24 April 2020

How to be more productive when working from home

Remote working can be a real productivity killer for you and your team. With this in mind, we've put together some tips on how to be more productive when working from home.

When you and your team are working from home, productivity and focus are more important than ever. Whilst some cope fine at home, others may find it difficult to concentrate out of the office due to distractions in their home environment and the lack of routine.

Remote working can be a real productivity killer for those who usually work in a typical office setting. With the lack of coworkers to bounce ideas off and managers to check in on progress, you could find that the output of some team members starts to drop off, slowing down the business as a whole.

To help you combat this and maintain productivity levels, we’ve put together some top tips on how to be more productive when working from home. All of the tips discussed in this guide relate to key productivity drivers such as communication, task management and goal setting.


1. Keep in touch: remote working and communication

The single most important aspect of remote working is communication. Of course, regular chats help you to check that the whole team is on top of their workload, but they can also lift spirits and make sure that mental health isn’t suffering from the potential loneliness of remote work.

Firstly, you need to make sure that all of your staff are using the same communication software and talking through the same channels. You can easily achieve this by investing in a cloud computing suite that comes with emails, collaboration tools and an instant messaging platform.

Once you’ve got the team communicating via one platform, the next step is to schedule check-in calls and huddles. Use these to make sure that everyone is okay and knows what they should be getting on with work-wise – a daily call to discuss plans can be helpful.

On top of phone calls, emails and instant messaging, it’s important to make time for face-to-face discussions via video call. If you speak to your team solely by email, your ideas might not get across all of the time; equally, seeing a familiar face is good for maintaining wellbeing.

2. Make the most of your project management software

If your company doesn’t have project management software already, now is the time to invest! Without a shared online space to post tasks, deadlines and responsibilities in, you’re relying on individual team members to keep track of their work and update others on their progress.

By comparison, project management platforms provide full visibility, with the entire team able to view who is responsible for upcoming jobs, the deadlines and what stage the team is at. Regular notifications via email then act as reminders and motivate people to get tasks done on time.

This type of software also brings teams together, making it easy for everyone to focus on shared goals and KPIs. It’s a great idea to set objectives both for individuals and entire teams so that everyone is on the same page in terms of the collective performance of the business.

Be sure to get the most out of your subscription by using any advanced productivity-boosting features that are included. For example, some programs let you make certain tasks dependent on others, notifying staff members when they need to complete the work to prevent a bottleneck. 

3. Write a daily task list

Project management software can help your team stay on track, but some people also find it helpful to write themselves a task list at the start of each day. Writing daily tasks down on a piece of paper and crossing them off as you complete them can be hugely fulfilling. 

The task list technique also helps you keep track of the time and provides motivation and perseverance. Equally, having a list of tasks to complete reduces the downtime between pieces of work during the day, as employees always know what to be getting on with next.

4. Continue to collaborate

For some, the beginning of remote work signals the end of collaboration with coworkers. It becomes easy to view the tasks that you’re doing in isolation as team members forget to update each other on shared projects and lose a sense of how their work fits into the bigger picture of the business. 

Whilst it’s easier to brainstorm ideas for a strategy or help a coworker out with a task when you’re in the office, this type of collaboration could actually be the key to keeping staff productivity levels up when remote working. With the right approach, collaborative tasks can still be achieved from home.

The key is to plan regular group work activities such as ideation sessions for an upcoming project. It can be helpful if management set up these sessions initially to break the ice, then encourage other team members to arrange future collaboration sessions.


5. Find what works for you and your team

Although it will be helpful to follow this advice if you’re experiencing a lull in your team’s productivity, every employee is different and each tip won’t work for everyone. As with all aspects of working, it’s really about finding out what works for you and your team. Certain employees will need micromanaging, whilst others will be capable of working independently and may only need encouragement to get stuck into some collaborative work.

The one clear constant across all individuals and businesses is that communication is key – it remains vital to keep in touch when working from home. Daily communication with coworkers doesn’t just boost productivity levels, it also maintains wellbeing and morale within your team.

We hope that this blog has helped you to up productivity levels in your remote working team. If your business requires office space, meeting rooms, studios, workshops or storage, then get in touch with BizSpace to benefit from our competitive prices on great spaces throughout the UK.


Jenna Lee