How to stay productive while working from home

Online tools that will make your remote working experience a rewarding one.

The days of organising your life around the workplace may soon be a thing of the past.

According to the Towards a Super Connected Australia report - commissioned by nbn - we are now more connected than ever, with 50 per cent of Australian adults engaging in multiple online activities every day.

The report also finds that 49 per cent of employed Australians are ‘digital workers’, which means that they conduct work tasks online when away from the workplace.

But how do we make sure our remote-working experience is just as productive (if not more) as being in an office?

Here are our top tips and apps to keep you focussed while working from home.

1. Track your productivity

The first step to improving your productivity is knowing where your time is being spent. 


RescueTime is a free computer and mobile app that runs in the background of your devices and tracks your application and website usage.

So you can see exactly where your time is being wasted. And if a detailed report of your time wasting doesn’t scare you into productivity, you can opt to block certain sites for the time period you wish to be working. RescueTime is available on Mac, PC, Android and Linux.     

(Free and paid)

2. Stop incoming mail

Email is an amazing thing. On the plus side, people can reach you wherever, whenever. On the downside, people can reach you wherever, whenever. 

Outlook allows you to switch your email to offline, which stops you from being able to send or receive emails.

Productivity tools like RescueTime and Inbox Pause can help you cut distractions while working from home.

Outlook allows you to switch your email to offline, which stops you from being able to send or receive emails. Others, such as Gmail offer Inbox Pause , an email plugin that simply sends your incoming mail into a separate folder until you are ready to read them.

You’ll be surprised how much you get done simply by switching off from email.

3. Use messaging apps

There are lots of messaging apps designed with work in mind. Outside of email, these apps provide a more efficient message flow amongst co-workers and have better search capabilities.

Slack is one such computer, tablet and mobile app that facilitates team communication.

It organises discussions into channels that are open for all workers in your company to join or read.

There is also the option of chatting directly to co-workers or creating private group conversations. It also allows file sharing of images, documents, spreadsheets and PDFs. Available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.  

(Free and paid)

4. Stream a concentration playlist

Most music streaming sites offer instrumental-only music to keep your focus during working hours.

Designed to block out other noises and free from distracting lyrics, these playlists will keep your mind on the task at hand. 

If you want the deluxe version of this, focus@will is a music-streaming site developed in conjunction with neuroscientists.

Each track has been scientifically designed to enhance your focus. It even tracks your productivity as you listen so you can tailor a playlist that works best for you. Download the free iOS or Android app to listen on computer, tablet and mobile devices.    

5. Install an adblocker

If your role involves constant Internet searches and online research – and let’s face it, most roles do – an adblocker is a great way to save your time… and your mood.

These nifty little plugins (available for different web browsers on computer, tablet and mobile) will stop banners, pop-ups, expandable ads and automatic sound from getting in the way of what you’re reading and let you carry on without the bank, soft drink or luxury car advertisements interrupting you.

(Free)

So with these five great tips for more focus and productivity, you can make your work from home experience work for you.