Plantronics, makers of headsets and other gadgets for mobile professionals conducted a survey of work habits and pain points of home-based workers. I’ll share some of the survey results below, but more importantly share tips with you on being more productive.
Can you identify with your peers:
- The majority (91 percent) of survey respondents conduct non-business-related activities during the workday.
- Seventy-three percent of home-based pros conduct personal activities while on business calls.
- Eighty-four percent of respondents perform other work-related tasks while on business calls, like writing e-mails and doing research on the Internet.
- Most home-based pros do some business outside of the home, and nearly one-third said they work when on the road or in an airplane.
- Nearly one-third of respondents don’t have a room at home dedicated as their office. Furthermore, 42 percent have experienced physical ailments, including neck and back pain from improper ergonomics.
Now for the tips…
Get organized: Straining to find the materials you need is a huge waste of time. Clear unnecessary clutter from your work environment and invest in plastic bins to store items you don’t use daily. Create an organizational system for papers and computer files that makes sense for you.
Schedule breaks: Taking a little time out can help you recharge and tackle work with renewed energy. Schedule breaks as small incentives to help you accomplish personal tasks. For instance, after each hour of work, take ten minutes to load, unload and fold the laundry. Knowing that there’s a planned break on the horizon can also help limit distractions.
Employ ergonomics: Buy yourself a proper desk and chair with sufficient back support. Working on the couch or at the kitchen table might be comfortable for a little while, but it will wreak havoc on your body by the end of the day.
Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder is a common source of neck aches. A wireless headset or hands-free phone can help you stay pain-free by eliminating that need, allowing you to multitask with ease.
Go mobile: Mobile technologies such as laptops, wireless headsets and hands-free phones can help make work more portable and productive. Home-based pros can move around the house or to an external location like a coffee shop or the airport while staying completely connected.
Wireless headsets and hands-free phones can also help users multitask. Home-based pros can dexterously chop vegetables for dinner while completing a business call. Most have mute and noise-cancelling capabilities to help filter background noise. In fact, according to the Plantronics survey, most home-based pros think they would perform business and personal tasks more effectively and comfortably if they could make and receive phone calls hands free.
While these tips are tailored for people who work from home, they can be adapted to help anyone accomplish tasks more efficiently and shape a healthier lifestyle.