding, it can help clarify responsibilities and help everyone work more productively.

14. Participate in virtual meetings

Virtual meetings are a useful communication tool for remote workers and can help you be more productive. A meeting with your team helps team members to collaborate, ask questions and share ideas. Better communication helps the team to plan ahead and organise work. This clarity can make it easier for everyone in the team to work more productively, even when you're working from separate locations.

15. Have a routine for finishing work

A routine to start your working day can boost productivity and so can having a routine to end the day. Being able to stop thinking about work and relax gives you a chance to rest properly. This can make you more productive when you resume working. An 'end of day' routine may help you transition out of a working mindset. This could involve going for a short walk when you stop working or putting your work equipment away.

16. Use your paid time off

Even when you're working from home, it's important to take the paid time off you're entitled to. Having days off can help you relax and distance yourself from work, which can be more of a challenge when you work from home. Taking time off helps to refresh you so that you can be more productive when you go back to work. When you take time off work, it's important that you put work aside for this time rather than continuing to check or respond to emails or complete small tasks.

Related: What is PTO and what are the different types?

Maintaining productivity when working from home

There are various reasons it's challenging to remain productive when you work from home. Work with your employer to ensure you have the resources and equipment you have access to in the office. If you have distractions at home, for example, children or pets, consider working at home only part-time and continuing to go into the office to be consistently productive.

For some people, working from home can make it more challenging to separate their work and personal lives. If you're unable to maintain your productivity and work-life balance, talk to your employer about how to negotiate the best working environment for you.


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