Remote work was on the rise even before the pandemic, with one out of five people working remotely at least one day of the week. Your desk is now your bed, your “coworkers” are your family members running around the house, and anytime is lunchtime. That’s the new reality many are facing as they find themselves working from the “comfort” of their own home. However, the lines between work and home can become blurred and it can become difficult to distinguish the two. While you may have woken up with every intent to finish this quarter’s payroll report, you actually found yourself binge-watching a new show on Netflix.
Having trouble staying productive while working from home? We’ve got you covered with these 5 tips that will help you stay productive!
Dress for success
As tempting as it can be to stay in the comfort of your sweats all day, this could be hindering your productivity. Being in sweats and a t-shirt all day can put your mind in relaxation mode making you more prone to lying in bed all day. While you might not be physically walking into an office, it’s still important to dress for success even at home. This does not mean you have to sit in your living room in a three piece suit typing away the entire day, it can be something as simple as brushing and styling your hair and putting on a nice shirt and a pair of slacks. These simple changes can help your brain get into work mode, stay focused on your tasks, and increase your productivity.
Make your own schedule
Aside from scheduled zoom meetings and project deadlines there is no set structure for your workday. Unlike in an office setting where you’re scheduled from 9-5, you have no set hours to get your work done at home, which can lead to disorganization, unfinished tasks, or missed deadlines. You can bring normalcy to your days working at home by creating a schedule for yourself. Structure your day like you would in the office to keep up with tasks and meet deadlines. When working from home you become your own personal manager, so make it your job to create and manage a schedule that best suits you.
Create an at home office
Your bed is not a designated home office space. If it is, chances are that you’re not getting any work done. Similarly, your couch is a place for comfort and relaxation not somewhere you’d want to spend hours working on projects. It’s essential to create a workspace at home to help you keep a healthy boundary between home and work. Your office space doesn’t have to be anything fancy and can simply consist of a chair and a table with a lamp. Having a designated working space free of distractions will allow your brain to concentrate on the tasks that need to be accomplished.
Your brain is not going to concentrate on finishing up a report if you’re scrolling aimlessly through social media. Avoid the temptation by removing all shortcuts to social media sites on your browser, using private browsers, and putting your phone on do not disturb. If you live with family members or roommates, talk to them about your boundaries during working hours to avoid distractions. Same goes for pets, it can break your focus to see your dog run around the living room. It’s important to designate an independent space for your pet during your working hours.
It’s important to practice self-care when working from home. You’re often deprived of face-to-face interactions with others and can spend a lot of time working in solitude. Make sure that you’re spending time outside of the four walls of your home to work on your mental and physical health. Take a walk at the park or just do some stretching with a yoga mat in your living room. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can take breaks when you need them. If you’ve been busy working on a task for the past three hours, take a few minutes to treat yourself to a snack or a quick walk around the block. Schedule a mid afternoon nap if you’re feeling fatigued (don’t forget to set an alarm!) and pick back up on work after.
Remote work can present you with new obstacles that you wouldn’t regularly encounter in the office. These obstacles affect your workflow and can hinder your productivity. As a remote worker it’s essential to separate your work life from your home life. By dressing for success, making your own schedule, creating an office space, limiting distractions, and taking breaks, you can overcome these obstacles. Implementing these strategies will allow you to stay organized and on top of your tasks!
What are your best tips to stay organized when working from home? Share your thoughts below.