How to help employees stay organised and productive while working at home

working at home
© Monika Wisniewska

Michele Don Durbin, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Evernote, explains how employees can stay productive and get the best out of themselves when working at home

Where possible create a separate workspace at home as this will do wonders for your productivity levels. If you don’t have the option of a separate work/office space, you can set one up mentally:

  •     Use noise-cancelling headphones that block out background noise
  •     Set up a view that helps you avoid being distracted by domestic tasks
  •     Ask everyone at home to understand you’re working and need a quiet space

‘Go to work’ symbolically – it’s very effective

There are clear perks to working from home. For instance, you don’t have to battle the morning commute, queue for your coffee or get dressed into your office wear.

But getting up at the time you would normally and getting dressed can make a big difference to your mindset. You can even take a short walk outside to act as your “commute” (Covid restrictions permitting).

Communication is key. Touch base early and often

Although it’s frustrating to admit, if you’re not physically visible you run the risk of being perceived as being unavailable. You need to make sure you are telling the rest of your team what you’re working on. Send regular updates, either by email or on a messaging app like Skype to keep everyone up to speed.

Scheduling a morning video call is a great way to plan the day and let each other know you’re online and ready to get on with your tasks. It also gives you the chance to tell your team members about your progress from the previous day.

Step away from the distractions

It can be tempting to pop a load of washing on, call your mate or scroll through Instagram. But you should treat the day as you would in the office. Use your breaks or lunch hour to get those tasks done and focus on the tasks required for you to do.

Many people find they are more productive at home as the office distractions are eliminated so home workers often find they get more done. In that case you can finish on time and not have to work late.

Have a to do list that works for you

We need to establish a new work/life balance with the “always at home” dynamic. It is important to give yourself breaks, but don’t throw structure out the window.

When working from home, it’s important to keep a to-do list to boost productivity. No matter how big or small, you can track your tasks and accomplishments by adding checkboxes and ticking each item off as you complete.


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