Working from home can either be a motivating perk or a drain on your normal productivity. Even before recent events many people successfully worked from a home office. Now many more people have needed to transition to managing a career from a home office.
There are certainly benefits to this arrangement such as no traffic jams and increased time with family. However, without the right mindset you can quickly find yourself struggling to perform as well as you did when you were in the office. Follow the tips below to ensure you are the best worker you can be when your desk is at home.
1. Designate a Workspace
The first thing you should do is set up a specific area where you will do your work. While lounging on the couch or lying in bed with a laptop sounds relaxing, it likely won’t motivate you very well. Ideally, it should be somewhere where others in the house won’t disturb you. It should also be as comfortable ergonomically as a desk at work would be.
2. Be on Time
It will be tempting to sleep in and get your day started a bit later than you normally would. Taking longer lunch breaks may also be appealing. Doing this every now and then probably won’t be crushing, but making a habit out of this will start to reduce your availability to perform. Treat your job seriously and show up at the same time you would be expected to arrive at the office.
3. Keep Communication
You may feel more isolated from coworkers while at home but collaboration still matters. It is important for work from home productivity that you still have the same lines of communication with your team that you normally would. If you make a lot of calls a dedicated phone line is a good option. Video conferencing and recurring meetings to check in with others will keep everyone in touch and track toward the same goals.
4. Limit Electronics
Avoid using electronics in ways that you wouldn’t at your actual business. Keeping your favorite TV show on in the background is distracting even for the best multi-taskers. Taking five minutes to scroll social media can quickly turn into an hour if you’re not careful. However, the use of headphones or streaming music may actually provide a greater focus to some.
5. Block Distractions
This may be one of the most important aspects to consider while in a home environment. Everything from children to pets to unexpected guests can divert your focus. Sometimes it may be unavoidable but others should be clear that you have designated work time and unscheduled distractions should be kept to a minimum.
6. Schedule Breaks
Taking breaks during the day is important to a healthy mindset. It can be tempting to use this time to spend with family, run errands or do personal tasks around the house. Get in the habit of scheduling set time for such breaks so you don’t find yourself eating up hours of the workday without even realizing it. Keeping a balance is key to benefitting from being at home while still being an efficient employee.
7. Separate Your Work
You no longer have a commute to provide clear separation from work and home. This makes it harder to decompress after a day of work. Be sure to leave computers and emails behind when you are done for the day to give yourself the necessary mental break.
You still have the same obligation to your employer when working from home. Practicing the above steps and treating your home like an alternative office will make certain that you remain productive whether the situation is temporary or permanent.