If you’re working from home, you may be tempted to believe that your productivity is entirely up to you. But that’s not the case: how productive you are can depend on many factors beyond your control, including the demands placed on you by others.
So it helps if employers have tools and strategies to help them stay productive in the remote work era. Here are 7 tips for WFH employees who want to be productive (and happy):
1. Create a routine, but don’t be too hard on yourself
It’s important to have a routine, but don’t feel like you have to be the most productive person on earth. Remember: your time off work is time away from work. If you’re feeling tired or stressed out, it’s okay not to get much done.
You can always make up for lost time later in the day or week by getting on track with your tasks and projects.
It’s also important not to overwork yourself—if there are too many things that need doing (or even if there aren’t), resist the urge to do them all at once!
Instead of working nonstop until everything is finished, plan out how long each task will take so that you can finish at a reasonable hour without having burned yourself out completely.
2. Stay connected — and not just to work
Stay connected to your friends and family. When you’re working from home, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. Your coworkers are no longer nearby, and you may not have other people around with whom you can socialize.
Think about how much happier (and more productive) you would be if you had a friend or family member come over every day for coffee or lunch!
Connect with people who have similar interests as you do. If there aren’t any local meet-up groups that interest you in your area, there are plenty of online groups where you can connect with others who share the same hobbies or interests as yours.
Do some research on Google (or other search engines) and see if there is anything that appeals to what interests or passions of yours—and then go out there!
Connect with people who work in similar industries. This way you can get inspired by each other when talking about your projects so you don’t feel like you’re doing everything alone, which can sometimes happen when working at home all day long without anyone else around besides yourself!
3. Make your workspace work for you
Make your workspace work for you. The first thing to do is to make sure that when you sit down at your desk, the environment is conducive to productivity. If it feels like a place where you can get things done, then it will be much easier for you to focus and get things done.
Consider getting a standing desk. This sounds like an out-of-the-box idea, but many people have found that working on their feet has helped them become more productive by improving circulation and allowing them to move around more freely throughout the day instead of feeling stuck in one spot all day long.
4. Keep tabs on your workload
Keeping tabs on your workload is a big part of staying productive, and there are lots of tools that can help you do it. For example, if you’re using a to-do list, adding deadlines and due dates will keep you from forgetting an important item at the end of the day.
You might want to consider a time tracking app such as Traqq so that you can see how your time is being spent while working. And if you’re working remotely with colleagues who are in other offices or countries, take advantage of tools like Slack and Zoom for communication!
5. Acknowledge and act on burnout when it happens
If you’re experiencing burnout, chances are good that it’s because of a combination of factors. But no matter what your situation is, there are steps you can take to manage and prevent feeling burned out.
The first step is acknowledging that burnout exists and taking action to combat it before things get worse.
Burnout is often characterized by feelings of frustration, exhaustion or boredom—but the signs go beyond just feeling like everything sucks.
If your job feels overwhelming at times and causes stress in other areas of your life, consider whether work-related issues might be contributing to these feelings; if so, then addressing them may help reduce overall stress levels as well as prevent burnout in the future.
6. Take breaks!
How do you know when to take a break?
If you feel like your brain has reached its limit, then it may be time for a break. Ideally, taking breaks throughout the day will help keep your mind fresh and ready for any task.
Taking breaks helps you stay focused and motivated. When you’re feeling mentally exhausted, it’s easy to lose focus on the task at hand. By taking a short break, you’ll be able to recharge your batteries so that everything else seems less daunting.
7. Establish and maintain healthy boundaries with your manager
Your manager is not your friend and should never be treated as such. They are, however, a person who is in a position to help you grow professionally and advance within the company. As such, it’s important to keep them in the loop on what you’re doing.
Your manager, your colleagues overall are also valuable sources for obtaining feedback on your work.
Do this by asking questions about what you do well and what needs improvement from time to time (not every week).
This will help them know where to focus their efforts when it comes time for performance reviews or promotions/demotions/raises/etc., which will show that you value their input enough to ask for it AND that you’re committed enough to put effort into improving yourself professionally so that your career can advance accordingly.
Also make sure that after work hours are over you are not expected to be online! Keep your life separate from your job so you can get meaningful enjoyment out of both without feeling drained all the time—and thus less productive overall.
If you’re interested in working from home, the key is to find a balance that works for you. You might not always be productive at all times, but there are plenty of tips out there for WFH employees who want to be productive and feel more comfortable with their work routine.