7 Ways to Boost Productivity When Working From Home
One of the many ways in which the most recent coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives is where we work. For those among us fortunate enough to work a non-essential job, the digital era has allowed us to almost entirely move our work online. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that working from home is always better than working alongside your colleagues in a physical office – but it does mean that working from home is an entirely realistic alternative that won’t eat away at productivity and more.
Perhaps you’re in a management role and are looking for ways to drive success through these difficult times while also affording your employees the chance to work safely from home, or maybe you’re an employee who is looking to prove to your management that working from home doesn’t have to be unproductive. Whatever your reasons, here are some essential tools that you need in order to work effectively and efficiently at home until the crisis at hand passes.
1.A conducive, private work environment
Part of working from home effectively is resisting the temptation to slouch on your sofa or bed as you work. Part of the reason you (probably) don’t work on a sofa at work (other than the space and cost) is because it blurs the line between work and leisure. Quality work at home starts with finding or creating a conducive work environment inside your home. This can be achieved through a few simple steps, whether that means moving your gaming console out of sight, using a chair that lets you sit upright or just a private space where nobody will disturb you.
The ultimate goal is to craft a space for yourself that replicates the productive atmosphere in your office – this can even extend to dressing up as you normally would to get yourself in the right frame of mind.
2.A good internet connection
Once you’ve got a solid workspace sorted out, one of the most important things when it comes to working from home is a speedy and stable internet connection. From video conference calls to uploading files to share, a slow internet connection can really hamper your effectiveness. We’ve all experienced websites that won’t load, videos that won’t buffer and messages that go undelivered. Not only is it frustrating, but it can seriously disrupt your workflow and put a dampener on productivity.
If you struggle with thick walls that block your internet coverage, try moving your router closer to your computer, or even upgrade your plan so you have all your bases covered.
3. Effective communication software
One thing that many managers have concerns over is communication. Luckily, with all the software available to us nowadays communicating virtually can be practically the same as it would be in the office. Signing up for programmes that enable you to both communicate through messages and calls allows you and your colleagues to continue almost as normal from the comfort of your own homes. Here are some notable mentions that we love to use:
- Zoom is a video and conference call software that has snowballed in popularity during the present pandemic. It allows you to communicate by voice without lag and connectivity issues. Organise meetings, conferences and even move your events online with their webinar support for up to 10,000 attendees.
- Slack is a popular workplace communication tool that brings everyone together, no matter where they are. Why is it better than Skype or WhatsApp? Giving you the opportunity to separate work and leisure is one aspect, but slack is specifically designed for work. Loop in your colleagues and forget about having to manually add people to your contacts.
Staying organised when working at home is harder for many of us than at the office. While getting used to your new routine, try to incorporate some new organisation tools into your workflow that allow you to stay on track. Whether that be setting up an organised calendar for your work or using a project management tool like Airtable, there’s plenty of new software out there that is designed to help you stay on top of your work.
Time management apps are another way to do this: setting aside certain amounts of time for specific tasks and a break allows you to plan out your day ahead of time. Consider using software like Toggl to set goals and track your progress. This also helps you in separating your work life from leisure time, as you’ll know exactly when you’ve done what you need to do.
5.Remote desktop software
One of the complications from working from home is getting access to software or desktop restricted files. If you need to access something that can only be done on the computer in your office, setting up remote desktop software is a workaround. By doing this, you can access anything you need remotely with little to no effort. Teamviewer is a popular choice. Both effective and easy to set up, it does not require port-forwarding or any complicated technical processes to use.
Keeping track of and sharing the endless files that we deal with nowadays can definitely get confusing, especially if you are changing computers to work at home. Instead of using a USB or hard drive to move your files, rent some cloud-based storage like Google Drive to store all your files. The benefit of this is that you can easily share between colleagues without having to constantly send them updated versions over email, for example.
7.Hardware is just as important as software
Lastly, remember that having the necessary hardware can make the world of a difference. If your workplace is planning to transition to a work from home environment and will replace meetings with conference calls, you’ll need a proper microphone, headset, and more to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible. If you don’t have these at home already, consider arranging with your company for the transportation of all the necessary equipment you need to maximise your productivity. Monitors, mechanical keyboards and mice can all be seen as luxuries, but can really make a difference in terms of your comfort when working at home.
As a digital marketing agency, we at First Page are lucky enough to have all our work based online. Transitioning to a work from home arrangement doesn’t have to be a troublesome process, and can certainly be beneficial for social distancing and everyone’s health while the coronavirus is around. Other than working at home, there are plenty of ways that companies around the world can combat COVID-19 without losing out on business. Whether it be turning towards support marketing or anything else, learn more about how we are coping with the pandemic and drop us a line today.