With 12.7% of full-time employees now working remotely and an additional 28.2% adopting a hybrid work model, the future of work is changing rapidly. As we look ahead to 2025, where an estimated 32.6 million Americans will work remotely, it’s essential to explore effective strategies for maximizing productivity in this evolving work landscape. The tips for working from home shared in this article can set you on the right path.
20 Work-from-Home Tips to Stay Productive
Ready to get the most out of your work-from-home experience and join the growing remote workforce?
Let’s dive right into the top 20 work-from-home tips!
1. Set a Routine
Anyone who knows how to be productive at home will tell you that establishing a daily routine is the cornerstone of productivity when working from home. Start your day at a consistent time, just as you would if you were commuting to the office. Allocate dedicated blocks of time for focused work, breaks, and exercise. Research shows that having regular work processes allows workers to spend less cognitive energy on recurring tasks, which can help their focus and creativity for more complex tasks. Thus, by creating a structured schedule, you’ll not only enhance your productivity but also maintain a healthy work-life balance, ensuring that you make the most of your remote work experience.
2. Designate a Workspace
One key to success when working from home is to designate a specific workspace within your home. When working from home, the lines between work and home become even more blurred. This dedicated area helps you mentally separate work from leisure, allowing you to maintain focus and productivity. Ensure your workspace is comfortable, well-organized, and free from distractions. By doing so, you’ll create an environment that encourages efficient work and helps you switch into “work mode” when you enter that space and “home mode” when you leave it.
3. Dress for Success
While the allure of working in pajamas is undeniable, dressing for success can have a profound impact on your productivity. The act of getting dressed as if you were going to the office can help you shift your mindset and increase your motivation. You don’t need a suit and tie, but choosing comfortable yet professional attire can put you in the right frame of mind for a productive workday, even when your office is just a few steps away from your bedroom.
4. Time Blocking
Time blocking is a powerful strategy for boosting productivity when working from home. Schedule your day into distinct blocks of time, each dedicated to a specific task or type of work. Whether it’s project work, meetings, administrative tasks, or personal time, allocating specific time slots helps you stay organized and on track.
Time blocking is a more proactive approach to time scheduling. Instead of going through tasks randomly as they come, you get to decide what you do and when. This puts you in more control. Time blocking can take several forms, ranging from the traditional style to time theming.
5. Prioritize Tasks
To enhance the effectiveness of your time-blocking strategy, it’s crucial to prioritize tasks within each time block. Identify your most important and time-sensitive tasks and tackle them first during each dedicated period. By aligning your priorities with your time blocks, you ensure that you address critical responsibilities efficiently and avoid getting sidetracked by less important activities. This combination of prioritization and time blocking is a recipe for a highly productive workday when working from home.
6. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Incorporating the Pomodoro technique into your time blocking can improve productivity. Break your work into focused intervals, typically 25 minutes, followed by a short 5-minute break. During these focused periods, give your full attention to the task at hand and then reward yourself with a brief break. This approach not only prevents burnout but also optimizes your concentration, helping you accomplish more in less time. By combining the Pomodoro Technique with your time-blocking strategy, you’ll find your work-from-home days to be more efficient and manageable.
7. Limit Distractions
Limiting distractions is a fundamental aspect of staying productive when working from home. Find a quiet, dedicated workspace where you can minimize interruptions. Turn off non-essential notifications on your devices, and let your family or housemates know when you need focused work time. Additionally, consider using website blockers or apps that help you stay on track and reduce the temptation to check social media or browse the web.
8. Effective To-Do Lists
An effective to-do list could be a game-changer for your WFH experience. It’s not simply a matter of writing down what needs to be done. A well-structured to-do list acts as a roadmap, helping you navigate through your workday with purpose and clarity. Prioritizing tasks, breaking them into manageable steps, and regularly updating your list ensures that you maintain focus, stay organized, and make significant strides in your productivity, even in the comfort of your home office.
9. Regular Breaks
If you don’t take regular breaks, you still don’t know how to be productive at home. Regular breaks offer a refreshing departure from the prevailing wisdom that advocates doing your best when working from home. Contrary to the notion of non-stop productivity, taking periodic breaks is a crucial component of a successful remote work routine. These intermissions allow you to recharge, refocus, and maintain a work-life balance, ultimately contributing to sustained productivity and your overall well-being in a home office environment. Embracing the importance of breaks doesn’t mean working less; it means working smarter by recognizing the value of rest in achieving your work goals.
10. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is an often overlooked but vital element of maintaining productivity while working from home. Dehydration can lead to a host of issues, including decreased cognitive function, reduced concentration, and increased fatigue. A study found that women who had a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise exhibited an increase in the frequency of headaches, altered moods, and impaired concentration.
Therefore, make it a point to have a glass of water nearby and schedule regular hydration breaks during your workday. By keeping yourself well-hydrated, you can ensure that your mind stays sharp and your energy levels remain high, contributing to a more productive and comfortable remote work experience.
11. Healthy Snacking
One of the best things about working from home is the convenience of being able to snack whenever you want. However, it’s important to be mindful of the types of snacks you’re eating, as unhealthy snacks can lead to energy crashes and difficulty concentrating. Incorporating healthy snacking habits into your WFH routine can significantly impact your productivity. Rather than indulging in mindless munching on junk food, choose nutritious options like fruits, vegetables, or nuts. Healthy snacks provide a sustained energy boost, helping you stay alert and focused throughout the day.
12. Proper Ergonomics
Ensuring proper ergonomics in your home office setup is an indispensable factor for maintaining productivity and your overall well-being. Investing in an ergonomic chair and an adjustable desk, and positioning your computer monitor at eye level can prevent discomfort and long-term health issues. A comfortable workspace promotes better posture, reduces the risk of musculoskeletal problems, and enables you to work more efficiently. Prioritizing ergonomics in your remote work environment can have a lasting positive impact on your productivity and overall job satisfaction.
13. Regular Exercise
One of the WFH tips that often gets overlooked is the need to exercise regularly. Incorporating regular exercise into your work-from-home routine is more than just a health-conscious choice; it’s a powerful catalyst for productivity. Physical activity has been shown to boost mood, reduce stress, and enhance cognitive function. Scheduling regular exercise breaks, whether it’s a brisk walk, a quick yoga session, or a home workout, can reinvigorate your mind and body, helping you stay energized and focused throughout the day.
Research has shown that engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity is particularly effective in enhancing physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. This, in turn, leads to improved task performance, creativity, and overall health. Even short, 20-minute sessions of daily physical activity can provide significant benefits for remote workers, making regular exercise a feasible and highly impactful tip for enhancing productivity and well-being when working from home.
14. Use Productivity Tools
Leveraging productivity tools is a must for anyone working from home. From project management software to time-tracking apps and virtual collaboration platforms, these tools can streamline tasks, enhance communication, and keep you organized. Choose the right tools for your specific needs to optimize your remote work environment, allowing you to stay productive, meet deadlines, and collaborate effectively with your team, regardless of your physical location.
15. Use Communication Tools to Stay Connected with Colleagues
Staying connected with colleagues is essential for a successful remote work experience. Utilizing communication tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and collaboration platforms keeps you in the loop, fosters teamwork, and maintains a sense of camaraderie, even when you’re not in the same physical office. Regular check-ins, virtual meetings, and open channels of communication enable you to stay productive and engaged, ensuring that working from home doesn’t mean working in isolation.
16. Set Boundaries with Friends and Family
Setting boundaries with friends and family when working from home can be challenging, but it’s important to do so in order to maintain your productivity and well-being. Make it known that your work hours are dedicated to your job, and interruptions should be minimized during this time. Communicate your schedule and availability, and ask for their understanding and cooperation.
Working all by yourself at home can be a test of self-motivation. Without the structure of a traditional office environment, it’s easy to become distracted or lose motivation. Incorporate motivation strategies into your daily routine, such as creating a visually appealing workspace that inspires you, setting incremental milestones to track your progress, and engaging in regular self-reflection to remind yourself of your long-term goals.
The temptation to abandon work and crash into the waiting arms of your sofa or bed is always there. But you should remember that your self-discipline and drive are your most valuable assets when working from home, and by nurturing your self-motivation, you can not only meet your work objectives but also find personal fulfillment in the flexibility of remote work.
18. Avoid Multitasking
Our tips for working from home won’t be complete without reminding you to avoid multitasking. Yes, multitasking may seem like a good way to get more done, but it actually can lead to decreased productivity and increased errors.
When you multitask, you’re making your brain switch between multiple tasks at intervals, whether those intervals are regular or irregular. As a result, you’re not able to focus fully on any one task, which can compromise the quality of your work. This divided attention can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, and increased stress levels, making it a counterproductive approach to work. To boost productivity and efficiency, it’s often wiser to focus on one task at a time, giving it your undivided attention and ensuring a higher level of success and well-being in your work-from-home environment.
19. Set a Clear End Time for the Workday
Setting a clear end time for your workday is one of the most important WFH tips. It helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance. When working from home, it’s easy for work hours to extend well beyond the typical office hours, blurring the line between professional and personal life. By defining a specific end time, you establish boundaries that prevent overwork and allow you to recharge, spend time with family, and engage in personal activities. This practice not only fosters well-being but also helps you return to work the next day refreshed and ready to be productive once more.
20. Delegate When Needed
It may seem like you just don’t know how to be productive at home. However, the real problem might be that you’re trying to do everything yourself. Don’t hesitate to share tasks with others, whether it’s work-related responsibilities or household chores. Delegating can free up your time and energy, allowing you to focus on what truly matters and increasing your overall productivity while working from home.
Overall, working from home can be a rewarding experience, but it comes with its unique challenges. It’s a journey you’re fully equipped to navigate with the WFH tips above. So, remember, your success in this setting is within reach, and as you move forward, stay encouraged, stay adaptable, and keep refining your approach. You’ve got this, and with the right strategies, you can find the perfect balance between productivity and a fulfilling work-life at home.