Productivity was already a challenge even before COVID-19. We had so many everyday distractions that made it hard to stay engaged. We had to contend with too many meetings or deal with overly social co-workers. Social media and the internet, in general, hindered our productivity and ability to focus. For some, especially those who live in denser cities, the daily commute to and from work added to the stress and decreased workplace productivity.
One of the very few upsides to COVID-19 was the rise of telecommuting, which helped increase productivity. With the majority of the world’s workforce doing remote work, productivity has risen as 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home. The respondents attributed this to being able to take more breaks.
We have yet to see the long-term effects of the pandemic on work-from-home productivity, but it couldn’t hurt to be proactive. It’s vital to build habits that will cause us to be productive as we work from the comforts of our home.
Here are five tech hacks to boost productivity and for an easier work-from-home life.
Use the best apps and programs.
With more and more companies transitioning to telecommuting, apps and programs have upped their game and have been competing to see who will come up with the best functions and features.
Find the best software for every possible telecommuting need, like real-time communication, project management, collaboration, remote access, and others. Research on the best and most highly-reviewed apps and programs that offer these functions and invest in them.
Upgrade or boost your Wi-Fi.
Having a fast and reliable internet connection is crucial to work-from-home productivity. Boost your Wi-Fi by doing some of these simple tricks:
- Move your router to a place where no other devices can compete with or potentially diminish your Wi-Fi signal. Try not to place it in a closet, cupboard, or other closed locations.
- Upgrade to a mesh network if your house is on the larger side, and if other family members are using the Wi-Fi.
- Switch to an ethernet cable. A wired connection is faster and much more stable and is convenient if you’re not planning on moving your workspace.
- When all else fails, restart your router.
Set up a home office that’s conducive to productivity.
Set up your home office in an area with efficient lighting and power source. Arrange it in a way that keeps you from being distracted by background noise. If possible, set it up near a window or in full view of some greenery—studies show that looking at the color green for two seconds before doing a creative task boosts output.
Make use of productivity apps.
Some apps were created to encourage productivity and time management. Time-tracking tools are ideal for those who need to identify what’s stealing their time. Aside from automatic time-tracking features, some apps have distraction blockers and helpful to-do lists.
Most of these tools also offer features that help keep your entire team on track. Encourage accountability and boost morale by collaborating and constantly communicating with your workmates through these tools.
Cut down on distracting notifications.
Notifications and push alerts can be distracting and can ruin your train of thought when you’re in the thick of working. Identify what notifications are essential and get rid of those that are not urgent, like website updates or online journal subscriptions.
Sorting through years of accumulated emails and mobile subscriptions can be tedious, especially if you haven’t done it in years. Still, it’s worth going through every single subscription or alert to check if you can do away with them.
Secure your files and data.
There is nothing more stressful and frustrating than losing important files and data and not being able to go to the office to secure them, or worse, not having other copies. Data security is the lifeblood of a remote work setup, and you need to ensure that all of your work resources are always secure and accessible.
Make a habit of backing up your files regularly. Consider upgrading your cloud and storage services, as some free cloud services don’t guarantee against data loss. Premium cloud services offer a comprehensive and more secure backup plan, like an exhaustive office 365 email backup plan, securing all of your data and files in one place.
Make Remote Work Easier
With a pandemic and a recession happening simultaneously, life is already stressful enough. Find aspects you can control—like your work-from-home setup—and do everything you can in your power to make it easier. Even doing some minor DIY tricks like these can help boost your productivity and make remote work a breeze.