10 Home (Virtual) Office Hacks for Increased Productivity

Staying productive can be a challenge for all employees – especially for those who work remotely and struggle to strike a healthy work-life balance. So, what do you do when you want to increase productivity and knock out your to-do list during working hours? You read this article for remote work productivity hacks, of course! In this post, we’ll share 10 work-from-home tips to boost your productivity levels and regain focus!

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Having a morning routine can help you stay motivated and focused.
  2. Staying satiated and hydrated can increase productivity levels.
  3. Connecting with colleagues virtually can help forge strong relationships. 

1. Identify a dedicated workspace.

If possible, set up an office space for yourself. Having a dedicated workspace can make all the difference when it comes to establishing a better work-life balance and boosting productivity because it allows you to focus on your to-do list and make video conferencing calls with little-to-no disruptions.

So, what do you do when you don’t have room for a home office? You can get creative with carving out space in your own home. Perhaps, the kitchen counter is the perfect place to catch up on emails or the patio has great natural light needed for your video call. Wherever they may be, try to locate a dedicated workspace or two so you can have a consistent place to get work done throughout the day.

2. Create a morning routine or remote work ritual to get your day started.

When you work remotely, getting started on the first important task of the day can take a bit of motivation. After all, your energy levels are prone to fluctuate when you live and work in the same place and have long work hours.

So, it may be useful to create a remote work ritual that helps you get going. Now, we can’t tell you exactly what to do. However, we suggest identifying just a couple of things you can do to put a pep in your own step. This can include playing an optimistic song before you start a day of virtual meetings or taking dance breaks between phone calls. These small breaks in your day, if done consistently, can create a ritual that helps increase productivity.

3. Brighten up your workspace with colorful or sentimental objects.

If you’re lucky to have a dedicated workspace, you should decorate it! Personalizing your workspace can be one of the most fun and rewarding remote work hacks. 

While decorating can seem counterproductive or like it has little value, the activity can actually help you stay focused. How? Well think about it for a moment, when one is comfortable and inspired in their workspace, they stay connected to the tasks at hand, and naturally, their productivity levels increase over time.

4. Keep snacks and water handy.

Have you ever had back-to-back conference calls? Working remotely can be quite tasking – especially if you work in a high-demand industry such as those who work as designers, developers, and creative professionals.

So, whenever possible, keep snacks handy! Having snacks, preferably healthy ones, stashed nearby is a simple but useful productivity hack that anyone can do. Don’t have time to take a lunch break? Need to hop on a video chat and don’t have time to eat an entire meal? Having a snack handy can help you stay satiated and return back to your productive day in no time.

5. Co-work virtually with a remote colleague.

Remote workers are characterized by their innate independence. After all, working remotely requires one to be self-motivated and maintain a work schedule with little oversight – relying on technology to stay on the same page as one’s remote teams.

While independence and solo work are the hallmarks of remote work, it can be beneficial to your work process to engage with other employees from time to time. So, consider co-working remotely with your colleagues! This interaction can simulate visiting a coffee shop and coworking with a friend or simply involve screen sharing while performing similar tasks. However, if you decide to approach co-working remotely, keep in mind that the end goal is to spend time with your colleagues while making progress on the projects on your task list. 

productivity exemplified by a remote worker typing on a computer's keyboard

6. Leave home from time to time.

Remote workers often have the benefit of working from anywhere, as long as they have a stable internet connection. So, don’t feel confined to working from home! Get out and go to a coffee shop, museum courtyard, nearby park, or anywhere where you can access your tasks. 

Certain tasks may be best performed in the quietness of your home. However, different tasks require different levels of focus and can be conducted in co-working spaces. So, we suggest leaving home from time to time to spark inspiration, get a bit of fresh air, and work towards your goals in a new environment. 

7. Avoid scrolling on your cellphone during work breaks.

To establish a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to take a few breaks, rest your eyes, and reset your brain as you move on to new tasks throughout the workday. 

During your breaks, it can be tempting to sit in one spot and scroll on your phone until the time has expired. However, we don’t encourage you to do that. Instead of spending your break time instant messaging or scrolling through social media platforms, we suggest focusing on your physical or mental health during this time. 

Instead of scrolling on your phone, move your body, listen to music, grab a bite to eat, or simply step outside for a breath of fresh air. These brief moments of personal time can work wonders for your productivity, as they help you reset and recalibrate your brain to tackle future tasks. 

8. Communicate consistently with your colleagues.

Remote employees communicate asynchronously in many cases. However, while responses aren’t always instant, it’s important that a remote team has steady and consistent communication from all parties. 

So, what can remote employees do to increase productivity all around? Communicate of course! Does your team use productivity apps? If so, make sure you post project updates regularly. Do you want to know the best tools for note-taking? Ask your coworkers what they do to stay productive and alert! Remember, consistent communication can only lead to closer colleagues, more informed remote teams, and employees that collaborate well together. 

9. Dress up occasionally.

When one works remotely, it can be easy to get comfortable and view time getting ready as wasted time. However, we encourage you to dress up from time to time. 

Dressing up can spark a confidence boost and help one look incredibly professional during conference calls. So, give it a try! When you need to work on something important, dress the part. You’ll be surprised at the amount of productive work you can get done when you look and feel your best!

10. Move your body when you feel stuck.

In between team-building activities, virtual meetings, and never-ending to-do lists, it can be hard to stay inspired as a remote worker. 

Our suggestion? Keep your body moving. Whether that’s stretching, going for a walk or taking a moment to dance; movement can inspire you when you find yourself stuck in a rut. So, give it a try the next time you feel immobilized by your ideas or simply can’t find the words to punctuate a project. The movement in your body just may cause the gears to start turning in your mind.