Thanks to the pandemic, everyone works from home today — or at least, we all want to. A shift in the world within the last decade is transitioning from the typical office setting to home offices. This culture has become deeply rooted, such that it ranks as one of the most sought-after criteria for most job seekers. Although there are certain benefits that the work-from-home system has for both the organization and the individuals involved, a major stumbling block is the high level of unproductivity created by this work culture. Let’s take a look at how unproductive working from home can get.
Is Working From Home Unproductive?
Although there is no direct answer to this question, different individuals can have different experiences. However, for the most part, working from home when left without sturdy guidelines and accountability, can breed unproductive.
Factors Contributing to Working From Home Unproductive
Several factors can contribute to unproductive when a person decides to working from home. For a lot of people, the freedom with unrestrained time and the lack of accountability or monitoring can be difficult to manage, leading to poor use and management of this free time. Below, we look at some of the factors that can contribute to increased unproductivity.
Motivation can be an expensive asset. From hitting snooze in the morning till the sun bleeds into night, motivation is what gets a person pumped and running. It enables individuals to perform their tasks in the way that they have intended to do it.
Motivation can be influenced and improved in a myriad of ways, one of which is appreciation, words from colleagues, a deadline and in certain cases, having a clear goal. Therefore, working from home can hamper all these access to motivation. Being locked in your home alone and having to self-generate most of the required motivation to go through the rest of the day can be a herculean task.
Burnouts are another major factor affecting workers’ productivity from home. Having to multitask and handle different responsibilities, such as running a home, chores and office tasks at the same time, can be a major toll on the ability of an individual to maintain a high level of energy, consistently. This imbalance between work and life is one of the reasons why people fail to remain productive.
Another factor is stress from the excess workload. When individuals are bogged down with too much work and tasks, making them juggle multiple tasks, their productivity can be hampered and limited, leading to burnout.
Working from home means being exposed to other activities peculiar to running the home. Therefore an individual working from home has to combine the demands of these responsibilities with their office tasks, which can be quite cumbersome. For some, it is the struggle between balancing the attention needed for their kids, and errands and completing milestones with work.
This consistent pull of attention and attempt at multitasking can be a major factor hampering productivity while working from home. For some others, it is unwanted noise and infiltrations from their surroundings, lack of proper workspaces and other several other contributing factors that affect this unproductivity.
4. Time Management:
Almost every worker regardless of work style and the environment suffers from poor time management. A big part of productivity rests on the employee’s ability to manage time with the set goals and tasks. This issue, therefore, becomes more heightened when combined with the different drawbacks of working from a remote home environment.
Having poor control over one’s time will mean that tasks are completed late, deadlines are never met, or the quality of the work done will be below expected standards. Other issues such as incessant meetings, having to figure out glitches and other technical faults on your own and other disadvantages are major additions to time management being a contributing factor to poor productivity while working from home.
Tips for Improving Productivity While Working From Home
As we continue our fight over attention and ensure that motivation remains the top bar throughout our work period, it is important to take advantage of the many tips and helps available. The following tips outlined below are great for those looking to improve productivity and boost work excellence.
1. Regulate Social Media:
One major thief of attention is social media. They creep in and steal valuable moments in a twinkle of the eye. Therefore, to improve productivity, one must ensure that proper checks are put in place to moderate the use of social media during work time. A good way of doing this is to set up timers and utilize apps geared towards improving focus on different devices.
For employees working from home, one way of combating the ills of stolen time by social media is by having strict hours and time blocks that social media can be turned on. Another way is to have diable social media links during work hours both on mobile devices and work desktops.
2. Morning Routines:
Having a morning routine can be a lifesaver. Morning routines enable us to begin our day right, maintaining the right energy throughout the day and controlling our attention and motivation in between work hours.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that morning routines or habits are perfectly crafted to fit your personality and preferences such that when done, it can improve mood and motivation enough for the entire day. Tiny other activities such as, intentionally dressing up for work as opposed to showing up in pyjamas can also improve the mindset towards work and by extension, work productivity.
3. To-do Lists:
A to-do list guides you on the tasks to be accomplished and the time frame to get them done. One major advantage of having a functional to-do list is that it prevents procrastination. If carefully followed, tasks can be completed in time and with the right mindset and energy.
There are tons of ways to set up a to-do list or a dedicated plan for your day. The point is to ensure that you create one in tune with your work preference and personality. Having a to-do list can be an amazing way to improve your attitude to work and also preserve productivity.
4. Take breaks:
For people working from home, one major struggle is knowing when to turn it off and take a deserved break. One tip is to ensure that you schedule breaks in between work for food, naps, screen break and time to perform other activities.
This is essential in reducing the feelings of stress that might begin to build up with having to work for a continuous stretch of hours. One method of incorporating breaks into one’s routine is by using the Pomodoros principle which is quite popular among home teams. Another method is by taking your eyes off the screen for at least 10 minutes after a one-hour continuous work stretch.
There are a plethora of forms to ensure that healthy breaks are added to one’s work schedule. This must be adhered to as it helps in improving productivity and relieving stress.
5. Creating the perfect workspace:
An individual’s workspace can be a simple desk in the middle of the living room, a dedicated room office or even a closet; the point is to ensure that maximum comfort and ease are prioritized when picking out a workspace.
Other things such as lighting, access to materials as well as the distance from distractions are necessary factors to be considered in choosing designated workspaces. When done right, one’s workspace can be the best place to show up in the morning, leading to improved motivation.
Prioritizing one’s well-being is essential in this age where mental stress is on the rise. As an employee, stringent processes must be followed to make sure that one’s productivity is preserved and always maintained at the highest level. While it is difficult to balance out the pressures from home, distractions and meeting office schedules and tasks; it is important to try all possible solutions to maintain productivity at a satisfactory level.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some of the tools and software that can be used to improve working from home?
- Assembly: important for team management and collaboration
- Pomodoro Tracker: Great for time management and getting tasks done on time
- Mind Node: This is an amazing tool for mapping ideas and organizing concepts
- Monday.com: This tool provides task management amongst remote workers. Giving them ease with goal achievement and project structuring.