Did you know that as of 2023, 12.7% of Americans worked from home, while 28.2% worked a hybrid model of being both home and in the office? In addition, it is predicted that by 2025, 32.6 million (22%) Americans will be working out of the office.  

As remote work becomes increasingly prevalent, many struggle with the nuances of working effectively in their new environments. To help those struggling to adapt or those just looking to boost productivity, we contacted Lauren Truslow, founder and owner of The Plan who provides unique and actionable strategies to improve your work-from-home experience. 

Craft an Ideal Workspace

Remote work comes with its own set of challenges. Instead of a chatty co-worker, there are other distractions like kids, pets, noisy neighbors, etc., and your environment plays a pivotal role in your productivity. 

To help yourself be as productive as possible, try to set up your workspace in a quiet area with plenty of natural light, incorporate green and blue hues to lower stress, and invest in ergonomic furniture. If you can’t find a quiet place, consider investing in some noise-canceling headphones. 

Structure Your Day for Optimal Output

Next, you will want to structure your day. A great option is to break your day into focused work sessions using the Pomodoro Technique, which is 25 minutes of concentrated work followed by a 5-minute break. This method helps maintain high levels of focus and reduces burnout. 

Additionally, incorporating short physical activities or mindfulness practices during these breaks will rejuvenate your mind and body.

Set Smart Goals for Task Management

Goal setting is a skill. Instead of just writing a list, incorporate SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) to ensure your list is well-defined and achievable. For task prioritization, try the ABCDE method, A tasks are high priority, while E tasks can be eliminated if necessary. Regularly review your goals to keep them relevant and achievable. 

Leverage Technology & Tools

While scrolling Instagram will greatly reduce productivity, leveraging the RIGHT technology will significantly enhance productivity. Explore AI-driven task management systems and sync your paper planners with digital tools for a comprehensive planning approach. These tools can help streamline your tasks and manage your time more effectively.

Take Steps to Achieve Work-Life Harmony

When your office is in the home, creating physical boundaries to separate your work from your personal life is essential. For example, if possible, use a separate phone or email for work, and set specific hours for yourself for when you will work and when you are home to relax so you don’t end up overdoing it. 

Foster Connectivity & Community

Working from home can be isolating, so it is essential to maintain communication with colleagues. Create a Slack group to chat throughout the day or even organize regular virtual meetups where you can work alongside your peers in real time. This connectedness fosters a sense of community and keeps you connected with your team.

Embrace Flexibility & Adaptability

Adaptability is an essential skill in the remote work environment. Be prepared to adjust your plans and strategies as your work and personal life evolve. This flexibility will help you stay productive and balanced under any circumstance. 

Adapting to work-from-home life requires self-discipline, strategic planning, and the right tools. Incorporate these tips and determine what works best for you, and you will become more productive than you ever thought possible.