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Want to stay productive while working from home?

Want to stay productive while working from home?

Helpful suggestions to improve productivity

Rachel King

In our recent blog ‘Working from home with the cloud’, we shared how the number of homeworkers has increased tremendously due to COVID-19. So, how can we improve productivity whilst we’re at home? We explore some useful suggestions to get you started…

 In April 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that 49.2% of people were primarily working from home due to the social distancing measures. When you compare that to 5.1% in 2019, this is, without a doubt, a significant increase. 

Now, even as lockdown has eased, working from home is still the new reality for many. 

It is widely thought that this ‘new’ working culture has brought with it a permanent shift in working patterns, now that employers have seen at first hand that home-based working is feasible.

For many employees, this is true.

To make remote working practical for everyone, however, and to ensure that employees can remain fully productive, businesses need to make sure that those newly-home-based employees have access to the right tools, practice appropriate disciplines and habits, and stick to important working patterns and routines.

By doing that they can maximize productivity and ensure that employees remain happy and motivated. 

In this article, we discuss some of the key factors we think you should consider putting into place and communicate with employees and in turn, help your business to remain productive and competitive.

1. Stick to a routine

Most of us work well with routines, it’s no secret. 

Before commuting to work, you will most likely have a morning routine. Perhaps something like; take a shower, have breakfast, coffee, clean your teeth, get dressed in workwear, then commute to the office.

When you're working from home, a routine is just as important. The key to working from home is tricking your body into knowing that it's work time - not home time. 

The television and lie-ins can wait until out-of-work hours - it’s important to keep yourself in a professional headspace.

2.Have a solid workspace 

Obviously, not everyone has a room or area in their home that can be turned into dedicated office space. 

But no matter what size your home is, it is important to set up some kind of area that you can associate with work and ‘adopt’ that space if at all possible.

Even if it is your dining table or a desk in the spare room, the key is to create a distraction-free zone where your mind can focus on the work tasks at hand.

One point: try to avoid working in your bedroom. It’s important for your mental health to maintain a space that is only associated with rest and sleep and keep your ‘work’ space separate from that.

3. Reduce personal-task distractions

When you’re working from home, the line between home and work gets blurred even if you have a solid routine. It can be tempting to pop on a clothes wash or to send out personal emails throughout the day.

Whilst it’s fine to spend your breaks doing whatever you wish, it’s important to close off your personal life once in work mode to minimize distraction.

How you do this depends on how easily distracted you are – but it may require simply closing your office door, to more drastic measures such as leaving your personal phone in another room. 

4. Use tools designed to improve productivity

If there’s anything that is going to get employees down and slow up processes it’s paper-based admin jobs.

When working at home this issue is magnified as paper documents can take days to arrive in the mail, let alone cause extra hassle because of buying the stamps required and traipsing to the post office.

Because of this, employees may find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of time working on manual paper-based processes such as raising purchase orders and approving invoices – as well as completing expense claims arising from home working.

In fact, a YouGov survey, carried out on behalf of smart payment providers Soldo, found that employees of UK SMEs spend an average of 4.10 hours every week dealing with financial admin.

Multiplied through the organization, that’s a massive productivity hit which your employees and the whole business could very easily do without.

On top of the impact manual processes have on productivity, there is also an effect on morale caused by the working hours lost, impacting productivity even further.

Improving productivity with a time-saving automation solution

Thankfully, the productivity issues associated with labor-intensive manual paper processes can be easily addressed through the use of document automation software.

By using a cloud-based, productivity-boosting system such as Zetadocs, to manage processes such as supplier invoice processing, sales order processing and invoicing, your employees can save time, be more efficient and work more effectively and collaboratively with colleagues, wherever they are based.

Zetadocs is a smart software solution that removes many of the manual elements of document management and expense management, enabling you to save time, cost, effort, and the environment.

Zetadocs is specifically designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV. Its purpose is to automate and streamline your document-based processes such as:

  • Handling and approving supplier invoices
  • Emailing sales invoices and notifications
  • Capturing proof of delivery
  • Managing travel and business expenses

The key benefits of Zetadocs are that it can:

  • Eliminate printing, handling, and mailing of documents and emails
  • Remove storage costs associated with retaining paper documents
  • Speed up processing, enabling employees to be more efficient and to provide better customer service.

The automated document management features of Zetadocs will provide your business employees with time and cost-saving benefits by replacing paper-based processes and allowing them to collaborate productively and securely across the organization, whether home-based or anywhere else. 

To start your journey to improved document efficiency, contact our team of experts today

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