8 Tips for Working From Home.
Oh, the joy of being able to roll out of bed, walk a few steps and be at work already. Working remotely definitely has it's fair share of advantages - you save time from having to commute, you don't have to necessarily get dressed, and you can work from the coffee shop or even while you're on a quick trip overseas. However, the comfort of working remotely can be a distraction when you're working from home.
Here are a few tips for how to be the most productive while you’re working from home:
1. Set up a separate space for work.
Even if you don’t have an entire room dedicated to office space, it's important to designate some space strictly for working. Avoid mixing your personal life and professional space because as much as we’d like to believe that we can do all of our work on a bed or a couch, it’s not always the most effective. I can’t count how many times I started working on my couch, and dozed off for few minutes. Let this separate office space only be reserved for the hours that you’re “at work.”
2. Create an office space setting that you’re excited to work at each day.
This is where it gets fun! Go ahead and splurge on a comfortable chair, decorate with a wall gallery or invest in cute office supplies. Add pops of cute trinkets, or a green plant to liven up the area. Make this space yours and you'll actually look forward to sitting down every morning.
3. Treat each workday like you’re going into the office.
The key to finding the the motivation to get up and start working remotely each morning? Treating each workday as if you’re going into a physical office. Alarm clock? Check. Shower? Check. A change of clothes? Triple check. Once you get into the habit of preparing to “go to work,” it will be much easier to maintain professional and personal boundaries that you have set for yourself.
4. Set office hours.
If you’re a person who enjoys having structure in their schedule, create regular office hours for yourself. Not only will this help you keep track of how long you’re working each day, but this will help you stay focused knowing when the end is of a workday is near.
5. Focus on the task at hand.
With all of your favorite things under one roof, it can be hard to not get sidetracked. From your comfy bed to Netflix - anything that looks even remotely interesting instantly becomes a distraction while you’re at home. That being said, increase your productivity by giving yourself time limits (e.g. thirty minutes or sixty minute work intervals) where you work nonstop without any distractions. Afterwards, you can reward yourself with a short five minute break to decompress.
6. Stay connected.
When it comes to working remotely, it can be hard to get in a good healthy dose of social interaction. It’s up to you to make it a part of your weekly or monthly goals to have at least two face-to-face interactions with your co-workers. If in-person meetings aren’t feasible, opt for Google Hangout or Skype calls to make your work feel more personal. Try your best to maintain frequent communication with your coworkers to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to projects and deadlines.
7. Have clear boundaries with loved ones.
While working from home might mean that you get to see more of your loved ones, it is important to maintain clear boundaries between your professional life and your work life. It can be easy for the lines to blur between family time and work time especially when it all happens in the same space. Whether that means setting up a “busy” sign or telling them that you are unavailable from certain time periods in the day, it’s important to be transparent that while you are working from home, you are not always accessible and you have deadlines to meet just like if you were in an office.
8. When you clock out of work for the day, actually leave work behind.
It doesn’t matter if someone from work has emailed you or if you want to look over a project just one more time - once you’re done working for the day, take a step back and leave work behind. Just because the computer is only a few steps away from you, doesn’t mean you are obligated to continue working. It’s perfectly fine to take a breather and step back from the hard work you’ve done. You deserve it!
What are your favorite “work at home” tips? What tips are you going to incorporate?