How to work from home effectively and increase productivity in 2021

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Since the pandemic started a year ago, many things have changed in everyone’s lives. From working and studying entirely online to changing our daily habits, people found themselves needing to adapt to a new way of living. This situation has put many things into perspective, such as finding time to spend with your loved ones or taking care of your mental health.

The work environment has changed drastically, especially for employees that weren’t used to working remotely until now. This challenge can affect your motivation and the overall productivity of the business, regardless if you are used to working from home or not. So, if you find yourself struggling to adapt to such a change, don’t worry. There are things you can do to increase your productivity and take part in creating seamless business operations.

Distraction-free environment

Given that you are working from home, it is crucial to have a well-organized working space, free from any distractions. Whether you live alone, sharing a house with other professionals or are a parent, you need to create a designated workspace area where you can remain focused. Depending on your living situation, this can either be a desk in your room or a chosen place in the living room if it’s quiet, where you can have the privacy you need to get work done. 

Besides the surrounding environment, it is vital you keep your workspace tidy and not let your home life interfere with your work. For example, if you need to do some house chores during your lunch break, you should avoid leaving any distractions around. This could interrupt your work more often, which could make it challenging to keep your focus. 

Effective communication

When it comes to fulfilling work tasks, doing them from home can be pretty challenging. Sharing documents or reports with your team while only communicating virtually can create technical issues. However, once you get used to doing things entirely online, it becomes easier. For a smooth running of the business, it is essential to communicate well using digital tools such as Skype or Zoom. No matter how slightly unnatural it seems compared to social interaction, it is important to use such tools to their fullest potential. Whether it is a video call or a short message, make use of them, rather than creating any misunderstandings due to lack of communication. 

Tools to support productivity

Besides communication tools, other digital ones can help you and your co-workers maintain a productive work environment. In any business, it will most definitely be needed to share important documents between your team members or send them to your manager. There are file-sharing tools like Google Drive that you can use. 

Apart from sharing, this digital tool allows you to upload and edit all types of formats, such as Word documents or PowerPoint presentations. This way, everyone can make any required changes, if necessary. PDFs are a preferred format most of the times, as it has universal compatibility, so there will be no issues opening such a file, no matter what device you are using. In case you need to edit a PDF file, you can use an online converter service such as PDFChef by Movavi, which allows you to edit, merge or rearrange pages. 

With these digital tools mentioned above, you will be able to work effectively with your colleagues and keep being productive even if you are working from home.

Take breaks with your co-workers

Usually, at work, you have many opportunities to discuss things outside of the job itself with your co-workers. You could use your lunch break to interact with them and disconnect for a while before you are ready to go back to work. It is vital to have this in the work environment as it isn’t good for your mental health to work without having any breaks. Plus, it is essential to maintain your work relationships as it is highly likely you are all going through similar problems due to the current situation.

So, even though you are working remotely, it doesn’t mean you cannot allocate time during the day to chat with your colleagues. You could plan to have a virtual gathering at least once during the day or after you finish. This replaces your after-work drinks, and it will benefit you a great deal. Your social life is equally important, as it can give you an energy boost and improve your state of mind. This way, you will be able to perform well at work and be productive.

Create a routine

To be able to separate work from home life, you must create a routine that works for you and stick to it. For instance, you could use the time you would typically spend travelling to have a consistent breakfast or use it for a snack break sometime during the day. 

Divide your day depending on the kind of tasks you have – complete the more complicated ones in the first part of the day when you feel more productive. A well-balanced schedule will keep you focused to work to your deadlines, and you will avoid getting overwhelmed. While it is important to separate your work time from your home life, you shouldn’t force too many limits on yourself. If something arises and you have to take care of it, don’t feel too guilty for taking an extra short break. 

A consistent routine will help you follow a schedule every day, so you don’t feel like your life doesn’t have a structure anymore, but it is essential to give yourself time to adapt to remote working. 

Ask for feedback

To make sure that you are performing well from the comfort of your home, don’t shy away from asking for feedback just because the way to communicate has changed. In the situation of remote working, feedback might be more necessary than ever.   

Only by celebrating achievements or highlighting areas for improvement can a business work successfully. So, if you get feedback on your performance and are aware of what you need to improve, you will be able to work from home more effectively. 

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