15 Productivity Tips You Need While Working from Home

Looking for some productivity tips while you work from home? We’ve got you covered.

It sounds like a dream come true working from home! Slippers to the office every day! No commute! The freedom to work from a coffee shop or park!

However, working from home can lose its luster. With no one looking over your shoulder, it becomes easy to postpone important tasks to later.

Working from home productively is an art and a skill that takes motivation and practice. So if you’ve been moved to working remotely or are finally starting your own company, then this post is for you.

Side note: If you need help setting up your company, GovDocFiling.com has one simple form to help you start your business.

Now, back to improving productivity while working from home. These actionable productivity tips will help you get more work done.

15 Productivity Tips for People Who Work From Home

Here are tips to help you achieve just as much or even more productivity from home as you would in an office.

1. Establish a Morning Routine

No one rolls out of bed ready to work. That alarm clock you hated, the commute you despised-they actually served a purpose, getting you up and getting you ready.

A morning routine is like warming up for a race. Having one helps you feel more in control of your day and enhances your productivity. For this productivity tip to work, you’ll need to be intentional about your routine.

Your morning routine could include the following activities:

Keep Your Bedtime and Wake-Up Time Consistent

For this tip, you could start by setting up a fixed bedtime and wake-up schedule and keeping it consistent. This way, you set yourself up for a good day and get quality sleep.

Make it a habit not to hit snooze on your alarm clock. Tempting as it is, hitting snooze to go back to sleep does not give you rest. Rather, it makes it much harder to wake up.

Upon waking up, getting out of bed immediately should be your first activity. Resist the temptation to scroll through your phone first, so you will have more time in the morning to create a more productive schedule.

Give Yourself Some Time Before Starting Work

This tip is especially convenient if you don’t consider yourself a morning person. You can set aside some time for an activity you enjoy.

For instance, you can have a self-care routine within this time. This will help you look forward to getting up if this is a struggle for you.

      • Here are some tips that may work for you.
      • Taking a shower or bath to jumpstart your morning
      • Having a skincare routine
      • Short meditation routine
      • Scanning the news or doing some light reading
      • Listening to your favorite show or podcast.

Such routines, before work, will reduce your risk of getting burned out and that’s why this tip is useful.

Prepare a Healthy Breakfast

Boost your inspiration and get your day off to a good start by preparing a healthy breakfast that you love—it’s easily one of the best tips for work from home. You can start by making a cup of coffee or tea. Sometimes just the aroma makes it all enjoyable.

Preparing a healthy breakfast, however, does not need to take up so much of your morning time. You can prepare a quick smoothie or bowl of oatmeal and that would be healthy enough.

Fit in a Quick Workout Routine

Working out makes you more active and relaxed and gets you in a better mood, among other benefits. These are all recipes for improved productivity.

What’s more, you won’t need to go to the gym for this tip to work. You can squeeze in a 15-30 minute daily workout routine from home.

These tips can get you started.

      • Go for a short jog or walk around your neighborhood
      • Yoga can help you strengthen your core and reduce tension
      • Short cardio routine
      • Doing a few stretches to warm you up for the day

This may seem like one of those cliche productivity tips, but most people don’t practice it, despite its advantages.

Get Dressed!

You don’t have to wear business casual around the house, but too many days in your pajamas and you start to feel like a slob.

Don’t let grooming and hygiene go by the wayside just because no one will see you work. Especially if you have a spouse, do it for their sake! Take a shower, freshen yourself up, and dress for success. It’s an unsaid tip that’s extremely important.

Maybe dress as you would at a garden party. Now you’re ready for a remote workday.

2. Designate Office Space—And Defend It!

Working from home means freedom, but that freedom can betray you. If you plop down with your laptop on the sofa where you regularly watch TV, that remote control may be too tempting to resist.

Not to mention every other form of distraction you may encounter, from family members chatting you up to spotting something that needs cleaning. You’ll need a dedicated space to improve productivity.

Here are some tips to help you create a conducive work-from-home office space that will inspire your creativity.

Create a Boundary

Designate part of your home as your “office.” This is your “workspace,” and when you sit down at your desk, you are in “work mode.” Preferably it has a door you can close so your family can respect the boundaries of your work.

Even if it’s just a desk in the corner of the living room or garage, try to face it away from distractions and set a boundary—when you’re here, you’re working! This is a handy tip to boost your productivity.

Set Up a Pinup Area

This could be a focus board you use to show off what inspires you. As opposed to having a to-do list in a private notebook, a pinup area is more visual, easily available, and dedicated to work-related items.

You can fill this section up with developing ideas and use it as visual thinking board. You could make it colorful or set it up in a way that makes you comfortable.

A pin-up area is one of the tips you can use to inspire motivation as you work from home.

Get an Ergonomic Chair

The quality of the chair you sit in makes a difference in your productivity, and that’s why this is a handy productivity tip.

You will be in that chair for hours, so invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair as office managers do. Your body will thank you in form of reduced back pain and better blood flow.

Besides comfort, you’ll also want to get a chair that’s aesthetically pleasing, so you’ll enjoy having it in your home.

Find the Right Lighting

Finding a well-lit spot to set up your home office can make all the difference. Besides boosting your productivity and increasing your energy, good natural lighting reduces unnecessary eye strains you would otherwise experience in a dimly lit space.

Natural light affects how much melatonin our brain makes, and this ‌impacts not just our productivity but also directly affects how awake and functional we are.

An ideal position for your office space should be near a window. If this isn’t possible with your home space, a useful tip would be to find a natural light lamp for your desk, or a wall lamp if your desk is tiny.

3. Set Your Schedule-And Stick to It!

Without supervisors cracking the whip, a remote worker must be self-motivated. Working “whenever” usually doesn’t cut it. You could wind up behind on critical tasks and have to extend your workday to “family time.”

On the other end, not having a “clock-out” time means your work can follow you home because you are home.

Here are tips on what to stick to as far as your schedule goes.

Have Regular Working Hours

Set a “clock-in” and “clock-out” time and stick with it. Children especially (and some spouses) may have trouble understanding that you are “here” but not available. It may also be tempting to have flexible hours, because well, you can.

This kind of flexibility, however, always ends up being a disservice to you. You’ll find yourself lagging behind on important tasks, missing deadlines, and having to put in extra hours to catch up.

Setting regular hours helps you with accountability both to yourself and to your boss if you’re part of a team. It’ll be easier to stay connected with your team whenever needed, and you’ll also complete tasks on time.

Some tips to consider when setting up your regular hours include

      • Find out when your productivity is highest
      • Communication with your colleagues, team members, or clients
      • When your employer or boss needs you to be available, for instance, for a video call, meeting, etc.
      • Time zone for international remote teams

Once you have your hours set, communicate them to anyone who may want to get in touch with you. This type of consistency improves your productivity.

Have a List of Tasks for the Day

You’ll need to have a list of tasks you intend to complete each day somewhere—on a notebook, or in an app. Allot some time to each task respectively and try to stick to this timeline.

If you prefer to-do lists, this would be ideal as you can cross off each task upon completion. For even more productivity, you can consciously track how much time you spend on each task to ensure you’re not spending too much time on distractions.

You can schedule these tasks either by urgency or to reflect your energy. For instance, you can start off with more demanding tasks when your energy is still high and follow up with the less demanding ones later in the day.

Have Separate Work and Home Time

Another crucial productivity tip for people who work from home is compartmentalizing personal and work time. Part of ensuring work time remains work time also means being strict about your personal life.

Being home, it’s easy to extend your work hours more than planned. Ensure you’re not putting too many hours of work in and burning yourself out.

When necessary, once you set aside personal time, be sure to notify anyone who may want to reach out to you then.

Create a Structure

You may be able to set routines, start/end times, and a controlled workspace, but once you are at your desk and ready to go… what do you do?

If the answer is “everything” or “whatever you want,” it can be hard to know where to start. Impose structure on your remote workday in whatever way sets you up for success.

You can divide your calendar day into hourly tasks managed off a calendar, or you can manage to-do lists and outboxes with a task-organizer app like Trello or Asana.  This way, you’ll be able to manage your time better and be more organized.

4. Build In Breaks

While you are putting together that schedule, include break times. Employers are required to give employees breaks, and you should give yourself breaks too. If you work too long and continuously, your mind gets foggy and your productivity will suffer.

Here are some tips on what to do during your break:

      • Get up from your seat and move around a bit, to take your eyes off the screen
      • Go outside and get some fresh air
      • Take some water to keep yourself hydrated
      • Complete some quick house chores like cleaning dishes or taking out trash
      • Check your phone or your emails for any important messages. Avoid going on social media as it would be hard getting back to work after your break.

Another tip you can try is the Pomodoro method, a time management technique created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s to boost productivity.

According to this technique, you’ll work consistently on a single task for 25 minutes and take a five-minute break.

This helps you focus on one task for a given period. Once you’ve completed four 25-minute intervals, you can then take a longer break, of about 15 to 20 minutes.

Image via Lifehack

Another ideal setup would be to work for about 50 minutes then take a 15-20 minute break.

Taking breaks mid-work keeps your productivity consistent. Conversely, when you work continuously without breaks, your productivity levels will decline as time goes by.

5. Eliminate Digital Distractions

Sometimes, our devices demand our attention even more than our children. They chime with notifications of news, social media messages, text messages, dating app match notifications, app updates — all the critical stuff.

This is why some offices insist employees silence their phones while at work. You should consider a similar policy.

With your phone distracting you every few minutes or seconds, it can be hard to focus and your productivity will suffer. Here are some tips to help you minimize such distractions.

Avoid Social Media

Social media is one of the most tempting items on your mobile device. A recent survey showed social media as the top distraction for people who work from home.

Image via OSlash

You’ll waste so much time on these applications without realizing it. Since self-control from these applications can be difficult, here are some tips to help you minimize using them unless it’s necessary:

      • Use applications to control how you use social media apps, i.e. track total time spent on the apps, block access to selected apps or limit time spent on them, and so forth
      • Limit your social media usage to your personal time by keeping your phone in a different room when working
      • Dedicate a specific amount of time to each app in a day
      • Freeze social media apps on your phone to focus on work
      • Consider silent, “do-not-disturb,” or “switched-off” modes.

Having control of your

Set Time For Checking Emails

Establish times when you’ll check your email unless your job demands you to do so constantly. Every new mail can be an interruption if your inbox is open and visible all the time.

It can distract you from the task at hand, cause you to lose focus, and make it take longer for you to complete your to-do list. It might be more effective to handle email in intervals at set times, mostly during your breaks.

Avoid Taking or Making Morning Calls

You can use your mornings to plan for the day ahead, get your tasks in order, and handle critical tasks. For most people, this is when their productivity levels are highest.

Therefore, unless it’s important, you can reschedule your calls and meetings to mid-morning or afternoon, when you need a break from work, anyway.

6. Keep Your Home Office Clean and Organized

Staying in a clean and organized workspace is another important productivity tip that boosts your focus.

When you work from home, there’s no one to empty your wastebasket or clean up after you. You’ll need to make sure your home office space is clean and tidy.

Even if you don’t mind a cluttered desk, maintaining some sort of organization ensures that nothing crucial is overlooked.

Paper that arrives on your desk might go “out” in a digital scanned format, but there’s no other desk for that physical piece of paper to go to. Improve the productivity of your remote work by decluttering your workspace at least once a week.

You can set up a cleaning schedule that will help maintain a tidy office so you don’t have to take time out of your working hours to clean. This way you won’t have to delay tasks and derail your productivity in the process.

7. Establish a Nighttime Routine

Just like a good morning routine can prime your remote work life, a good nighttime routine can help you prepare for the next productive workday.

Want to improve your productivity with your evening routine? Try out these tips.

Prepare Quick Things to Start Tomorrow

You can complete some small tasks in the evening that will make your morning easier. These include having your clothes ready, unrolling your yoga mat, putting away dried dishes,  making a “to-do” list for tomorrow, etc.

Be sure to stick to tasks that require minimal effort and avoid work-related tasks that can be overstimulating. This way, you’ll get well-rested and ready to handle these tasks properly in the morning.

Reduce Stimulants and Sleep-Inducing Substances

While working from home, avoid taking alcohol, or coffee at least six hours before bedtime as these could inhibit your ability to sleep. Not getting enough sleep will disrupt your ability to work the next day and affect your productivity.

Overall, aim for at least 7 to 8 hours for a proper sleep schedule. Quality sleep improves your cognitive capabilities, enhances your memory, and boosts your productivity.

Keep Away From Screens at Least an Hour Before Bed

Logging off from your devices and staying away from your TV screen at least an hour before bed helps improve your quality of sleep.

Some studies show that blue light interferes with our circadian rhythm (biological clock), making it hard for us to sleep.

Our screens and energy-efficient light sources emit blue light, the kind emitted by the sun, which is beneficial during the day as it boosts our mood and attention. However, this same light is disruptive to our sleep at night.

Read and Journal Instead

Now that you’re not going through your social media before bed, you may be wondering what to do with that time instead. You can try reading, which can be beneficial to your health and productivity.

Besides helping with your concentration, reading for at least 30 minutes a day has been shown to reduce anxiety, and stress and help you think more creatively.

You can also incorporate journaling into this routine and get more in touch with your emotions. Review your day, write down the #1 most important task for tomorrow, and lay out the materials for it so you can hit the ground running.

Review at least one piece of reading material you know you’ll use tomorrow.

8. Create Some Ground Rules For People in Your Space

For people who are not used to it, working from home may seem like work without any strict routine.

Sometimes, it’s understandable that they may make this assumption, because, like any other office work, you’ll have slower days. Only, instead of staying in the office, you’ll take some time and hang out with friends or family.

For this reason, they may sometimes overstep your working boundaries. That’s why  you’ll need to set some ground rules. A great tip would be to have a conversation with them and explain the nature of your work.

Explain to them the nuances of your schedule and your estimated working hours. Let them know that they shouldn’t interrupt you during these hours. This way, you protect your productivity all through the day.

If you have any kids, a tip here is that you can delegate the responsibility of controlling them to someone else, and only oversee them or tend to the most important things.

9. Interact With Colleagues, if Any

This tip is especially useful if you’re feeling isolated and it’s affecting your productivity.

If you work from home, you know how lonely it can get. Being surrounded by family may not make much of a difference if they don’t understand what you do. Sometimes you’ll want to discuss work issues with someone on your team.

With remote setups, this may be difficult as each colleague has their own schedule and is often working on something different.

Luckily, with any communication tools that exist, you can always reach out to your workmates. All you have to do is work out a time when you’re both available. Be sure to keep your conversations work-related to avoid taking up your work hours.

This way, you can keep in touch, stay updated, and feel more alive while at it. This will reduce the social isolation that comes with working from home.

Most times, you’ll have to be proactive and intentional if you want to build professional relationships while working from home.

10. Leave the House

Another tip that will reduce your loneliness when working from home is leaving the house.

When your home is also your office, you’ll need to step out once in a while. This is especially so if you’re a social person. You definitely don’t want to spend all day and night indoors. It gets monotonous and impacts negatively on your productivity.

Here are tips you can try to get you out of the house:

      • Switch your workplace up and try a cafe
      • Travel to a place you love and work from there
      • Take a stroll outside after your working hours or during your long breaks
      • Squeeze in a morning run routine or go to the gym

While outside, you can interact with people and get your creative juices flowing for the next time you’re working at home.

11. Communicate More

When in a physical setting, this tip is a practice you may not need. However, if you work from home, you will need to communicate a little more to get your message across.

Since team members have varying schedules, you may need to issue constant updates, both on projects and your availability. For instance:

      • Notifying your boss each time you complete a task
      • Communicating early enough when you’re not available
      • Interacting with your colleagues regularly outside of work
      • Seeking help more when you need to

Part of communicating more when working from home also includes advocating for yourself. As remote employees are more likely to get overlooked, especially in hybrid workplaces, it helps to establish your presence and articulate your contributions.

How to Make Remote Workers Successful as an Employer

As an employer, you can set your remote workers up for success with the following home productivity tips.

12. Set Clear Expectations

As an employer, communicating your expectations clearly to each employee helps a lot with their productivity. Clearly outline to them what their goals and objectives are, as well as their key performance indicators.

This way everyone is aware of how their performance will be measured. They can also gauge their productivity levels throughout the day, even if they work from home.

With set objectives in mind, employee productivity will improve with this tip as everyone is clear on what they’re working towards.

13. Allow Flexible Working Hours

Part of working from home involves dealing with distractions from pets, children, family, etc, problems employees wouldn’t normally deal with in an office.

Therefore, allowing employees to have flexible hours ensures they identify when they’re least distracted and more productive and work during these hours.

14. Promote a Collaborative Working Culture

Teamwork and collaboration can be minimal in a remote setup, and employees will often struggle with tasks on their own. As an employer, you can foster a supportive culture by having your team leaders schedule meetings.

This way, if any team member is struggling, they can seek help or colleagues can just interact to brainstorm ideas and so forth.

This tip promotes increased productivity and reduces isolation among remote workers.

15. Provide Productivity Tools and Training

Just like in an office setting, employers should provide their employees with the right tools and training. For instance, for better collaboration, employers can provide a uniform communication tool for messages, conference calls, etc.

You can also have resources in centralized places where every team member can easily access them.

This tip makes communication and access to data easier, improving the overall quality of work among employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I improve my work from home productivity?

Here are some of the main productivity tips when working from home

      • Have a fixed morning and nighttime routine
      • Set a designated workspace and protect it
      • Create a work schedule and stick to it
      • Eliminate any digital distractions
      • Take breaks between working sessions
      • Keep your office clean and organized

2. How can I avoid laziness while working from home?

To ensure you stay productive, energized, and motivated when working from home, you can try out tips like taking frequent, timed breaks to recoup, as well as having a daily exercise routine.

3. How do you make working from home less depressing?

We’re social beings and spending too much time by ourselves can get depressing. To reduce this when working from home try:

      • Leaving the house during your breaks and interacting with people
      • Working from a cafe or taking a workcation
      • Interact with colleagues more during and outside work if possible
      • Set aside personal time and be sure to stick to it.

4. What are the top 3 challenges of working from home?

Some main challenges of working from home for employees include:

      • It can be difficult to maintain a work-life balance
      • Employees feel isolated, and team collaboration becomes difficult
      • Inability to resolve technical issues remotely

5. How do I beat procrastination while working from home?

Here are some practices you could adopt to beat procrastination while working from home:

      • Have a list of tasks you want to complete every day
      • Allocate time to each task and try to stick to allocated time
      • Take breaks between tasks
      • Prioritize tasks either by urgency or your energy levels
      • Use planning tools to keep track of tasks

Start Using These Tips for Boosting Remote Work Productivity

Working from home can be a blessing and a curse, but with the right tools, tips, mindset and a little bit of planning, you can be as successful at home as you are at the office.

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About the author

From selling flowers door-to-door at hair salons when he was 16 to starting his own auto detailing business, Brett Shapiro has had an entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global and International Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and years traveling the world planning and executing cause marketing events, Brett decided to test out his entrepreneurial chops with his own medical supply distribution company.

During the formation of this business, Brett made a handful of simple, avoidable mistakes due to lack of experience and guidance. It was then that Brett realized there was a real, consistent need for a company to support businesses as they start, build and grow. He set his sights on creating Easy Doc Filing — an honest, transparent and simple resource center that takes care of the mundane, yet critical, formation documentation. Brett continues to lead Easy Doc Filing in developing services and partnerships that support and encourage entrepreneurship across all industries.