At-Home Productivity

Man working from home

Working from home comes with a host of advantages. Telecommuting means you can work where you want, dressed however you like, and using whatever tools seem appropriate for you. You gain huge advances in autonomy and control over your work and your environment.

The downside of being more autonomous is that many of us don’t handle autonomy as well as we hope we would. Working from home, it can be easy to get distracted by personal issues—or by children still at home, roommates, or neighbors. Autonomy means the buck starts and stops with you when it comes to your productivity.

To make working from home an asset instead of a liability, exercise the control you have to increase your productivity.

Create Your Workspace

When working from home, it often helps to have a designated workspace—somewhere separate from home-based concerns like dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, or the TV. When you work from home you are in complete control of your workspace ecosystem, and you should take advantage of that. In an earlier post, I described ways to arrange your workplace more productively. I recommend considering at least the following elements:

  • Clutter
  • Organizational tools (folders, etc.)
  • Lighting
  • Background noise

By controlling your environment you can find the ideal circumstances at which you are most comfortable and able to work.

Choose Your Hours

When you’re not in an office with regular office hours, you have more control over when you work. If you work better in the morning, start your day hours before office-goers do; if you work better late at night, work while others are sleeping. Use the adaptability of working from home to experiment until you’ve found your peak productivity hours. Once you know when you’re most productive, you can use those hours to produce more in less time.

Adapt Your Workload

Not every telecommuting or work-from-home job is the same, but if your at-home work is especially high on the autonomy, take advantage of the opportunity to frontload or backload your workweek. Set aside certain days or peak hours for your heavy lifting. Because you can distance yourself somewhat from your coworkers, you don’t have to tie yourself to their workflows and whims as much. There is still a lot of collaboration, but you’ll have the flexibility to shunt your heavy-duty work to Monday instead of Tuesday if that’s going to work better for you.

Adapting your workload given how much time you have, how likely distractions are, and what your stress levels will be is a huge advantage. Instead of trudging through a task you can preempt or save it for a time when you’ll be more fully prepared for it.

When you seize on the advantages of working from home, you can mitigate the risks and accomplish everything you set out to do in a better, more productive way.

Image by Ambro via

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