Work looks a lot different now that so many employers have had to put Covid-19 restrictions in place. For many, this has included more employees working mainly from home. And while employees have reported that they enjoy working from home and would like to continue even after restrictions ease, this means making teleworking more productive. Here are five of the most common productivity killers for those who work from home.
Working from home can be nice, but it also means dealing with distractions that aren’t present at the office. Pets, kids, roommates, and spouses rarely understand that those working from home are working, and shouldn’t be disturbed. There’s also the temptation to get personal things done: switching over the laundry, cooking dinner, and other household chores often tempt teleworkers away from projects. Instead of working exclusively from home, some teleworkers have asked themselves “Is there Office Space near me I can use, without going to a traditional office?” Spending even half a day at a shared workspace removes common distractions that decrease productivity when working from home.
Along the same lines, cell phones are a distraction that decreases productivity. Responding to texts and calls and checking social media only feel like they take a few minutes. But in reality, these little distractions add up, with some studies reporting that people spend an average of four hours a day on their phones. Instead of having your cell phone sitting out during work hours, shut it off and put it in a drawer or another room. Out of sight, out of mind.
According to CNBC, the Internet is just as distracting as cell phones. This distraction is harder to overcome because it requires that workers control the impulse to pull up the email and social media pages. Instead of keeping these tabs open or trying not to use them at all, schedule time for both emails and browsing. Workers can give themselves 15 minutes twice a day for social media and other web browsing, and set times to send and respond to emails.
Snack, smoke, coffee, and other little breaks are a productivity killer in a traditional office, and even more so for teleworkers who won’t get “caught” by the boss. Instead of giving in to the impulse to take lots of small breaks, schedule a time to take breaks. In many businesses, employees have two 15-minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Schedule these same breaks for yourself – a cup of coffee and checking social media at 10:30 can be a great motivator to keep working. But avoid the temptation to keep that break going: after 15 minutes, get back to work.
Meetings and Emails
Feeling productive and doing productive work are two different things. And according to Business Insider, employees and employers alike fall into the trap of feeling productive by scheduling meetings and sending emails. Instead of making plans to figure something out, pick up the phone and take care of that issue right away. Often a long, carefully worded email isn’t as fast or effective as picking up the phone. Staying productive when working from home requires a lot of self-control. When there are no coworkers or bosses around to hold you accountable, you only have yourself to rely on to stay productive. These five ideas can help you remain productive when working from home.