Technology has made work from home jobs almost like being at the office — distractions and all. At home, you simply have different kinds of distractions. Instead of Tom from IT interrupting a critical video call, it could be your toddler throwing a tantrum or Fluffy and Fido fighting. Whatever your location, you have to find ways to work as efficiently as possible. You'll probably have to rearrange part of your home and personal life to accommodate this new, challenging way of life. Once you've found your groove, you may discover that you're just as productive working from home as you were at the office, if not more so.
Designate a Workspace
Designate an area where you will actually go to do the majority of your work. It should be a place in your home that's outside your common hangout areas. You should always be able to separate work life from home life as much as possible, but this can be challenging, especially if your home is small. Mixing work and personal space can bring stress into your personal life and can reduce work productivity. When you're working from home, it's best to have an area used only for work activities.
Sunlight can do wonders for your productivity in more ways than one. It's refreshing and rejuvenating to spend a little time in the sun. It supplies you with vitamin D, which is necessary for your immune health. Sunlight also helps keep your circadian rhythm in sync. Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep/wake cycle by working with your body's various hormones (e.g., melatonin) to make you sleepy when you need to sleep and more alert when you need to be awake. Spending more time at home, especially gaining maximum productivity, may warrant checking into how to finance swimming pools. What better way to spend your lunch breaks and downtime than catching some rays by the pool?
Go Into Work Mode
Most people's minds associate home with relaxation and comfort. Similarly, your body associates pajamas with sleep and bedtime. When you need to be productive, it's best to follow a routine just as you would if you would commute to work. Establish a practice with which to begin each day. For example, get up, make some coffee, take a shower and get dressed in something other than sleepwear. You probably won't feel the need to wear your typical work attire at home, but putting on actual clothes before you get your day started will help your transfer your mind into work mode.
Have Some Ambient Noise
Having a designated work area in your home is preferable for maximum focus and productivity. However, getting out of your everyday work environment occasionally can also boost productivity. One reason this is true is that ambient noise has been shown to help promote creative insight. Take your laptop to a coffee shop once or twice a week, especially on those days when you're having trouble getting some motivation. If you can't go out, the next best option is to play some sounds from Coffitivity, a website that recreates ambient cafe sounds. You can also turn on the radio or TV for some ambient noise. Just make sure that it isn't too loud or something that will distract you from your work.
When you're working from home, you may feel isolated from the rest of the world. It's essential to have daily communication with some of your colleagues just as you would if you were in the office. Remember to regularly check in with your team members to see how their day is going. You have numerous options for communicating with them these days; it doesn't always have to be a video call. Try to rotate between phone calls, instant messages, texts and emails. And, by the way, it doesn't always have to be discussions directly related to work.
It's easy to get distracted wherever you are, but you typically have more freedom over your own area at home than your space at the office. Try to minimize distractions such as children, pets, deliveries, visitors, loud music and TV.
Be sure to take lunch breaks and other short breaks throughout the day, just as you would if you were in the office. Each night, plan simple, healthy meals for your next day's lunch and healthy snacks that you can munch on even while you're working.
Taking breaks can help increase productivity. Research shows that working approximately 50 minutes and disengaging from work for about 15 to 20 minutes helps your mind recharge and refresh.
If you've never worked remotely, doing so could seem like a mixed blessing in the beginning. This is particularly true if remote work wasn't your choice. The key is to put some thought into preparing your space. Then, learn what works best for you as you go on this new journey.