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9 Tips and Tricks to Make Working from Home Fun and Productive

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Working from home is a new experience. While working from home, employees are miles apart from their co-workers or team leaders. Employees have had to adjust from the office setting to their workspace at home. Some companies have already called their employees back to the office. Many have yet to choose to do so. Working from home is the new norm for many. Why not? If it matches the business model and your employees are productive, you should go for it. From the employees’ perspective, it is fulfilling, flexible, and fun. With its benefits comes the challenge of being unproductive and potentially facing burnout.

This blog post will teach you how to use your time working from home and make this experience feel exciting rather than completing a task. Before you start reading, allow yourself a few minutes to think about your current work situation and how you feel about it. This simple exercise will help you get your thoughts out to take in all this new information with a clear mind. Let’s begin!

If you are starting to feel tired, try this technique.
Pomodoro Technique

1. Set Realistic Goals

There are two types of goals: long-term goals and short-term goals. Long-term goals often take longer to complete as it is an idea of where you want to be and may take years. On the other hand, short-term plans can be achieved in days or months, depending on the complexity of the task. Educate your team members about these. Learning to distinguish between these two goals will help them lay out their work plan more efficiently.

In the Harvard Business Review article, To Achieve Big Goals, Start with Small Habits, Sabina Nawaz states that achieving big goals starts with micro habits. These are small components of an extensive habit you are trying to develop for your team. By breaking down an ambitious dream into smaller, more achievable goals, you can build long-lasting effects and accomplish your goals over time.

Setting goals for yourself and your team will help keep everyone motivated while working from home. Whether completing a certain number of tasks by the end of the day or finishing a project by the next week, having goals will unite the team and help them work towards the company mission and stay on track while working from home.

2. Communicate Extra and Set Deadlines

Communicating with your team members is crucial when working from home, as it can become overwhelming to work alone. Creating a strong bond with your co-workers will allow you to be more productive, as communication helps when it comes to understanding the needs of your team. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help your team succeed, as you are likely to know who can meet deadlines or needs assistance.

According to MindTools, a management and leadership corporation, an effective way to ensure that tasks completion by their deadline is by setting up a system where team members can report their progress. This tactic will motivate your team members to continue working and will help with their confidence. Another way to be supportive is by allowing your team to set their deadlines when appropriate, enabling them to show initiative and further develop their leadership skills.

3. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking often leads to slower task completion, as your brain is trying to keep up with the constant switching of tasks. Multitasking also divides our attention, making it difficult to give full attention to one task. Multitasking is more successful when combining more straightforward tasks. Examples of simple multitasking include listening to music while walking or folding the laundry when watching television. However, you are more likely to underperform when trying to multitask more complicated tasks, such as writing a research paper while babysitting.

A study conducted at the University of Connecticut found that college students who tried to multitask took longer to complete their homework assignments and received lower test scores. Often, it may feel like there needs to be more time to do it all in the day. However, taking your time to properly and efficiently complete one task is better than lacking in multiple areas. Don’t forget that the quality of your work is more important than quantity.

4. Do Less, Do Better

By doing more, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed because of the never-ending lists of tasks ahead of you. Aiming to accomplish more than possible makes it harder to get through the entire working day without feeling tired or distressed. Brianna West, a writer for Forbes Woman, states that “the truth is that it is not time that is limited each day; it is our energy.” To conserve energy, we must learn to prioritize immediate goals and slowly begin to accomplish long-term ones. Doing less with greater focus will leave you feeling fulfilled and more productive.

The author of “Off the Clock” and “168 Hours,” Laura Vanderkam, advises limiting your focus to only five things daily. She recommends writing down all your tasks of the day on a whiteboard and making sure that the first is the most important. If you fail to complete the fifth task on the list, it will be posted at the top of the list the next day. This way, you will continue accomplishing things and moving forward with your day. By doing less, you are focusing more and not forcing yourself to perform faster.

5. Use a Timer

A timer is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Once a certain amount of time has passed, it is your reminder to keep up the excellent work or pick up the pace.

Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It is a modern approach to time management, praised for its instant accessibility. It’s ideal for those who are unsure how to structure their time or struggle to focus. The premise is simple: set yourself 25 minutes to crack on with a task, followed by a five-minute break—and repeat. Both you, the leader, and your employees can use the technique to trick yourselves into staying focused for long stretches using small, manageable chunks of time.

Another thing you can do about using a timer is to devise a schedule with your team. One of the benefits of working from home is having a more flexible schedule. You can wake up later or start working earlier if you want to. But with that flexibility comes the responsibility of setting your and your team’s schedule. Have an open discussion with your team members, discussing availability. A set work schedule will help everyone stay on track and be productive while working from home. Try My Alarm Clock or DeskTime to help you keep track of your time and increase productivity!

6. Listen to Music

One of the downsides of working from home is that it can be easy to become sedentary. Make sure to encourage your team to get up and move around every few hours to keep your energy levels up! And music comes in to help. Music lightens the mood and can help reduce stress or anxiety that may arise during work. In particular, classical music helps to focus better, which helps with productivity. A neuroscience study found that older adults who listened to classical music appeared to do better in memory and processing skills. Similar to how exercise improves your body, music helps stimulate your brain.

7. Have a Dedicated Workplace

It’s essential to find a dedicated workspace when working from home. Whether it’s a spare room, the kitchen table, or even just a corner of the living room, ensure your employees have space for work. This way, your team members can focus on their work tasks and avoid distractions. Unsure if your team members have the area or not? Ask them. Maybe they don’t, and you can find a co-sharing space such as WeWork or Gable. Exploring what your employees need to succeed will go a long way.

8. Allocate Time in Your Workday to Clean and Organize

Our environment can set the mood. It can either uplift our spirit or make us feel less engaged. As a leader, take the time to talk to your team members about the importance of tidying up the environment where they are working. Clean working space is essential, especially regarding productivity because it allows us to concentrate on work. Research indicates that only 57% of workers worldwide believe their workplaces enable them to perform productively.

Investing in an organized workspace for your employees will help them enjoy their work more, thus producing better results. Keeping the design and nature of your workspace minimal will bring a sense of peace to your hectic workday. Allowing employees to have a say in the overall look of the workspace with their personal touches will increase productivity and make them happier.

9. Take Breaks

According to the University of North Carolina, adequate breaks can help reduce stress levels so that you and your team members are ready to refocus when returning to work. Taking breaks is important because it gives your mind and body time to detach from the working environment. During your work breaks, you can eat to fuel your body or take a walk to clear your mind. Even a 10-minute walk can help to regain energy, reduce stress, and tackle tasks positively.

Another suggestion for taking a break is as simple as connecting with coworkers. Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you or your team members cannot connect. Use video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts to have virtual meetings or catch-ups with your teammates. You can also use these platforms for virtual happy hours or social events!

Thank you for reading! Working from home has its challenges, but it also has many benefits! Following these tips can make working from home productive and fun!

By the end of this blog, you have learned and acquired all the knowledge you need to make working from home effective and fun. At HR Lab, productivity is achievable in any space. Therefore, we are here to guide anyone transitioning from working in person to working remotely at home. Work doesn’t have to be a tedious task. It can be flexible, fulfilling, and, most importantly, fun. There are a couple of questions regarding the tips and new knowledge gained. Which suggestions stood out to you? Is there one in particular that you were already doing? Which advice will help you be the most successful when working remotely?

About HR Lab: Formed in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, HR Lab is here to make a difference. At HR Lab, we work to strengthen workforce quality by improving the HR system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. Our vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.

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Disclaimer: The information in these materials should not be considered legal, accounting, or investment advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, investment, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. It is provided for informational purposes only. If you require legal, accounting, or investment advice, or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your attorney, accountant, or other professional advisors to discuss your particular facts, circumstances, business, personal finance, and investment needs.


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