With the help of modern technology, working from home has never been more attainable. As many employers are realizing the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home (increased employee satisfaction, reduced company overhead, and even increased productivity), remote work policies are becoming the way of the future.
The option of working from the comfort of your own home without a morning commute is sure to seem appealing – who doesn’t love the “business on top, party on the bottom” business casual attire video meetings permit? However, you might soon realize that maintaining your productivity levels while working remotely can be quite challenging if you don’t have the right support and tools.
We’ve rounded up the top 10 work from home tips that will keep you on task, and more productive than ever.
1. Set up a home office – Creating a designated space to work is perhaps the most important element you need when working remotely. Your workspace should be organized, quiet and have all the tools you need to complete your job. You should be able to take a meeting in this space without scrambling to clean your kitchen, or pick up laundry off the couch. Even if your job doesn’t often involve face-to-face interaction, it’s important to establish a professional setting conducive to good work. Make sure that all your work essentials such as laptop, cell phone, charging points and the like are within easy reach in this space.
2. Stick to your schedule – Come up with a work schedule for your day and stick to it. This helps to establish an order for your day and keep you on task. A great way to keep consistency while working from home is setting a concrete start time each morning – the snooze button is not your friend.
If you live with others, it’s also important to set ground rules to help ensure you can get your work done to the best of your ability. Frequent interruptions can stop you from focusing on the task at hand, and this will lower your productivity significantly.
3. Dress the part – Just because you are at home, don’t begin working while dressed in your PJs. If you start work by rolling straight out of bed, it can be hard to start your morning off in the right mindset for work. Begin your day with a shower, balanced breakfast and dress as you would if you were actually going to the office. This can also come in handy when you have to participate in a video call or conference at short notice!
4. Separate work from home – When working from home, it can be hard for your brain to recognize when the workday is over. Much discussion takes place about how remote working can lead to less work, but it’s also just as easy to overwork. When your workspace is always a few feet away, checking in on your tasks after hours seems much easier.
To avoid burn-out, make sure to end your workday at a consistent time (just as you start it). Doing something physical, like going for a walk or calling up a friend to chat, can help move your mind away from work. We like to end each day with a list of work-related tasks you aim to complete the next day – it helps to declutter your mind and organize your week.
5. Utilize technology – Make use of tech tools such as video conferencing apps and digital dashboards to help you stay connected to your team and organized. These let you effectively communicate with colleagues and clients in a professional manner even when you are working from home.
The successful social media management software company, Buffer, ditched its physical office in 2015, and has never looked back. Check out their article, “Everything We Know About Remove Work,” for their top 12 online tools that help their team work best from home.
6. Take regular breaks – Working continuously for hours on end without a break can prove counterproductive in the long run. It can have an impact on both your physical and mental health. Recharge regularly with a short break to stretch your limbs and to eat meals on time. This will help you to continue working with renewed energy throughout the day.
7. Disconnect from online distractions – Switch off notifications on your phone and log out of all personal social media platforms on your computer. Resist the temptation to constantly check your text messages and instead focus on completing your work-related tasks. You can return to your virtual social life once the work day comes to an end.
8. Be cautious – Working from home can make you vulnerable to online security risks such as viruses and hackers. So, stick to your company’s policies when it comes to using WiFi for work or personal devices to access e-mails and so on. Do not leave sensitive information out in the open – even when it’s only your family members around.
9. Zero in on productivity peaks – Most people find that they tend to be the most productive at a particular time of day. For some, they give their best work when they can work undisturbed early in the morning, while others find the quiet of the late afternoon most productive. Understand the time you work best, and save the task you find most difficult during your day for those “power hours.”
10. Declutter regularly – Make it a point to declutter your workspace on a regular basis, just as you would in an actual office. Also, be sure to clean your computer often so you can continue to work at a steady pace and not get slowed down by technical issues.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or new to remote work, we hope you found a few helpful tips and tricks you can apply to your at home office! May your days be productive and your nights be restful!