7 Bad Work From Home Habits Ruining Your Productivity (and How to Fix Them)

Vartika Kashyap
8 min readJun 9, 2020

Never before we have witnessed such widespread adoption of remote work by millions of organizations across the globe. Remote work is no more a temporary arrangement; this trend is here to stay, and for long.

Even businesses that were skeptical of allowing employees to work remotely before the novel coronavirus wreaked havoc on mankind have had to embrace this change and ask their workforce to operate from home.

For many employees, work from home has proved to be a welcome change. No more commuting, no more wastage of time getting stuck in traffic jams, and saving on transportation costs like bus fares, fuel cost, etc.

In other words, they are enjoying the ‘flexibility’ that remote work has brought with it. They can create schedules and set the pace of work according to their convenience. At the same time, there are others who are finding it difficult to adjust to this change. For them, the fine line between work and life has blurred, and their productivity is nowhere close as it used to be.

Do you also feel that your productivity level is at an all-time low? Are you failing to meet deadlines consistently? Are you struggling to work efficiently while juggling domestic chores and responsibilities?

If the answer to the aforementioned questions is a sound “yes” you might be sabotaging your productivity without even knowing about it!

The worst part is that people tend to overlook the impact of their daily habits on their life. They forget that improvement and growth in personal and professional life are the results of good habits. When working from home, if you have developed bad habits without realizing it, you need to identify and fix them before it’s too late.

As the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub, I have done thorough research on the habits (bad) that can ruin the performance of remote employees. A couple of members from my team have also faced this problem, but we’ve been quick to detect the issues and nip them in the bud.

Here are — — bad habits you need to eliminate to do justice to your potential and your organization’s faith in your abilities.

1. Starting Your Day Without A Plan

Alright, you are working from home and nobody is watching you. Your schedule is yours. Without direct supervision, the chances are you are starting your day at work without any action plan, which is taking you nowhere in terms of results. It’s like starting a trip without a map.

You just do tasks randomly in a day and there is no prioritization of tasks and goals in place. This can make it difficult for you to meet deadlines and keep track of to-dos because you don’t have a scheduling calendar to follow.

Here’s how you can solve this — Use an all-in-one project management software, like Proofhub to organize your events, tasks, and milestones all in one place. Create a list of goals for the day, and use it to focus on completing tasks in hand.

Manage Tasks and Schedules at one place with ProofHub. Sign up NOW!”

2. Multitasking

Trying to do two things at a time can never be as effective as concentrating on a single task. If you’re multitasking, you don’t have a clear focus on the task at hand. You might not even realize that you are taking extra stress by trying to do more than what you can handle.

No matter how good you think you are at multitasking, remember that it’s not a good thing. Some people are tempted to multitask while working from home because their managers or colleagues can’t see what they are doing. They might juggle multiple project tasks or help their kids with homework while working from home!

Relax, give yourself a break, and take life one step at a time!

Here’s how you can solve this — avoid multitasking — it’s as simple as this. Keep separate time for personal activities. Just because no one is watching should not mean you are mixing your work time with personal activities. Also, focus on one thing at a time. Don’t jump into doing too many tasks at once thinking that you are running short of time. This will ruin all the tasks and your efforts.

3. Not Adapting To Remote Technology

Remote working is about adjusting to new tools and technology. But I have seen how some remote workers dig in their heels and refuse to adapt, for reasons best known to them. Such people not only make things harder for themselves but also for their coworkers to get things done on time.

Because of one team member, the entire team has to take the blame for slow work progress. For example, a team is using a project management software for simplified planning and collaboration, but one member drags his heels to download the tool — and as such, he doesn’t get looped in on a project-related conversation and miss an important deadline.

Here’s how you can solve this — Use tools and apps that help to make team coordination easier while working remotely. Things like cloud-based collaboration tools, messaging apps, and video conferencing software help to connect seamlessly with your team and keep the flow of projects moving.

“Want to bring a positive change in your work life this year? Switch to ProofHub.”

4. Checking Your Phone Constantly

Mobile phones have become an inseparable part of our lives (literally). Without a doubt, mobile phones and the internet have helped a great deal to bridge the communication gap between people, but it seems we have become addicted to checking our phones every few minutes or so.

Checking social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) is a huge time suck. You cannot get tired of checking photos or reading posts that other users have posted, but do you realize how this habit is eating a significant chunk of your productive time?

Stop checking your phone too often. it distracts you from doing important tasks at hand and kills your productivity.

Here’s how you can solve this — Turn off the mobile data for social media accounts during your working hours and allot a certain time to check social media. For example, you can check them during your tea or lunch breaks.

5. Too Much Screen Time

Too much of everything is bad. It’s been said that “Sitting is the new smoking” and I couldn’t agree more. Many remote workers are spending more time on screen, which means putting themselves at risk of several health issues, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal disorders.

Sitting on the desk continuously for hours can be taxing on your mind and body. You can get exhausted, which can slow you down considerably and lower your productivity level. Your body needs regular breaks from work so that it gets time to recover.

Here’s how you can solve this — Consider trying a Pomodoro schedulez or working from a standing desk. Do some stretching exercises every half an hour or so. You can also go for a brisk walk around your home.

6. Disconnecting from everyone

It makes sense that you need to eliminate all distractions to stay productive as a remote worker. However, some people are spending too much time on their desks and they stop interacting with their friends and family throughout the day. The result? Isolation due to lack of human interaction, which provides innumerable benefits for us, both mentally and physically.

Disconnecting yourself from everyone during the day so that you can concentrate on work can stem the feelings of depression and anxiety, which could kill your productivity in the long run.

Here’s how you can solve this — Built better connections at the office so that you can talk to them about both personal and professional life. You can interact with your team members for short periods, like during coffee breaks, and still, get your work done. You can also catch up with your friends in the evening, once you log out of work. You don’t have to completely break all your connections to successfully work from home.

7. Poor Personal Hygiene

Remote work offers you flexibility, but some people carry it too far. Working in pajamas all day long, for example, does no good for your productivity or morale. So many digital workers forget to take care of personal hygiene when they are sitting continuously for hours.

You may not realize but there is a strong connection between what you wear and your mood. Wearing wrinkled clothes, working without having a bath, can make you feel lousy, unkempt, and disorganized.

Here’s how you can solve this — Wake up early, shave regularly, take bath before you start to work, and put your neatly ironed workwear on. You will see how it makes a world of difference to your overall mood.

Wrapping It Up

Yes, working from home gives you countless benefits, but don’t let this leverage turn into negative habits that can hamper your performance and other aspects of your life. Execution of effective solutions mentioned in this article in an easy-to-understand language can help you fix these bad habits and prove your mettle as an efficient and competent employee. Good Luck!

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Vartika Kashyap

Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.