A good work ethic is something we all aspire to have. Especially as 41.8% of Americans work remotely and are still trying to cope with the trials of the unfortunate ‘new normal’. We’re all always looking for things to help us in this seemingly fruitless quest, and this can be found in regular, day-to-day items that you might not have thought about before.
Here are six gadgets and online services that might help drastically improve your work ethic at home and how to use them to boost your productivity:
#1 Get an air conditioning unit to keep the airflow moving around your office, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer
90% of Americans have air conditioning units in their homes. This is a great tool to get the air flowing around your office. Good airflow is scientifically proven to improve productivity and awareness, as well as prevent headaches and sluggishness. This will definitely improve your mind's clarity and help your workday get off to a good start.
As you are working from home, you can also set the temperature to make it perfect for your working environment, not just for the general majority or the boss’s favorite when they’re complaining that they’re too hot when everyone else is too cold. You have complete control over this, so you get to set the temperature that’s right for you.
#2 Set rules for other people in your household when it comes to volume and interaction to decrease the number of distractions
It’s good to have boundaries for when you work at home with others. Work independently, not together, and if this isn’t possible, set up opaque screens to stop the interaction and keep you focused on your work. It may be a good idea to invest in some soundproof headphones to wear while you work, especially if there are unavoidable distractions, such as roadworks directly under your window.
This also helps you zone in on your work, keeping you from being distracted by audible interruptions, such as your daughter's class zoom call in the next room or your spouse in a meeting down the hall.
#3 Make sure everything works properly to stop distractions and know how to fix things when they go wrong or break
Make sure your laptop, and any other electrics you might need, work properly before starting work for the day. If your computer hardware does break, don’t go to the local electronics store during the current covid-19 pandemic and risk your own and your family's safety for the sake of a component or board. Instead, go to a highly reliable search engine for electronic parts: Octopart. You can easily find what you’re looking for and repair it yourself, for what will probably be a significantly lower price than taking it to a retailer who might keep it for weeks and tell you it can’t be helped, when you know it can.
#4 Use task management software to keep you and your team focused on the jobs at hand
Task management software can help you and your colleagues keep on top of the work by tracking everyone’s progress. It’s a handy online service to use, and with 77% of highly successful businesses using this software, it's clear that it’s a good investment to make. It boosts morale through seeing others work and maintains a small sense of the working community that has since been dispersed all over your city.
#5 Switch to LED bulbs to make sure your workspace is well lit to increase productivity and to help your eyesight
Having a well-lit workspace is a good motivator, as well as being far better for your eyesight. Of course, using natural light is far better, but when you’re working in the winter and daylight hours are limited, you’re going to need some extra light.
Switching to LED, if you haven’t already, is a sure way to save on electricity and also become more eco-friendly. By using white-tinted bulbs, you will also be helping your eyesight, as they are brighter and mimic sunlight, which helps your eyes adjust far more naturally than yellow tint.
#6 Use your calendar app and alarms on your phone to maintain a structure to your working day
Using alarms may sound annoying, but it can help you when it comes to working. It stops you from going too long without a break and helps you maintain a pace. This can also be regulated to how you want to work, so if you prefer two slightly longer breaks rather than three shorter ones, you can work to the structure that suits you best.
Just make sure you’re taking the right amount of breaks and the right amount of time off for each one. Also, you should be careful when doing a little bit of overtime, as you can easily lose track of time.
Make sure your hours for overtime remain healthy, and you keep your work and home lives separate, and don’t let one interfere with the other, especially when it comes to doing after hours.