If Covid-19 has shown us anything positive (bear with us here!), it is that many businesses are capable of running smoothly with a remote workforce. It has also proven that you do not necessarily need to be physically located in the same zip code, state, or even country as your place of business as long as you have a reliable internet connection and working cell phone that enables you to stay connected.
While many people have been working at home for some time now (nearly two years, to be exact), it can still be a struggle to find your stride and get all of your projects and tasks completed. Are you going through work-from-home burnout and finding that you are having a hard time focusing on your job? Are you starting to feel lonely? Are you having a hard time staying in the loop with what is happening at your company? Even a hybrid schedule of office/remote days has its own unique challenges.
Whether you are struggling to stay productive while working remotely or are just looking for some new ideas to help you accomplish your goals and communicate more effectively, we have put together some tips to help you be more productive while working at home.
1. Set Personal Expectations
Working at home means being your own boss…kind of. You may occasionally interact with your supervisor via telephone calls, in-person meetings, or through Zoom chats, but the regular interaction and pop-ins you were used to having with your boss while working in the office are absent when you work from home. With this in mind, you should set personal expectations for yourself each day, so you stay productive as if your boss were working in the same building as you.
Take personal responsibility for your assignments and examine your workload to determine what tasks need to be completed first and what objectives you need to achieve. If you are the boss, you should set reasonable expectations for your work-at-home employees, so they have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and when the deadlines are.
2. Maintain a Separation of Work and Home
Achieving a work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning when your home is your workplace, and your workplace is your home. Create a set work schedule for yourself so that you are not spending your personal time working on projects and assignments. If your employer allows, try to schedule your working hours during the time of day you have the most mental focus. Some people are night owls, and some are early birds; use your inner clock to your advantage.
Consider creating a dedicated workspace within your home to improve your productivity. This space should be separate from your general living quarters, so you don’t get distracted by household tasks like laundry that needs to be folded or dishes in the sink that need to be washed. Likewise, when you don’t want an unfinished project to stress you out when you are supposed to be enjoying family time.
3. Use Task Management Tools
Task management tools are essential for staying on top of business communications, maintaining your address book, and sticking with the timeline of a project’s completion. A task management program can track the progress of a project from start to finish, so everyone on your work team is in the loop.
Task management tools, like BenchmarkONE’s all-in-one CRM software, allow you to stay up to speed and in communication with team members and supervisors even when everyone is not physically working together in the same building. Our contact management app, Contacts +, is another essential tool to consider integrating into your business. It is a contacts management program that integrates with your existing CRM system to ensure the company contact list is automatically updated with the most current contact information for clients, customers, and vendors, so you don’t miss a beat when you need to reach out to someone.
4. Dress Yourself and Your Desk Up For Success!
While working in your sweatpants has become a time-honored tradition during the Covid-19 pandemic, most people do their best work when they look and feel their best. Ditch the loungewear and put on some nice clothes, so you feel more focused during the workday and will always be ready for an impromptu Zoom chat.
Maintaining a clean desk space is also key to having a productive day at your home office. Valuable time is wasted when you have to sift through piles of paper and files to find the information you need when you need it. Dress your desk up for success by ensuring you have all the supplies you need and a neat and orderly way to organize your files and paperwork.
Use these tips to increase your productivity as you navigate the “new normal” of working from home. At Contacts+, our goal is to help professionals and businesses of all sizes put their best foot forward, and our tool empowers people to stay connected and up-to-speed with their goals, objectives, and contacts. If you have any questions or would like to get started using our app, sign up today.