As more and more people begin to work at home the question everyone is asking is, ‘How do I stay productive while out of the office?’’ In a world full of technology distractions lie at every corner. As you transition from working in the office to working at home take a look at the tips below to help you stay productive and efficient throughout your day.
See our full list of productivity tips below. Or get our recommendations for the perfect work from home setup.
While working from home might take some getting used to and can throw off your routine, it can be enormously beneficial when done correctly. For those that master it, working at home can not only be more productive but can also save you time and money. Although there are certainly downsides to remote work here are seven tips to get a bit of a head start.
1. Establish a Morning Routine
Routine is king and a morning routine is especially important when it comes to getting your day started off right. For some that might mean getting in a morning jog or perhaps a quick run to the coffee shop. For others, it might mean breakfast while reading or watching the news.
What you don’t want to do is roll out of bed 5 minutes before you have to start working. These morning routines allow you to wake up and get into “work mode.” So whether it’s 30 minutes or 2 hours, give yourself the time you need to prepare physically and mentally for what’s ahead.
Want some tips on what makes a good idea? Here’s a pretty comprehensive list.
2. Get Rid of Distractions
Technology is certainly a lifesaver. However, it also serves as a potential distraction. This is especially true for social media, which has essentially been engineered to keep us engaged. The pull of Facebook or Twitter can be hard to resist, so why not make it easier on yourself? Try logging out of your social accounts or disabling notifications on your phone. This will stop the constant attempts by social media companies to capture your attention.
And if you need to, create a rule for yourself that says I will not use social media while at my workspace. This will help you further by creating a sort of mental barrier between work and social media. Rules like these really help you avoid social media which most of us seem to be checking out of habit instead of necessity.
3. Take Breaks
While working remotely has its benefits, one negative would be the lack of movement. While a commute to work gets you up and moving, working from home can feel comfortable. It is easy to find yourself working from the same spot for the entirety of your day.
Don’t neglect breaks or healthy habits such as short walks and stretching. Get up every once in a while, perhaps take that phone call you need to make while walking outside if you can. Ensure you use your lunch break to move around or better yet go out for lunch. These breaks are not only healthier they are also better for your productivity.
4. Set up Good Communication
Communication is key, and this is even more true when working from home. While in the office it’s easy to walk over and ask for clarification or get a second opinion. This is not always the case while at home.
Communication will not only let your supervisors know that you’re not a rogue employee, but it will also allow you to work effectively with your colleagues as well. Having clear and concise communication about what you’re working on and what your schedule is will allow you and your colleagues to be on the same page ensuring a smoother workday.
5. Have a Dedicated Workspace
One of the hardest things about working from home is keeping a healthy work-life balance. This is where having a dedicated workspace can help set boundaries. Having an area free of clutter and distractions as well as one dedicated to work will help you cross that mental barrier that says, “I’m at work now”.
Sometimes it’s just too hard to concentrate at home. When the Wifi is out or the construction is forever ongoing next door why not take the opportunity to go mobile. Sometimes taking your laptop to a nearby coffee shop is ideal. Try finding two or three coffee shops nearby that are suitable for telecommuting. Sometimes a change of setting is nice and it’s always useful to have a place to go in case the wifi goes out.
Want to make sure your space is well set up? Check out this guide: Office Ergonomics: A Complete Guide
6. Use the Proper Equipment
You can’t work from home if you don’t have the proper equipment. Sometimes small things such as using a wireless mouse instead of a trackpad or having some extra monitor real estate can make all the difference when it comes to your productivity. (Learn more about the best way to get more screen space here.)
Plus, there are some pieces of tech, such as webcams, that might be necessary so make sure you are prepared with the proper tech by your side.
Want to get the right monitor for your home workspace? Check this out.
7. Get the Right Software Solutions
Just as important as having all the gear you need is having the right software, apps, and settings. There is nothing worse than realizing your microphone doesn’t work because of a missing update right as you’re trying to get your point across in a conference call.
So don’t get caught flat-footed in the middle of your workday. Ensure you have everything you need prior to the start of your day. Even more importantly, ensure that you have tested your equipment and software before using it. Here are some useful apps you might need while working from home.
While working from home might not be for everyone, applying these tips will certainly help you get started.
A solid morning routine, communication, reliable tech, and a distinct workspace will all help your productivity. Keeping your sleep times consistent and ensuring you keep regular working hours for lunch as well as having a small end of day routine that works for you as well.
Then try finishing off the day by planning out your goals for tomorrow and preparing what you need to achieve them. Now you even have a headstart on tomorrow. Here you are working from home.
Want to know more? Click here to learn how to work from home.