5 Tips to Boost Work Productivity at Home

Learn how to manage your time and stay motivated when working remotely

Mandatory remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic certainly proved that Americans could work from home when needed. According to Global Workplace Analytics, “69% of employers offer remote work on an ad hoc basis to at least some employees, 42% offer it part-time, 27% offer it full time.”

The continued rise of the hybrid office truly comes down to productivity. A Stanford study for performance found that productivity increased by 22% for remote workers. 800 employers were surveyed by benefits consulting firm, Mercer. 94% of them stated that productivity was the same or higher for remote workers. Do you want to boost your performance while working remotely? This article will explore 5 ways office professionals are boosting productivity while working from home.

Outdoor wooden table with an open durable Avery binder showing Avery dividers used as a portable filing system for working remotely outdoors.
Take your work outside to reap the benefits of sun and nature. Use a durable binder and Big Tab™ dividers to keep paperwork portable and organized.

1) Go outside to recharge your productivity battery

Humans need sunlight. In fact, sunlight has a host of health benefits and just viewing nature can enhance our well-being. If you’re in a slump or feeling stuck, simply going outside for some sun and a view of something growing can make you feel better and put you in a more positive mood.

Furthermore, a Danish study on the impact of nature on creativity, suggests natural environments greatly benefit creative professionals. Even if your position isn’t creative, creative thinking can help boost problem-solving and help you be more productive. The study concluded that:

  • Nature enhances creative ways of thinking.
  • Nature helps with recharging the focus needed when developing ideas.
  • Nature especially plays a role in the Preparation phase and the Incubation phase of the creative process.
  • The Perceived Restorative Dimensions (‘Nature’, ‘Space’ and ‘Serene’) are important for creative professionals.

2) Explore productivity apps, tools and techniques to help you

The PCMag.com list of the best productivity apps is a great place to start when looking for ways to boost productivity. The options range from free and low-cost options on your phone, to project management software for the whole team.

However, don’t ignore productivity tools. A personal planner and a convenient, well-placed desk calendar never need an internet connection or a charged battery to help you work more efficiently.

There are also the trending cube-shaped timers that office professionals are raving about. Basically, a kitchen timer with different time durations on each side. The idea is to use the timer to practice the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks up work into more focused and productive chunks of time.

Here are some of the most popular time management techniques for boosting productivity.

  • 80/20 Rule – Assign numbers to problems; the more important the problem, the higher the score. Group problems by the root cause. Add up the score for each group. Tackle the group with the highest scores first.
  • Eisenhower Matrix – Organize tasks into four quadrants based on importance and urgency. Work only on tasks that fall in the important and urgent quadrants. Delegate or delete other tasks.
  • Time Blocking – Divide your day into blocks of one hour or half an hour. Estimate the time needed for each task and fill them into the time blocks in your day. Allow for time between each block for adjustments.
  • Pickle Jar Theory – Visualize your task list as a pickle jar filled with sand, pebbles and rocks. Rocks are the most important task, pebbles are tasks that can be done another day or by someone else, sand are the “disrupting tasks” such as phone calls and emails. Make a task list starting with “rock tasks” and ending with sand.
  • Eat that Frog Technique – Named after a Mark Twain quote, it boils down to starting your day with the most daunting task in order to get it out of the way. Everything afterwards feels much easier.
Close up of a person with a work planner open in front of them. They’re holding a phone in one hand and a pencil in the other filling in appointments and tasks. Tasks in the planner are color coded using Avery color coding labels and the pages of the planner are indexed with Avery Ultra Tabs.
Practice productivity techniques like color-coding tasks by priority to work more efficiently Color-coding dots and Ultra Tabs make it easy to color code and index in your work planner.

3) Create a dedicated productivity planner for work

If your personal planner works for you, great! There are many ways to use a personal planner to help you be more productive. If you find it too distracting, create a dedicated planner just for work.

One of the benefits of a dedicated work planner is that it’s a great tool for physically and mentally signaling the beginning and end of the day. Start your day by organizing your to-do list and reviewing appointments and deadlines. Check off your tasks and put away your work planner at the end of the day.

PRO TIP: During the “afternoon slump” take a break to review goals in your work planner. Keeping “your eyes on the prize” can give you the productivity boost you need to finish the day strong.

4) Set aside space where you can be productive

First, try to limit distractions. Maybe that means closing your office door. Or if you work in a common area of the house, maybe it means simply facing your workspace away from the TV or kitchen. Wherever you work, keep it as clean and organized as possible. It’s hard to focus or be productive in the midst of clutter.

Next, if you have control over ambience, think about light and sound. Try different types of lighting to reduce eyestrain. Experiment with whether you work better in silence or with background noise. Get a plant to bring some nature to your workspace.

Lastly, think about how you physically feel in your workspace. Make sure you have good back support and your laptop is at the right height for typing comfortably when sitting up straight. Give yourself room to move and stretch your legs.

5) Set WFH boundaries with yourself and others

Setting boundaries for a healthier work-life balance starts with you. If you don’t respect your time, it’s hard to expect others to do so. Make sure that you’re taking your breaks. Set reminders on your phone if you have to, because taking effective breaks actually increases productivity.

Next, align with your team on expectations for availability, working hours and response times. This helps to draw a line between work time and off-work time. Giving yourself time to fully relax is essential for preventing burnout, which saps productivity and can have negative effects on all areas of your life.

Lastly, create some boundaries within your household if you can. Whether it’s with your partner, your family or roommates, try to make it easy for them to know when you’re working and when you’re not. If possible, set aside 1-2 hours per day for uninterrupted work time. Save your most difficult tasks for those hours.

Boost your productivity while working from home

Make sure you’re going outside during the day to reap the mental and physical benefits of sunshine and nature. Look to technology for productivity apps to give your performance a boost, but don’t discount analog tools.

Create a dedicated planner for work and get a good desk calendar. Try a cube timer to increase focus with the Pomodoro Technique. Explore other tried-and-true time management techniques and find the one that works the best for you.

Find a workspace where you can limit distractions and have some control over light and sound. Stock up on office supplies to organize your space. Give yourself plenty of room to move and stretch your legs.

Set boundaries between work and life with yourself, your coworkers and others in your household. Take regular breaks, manage availability expectations and try to schedule a few hours each day for uninterrupted work time.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received for staying productive? Connect with us on LinkedIn or Facebook and share your thoughts.

Author: JoJo Mrgich

JoAnn (JoJo) Mrgich is a copywriter and SEO content writer who began her copywriting career in 2011. A musical theater major at the time, JoJo began writing blog articles, product descriptions, and other online content for a dancewear brand. Since then, she has gone on to write in a variety of fields, from essential oils and natural beauty to fashion and swimwear, finally landing at Avery, which she affectionately calls her "forever home." At Avery, JoJo writes content for the Avery blog, covering everything from organization to party planning, as well as contributing to other online content for avery.com. She is also a technical and content writer for Avery Industrial, where she writes in-depth articles that span a wide variety of topics, from safety compliance to 5S lean practices. In her personal life, JoJo is a big fan of fantasy and science-fiction works such as Lord of the Rings and Star Trek (especially the original series). She also loves going to Disneyland and runs a non-profit social organization of 600 members that brings fans of "nerd culture" together for meet-ups and events in Southern California.

2 thoughts on “5 Tips to Boost Work Productivity at Home”

  1. Get productivity tools. I know that this tip sounds almost too easy, but hey, it works! I use kanbantool.com and I think it’s very helpful. I’ve definitely got more efficient at managing my work.

    1. Easy tips are the best! Thanks for sharing what tool works for you. We are all always looking for new time-saving tips to help us get through the day. Thanks again for sharing your favorite tool.

Comments are closed.