People who work from home — remote workers — are less productive than those who work from a traditional office is a myth.
According to the Harvard Business Review, knowledge workers are more productive when working from home. Also, a survey carried out by Prodoscore showed 47% increase in productivity despite the increase in working from home.
Most organizations have adopted remote work to allow some, if not all, of their staff to work remotely. Even businesses that don't buy the idea of working from home have been forced to embrace that trend due to COVID-19, the global pandemic wrecking havoc across the world.
Working remotely comes with certain privileges that you do not enjoy while working in an office. For instance, you get to work while you are in your bedroom and avoid the rush of trying to get to work early. You own your schedule, and you can work at your convenience.
However, if you are not careful and disciplined while working from home, you may end up jeopardizing your productivity. These five habits reduce productivity while working from home:
1. Starting your day without a definite plan
Because you're not under direction supervision, you are most likely starting your day without an actual plan. And without a definite plan, you would achieve little or no results. Working without a plan makes it hard to meet your targets and beat your deadline.
Before you sit with your computer in the morning: Create a list of to-dos and goals you need to achieve for that day. This would help you stay focused and meet your targets.
2. Spending time on social media
Constantly checking social media is a big time waster.
Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. subtly drains a significant portion of your time. It constitutes a whole lot of distraction such that you will achieve zero daily results if you do not avoid getting distracted by social media.
To overcome the temptation of continually flicking through photos or reading what people share on social media, you can turn off the internet connection on your mobile devices so you won’t be tempted to check your notifications. Make it a habit to handle your mobile devices only during lunch, restroom breaks, or if you need to send urgent messages.
3. Working with the television on
TV constitute a big distraction for remote workers because there is no one to caution them when they are watching it for too long.
TV shows, news, and your favorite channels can eat up a big chunk of your productive time. Focusing on television for even fifteen minutes is the same as fifteen minutes of lost productivity.
You can avoid the distraction that television presents by leaving your TV off whenever you are working.
Multitasking, no matter how good it may sound, hinders your progress. You can only be most effective when you concentrate on a single task — that's how focus works.
Multitasking is a form of distraction that hinders you from giving your 100% to the tasks you are performing. It could cause you to make more errors because switching between tasks drains your mental energy.
If you must do more than one work simultaneously, ensure that those jobs are similar. It would help ease the stress on your brain.
5. Bad personal hygiene
Working from home gives you a lot of flexibility. However, some people take it to the extreme.
Working all day long without taking your bath, brushing your teeth, and wearing clean and neatly ironed clothes do not improve your productivity. It affects your overall mood and morale negatively.
There is a strong relationship between the clothes you wear and your mood. Wearing rumpled clothes and working without maintaining good personal hygiene makes you feel disorganized, affecting your overall productivity.
Of course, working remotely offers you a lot of flexibility, but don't let this opportunity turn you to negative habits that impede your performance and productivity.
Habits are what form us as humans. We become whatever we repeatedly do. However, if you are disciplined enough to break these bad habits that are wasting your time and mental resources, you can be sure of an increase in productivity while working from home.
You can also consider a home remodeling plan, whereby you take out a small space within your home that would enable you to work remotely and avoid other distractions. This is a practical solution that will help you maximise your productivity while working from home.
This is guest post from Lena Linetti. She is an architect with 8+ years of experience in interior and exterior design. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and create their perfect sweet home.
Cover image by Freepik