Remote work is a big part of the “new normal,” at least for now, but productivity is becoming an issue for employees working from home, according to new research from business news and how-to website The Manifest, which finds that only 3 in 10 employees say they’re more productive working remotely than in an office setting. Nearly half of employees (45 percent) are more productive working in an office, and 24 percent say they’re equally productive working from home and in an office.
- Using a designated workspace (43 percent)
- Structuring their day to resemble normal working hours (36 percent)
- Taking frequent breaks (34 percent)
- Setting a schedule (26 percent)
- Reducing distractions (24 percent)
- Communicating with colleagues often (23 percent)
Using a designated workspace helps employees get into the work mindset
A dedicated office space at home helps people separate work from personal time. Using a designated workspace is the number one way people stay productive working remotely—43 percent of employees say they do this.
“This ensures I have a dedicated space to work from and ‘commute’ to each morning,” said Bethan Vincent, marketing director of app and web developer Netsells, in a news release. “It’s important to have a dedicated space you work in and leave at the end of the day, even if it’s just clearing away your laptop from a kitchen table.”
Structuring and planning their workday helps employees stay on task
Many people say working the same schedule and hours as they did in an office helps them stay productive working remotely. Nearly one-third of employees are structuring their day to resemble normal work hours (36 percent), and 26 percent are setting a schedule each workday to increase their productivity.
“It’s important to me to replicate a ‘normal’ working day so I know how much work I can get done and what I can achieve,” said Jenna Carson, HR director at Music Grotto, which teaches people how to play guitar and sing, in the release. “A routine helps me organize my day more efficiently and be more productive.”
Employees are more productive taking breaks
Businesses shouldn’t discourage employees from stepping away from work for a few minutes several times each day. This actually increases productivity. One-third of workers (34 percent) say taking breaks is important for staying productive when working remotely.
One technique is the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks work up into 25-minute increments with short, 3- to 5-minute breaks in between.
“This not only helps me stay productive, but it increases the quality of my work as well,” said Tom De Spiegalaere, founder of digital marketing agency Tom Spicky, according to the release.