More and more people work from home either regularly, full time, or as a consequence of something unforeseen such as the corona virus outbreak and the following lockdowns in multiple countries. Not everyone is accustomed to this way of working but it is in fact gaining more and more momentum. A lot of companies already hire remote workers. This could become the new normal when we look forward in time. However, it can be difficult to stay productive when working from home because there are a lot more distractions than when we’re at the office. Read our list below to get some ideas of how you can stay productive when working from home.
1. Keep your regular morning routines
Keeping up with your regular morning routines when working from home is an important step in staying productive. Humans are creatures of habit and staying as close to your work habits as possible will allow your body to recognize you’re going to be productive. So, wake up at your normal hours (and go to bed at normal hours too), take a shower, put on your makeup (if you use that), brush your teeth. Do exactly as you would to get ready to go to the office.
2. Wear your normal work clothes
Part of your routine is (I hope) to put on some work clothes. So put them on each morning right down to your shoes, if you’re comfortable wearing shoes inside your home. Along with your morning routine this will prepare you mentally for a productive day. As opposed if you fall for the temptation to stay in your PJs the entire day. Think; when do you feel most productive? Is that when you’re in sweatpants or is that when you’re in your work suit and ready to take on the world?
3. Create a schedule for your day
When you go to work every day you normally have a specific amount of time you spend at the office. This schedule should not change even though you’re working from home no matter if it’s job searching or of it’s a regular job.
So, decide if you want to work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and try to stick to that. Schedule in regular breaks but avoid doing the laundry and other household chores.
One of the advantages of working from home is that as long as you complete your tasks you can more or less work the hours that suit your needs. So if you have your kids at home, maybe it makes more sense to split up your work day so you work mornings and evenings. The important thing is to create a schedule and stick to it. Of course this will largely depend on your line of work and if you need to be available throughout the day for other people to finish their tasks.
4. Create to-do lists
To-do lists might become your best friend on the days you’re working from home. They work great to keep your motivation going. There’s some sort of mental reward each time you’re able to tick off a to-do as done. But keep these advice in mind:
- Make them actionable
- Make them simple
- And plan out the next day at the end of the day
Create your to-do list by breaking down your bigger tasks into smaller bits to make them as achievable as possible.
5. Make deadlines for yourself
In line with the to-do lists for each day it can be a good idea to set up some deadlines for yourself. For example that you want to finish a certain task by the end of the day or week if it’s a bigger task. If you’re working with a team, you can make a deal with them that you’ll each finish a specific task by the end of the week. And then hold each other accountable.
6. Stay in touch with your colleagues or your peers
Technology now a days makes this a lot easier than it was just 20 years ago. You have your phone, your headset, your instant messaging, and probably a whole bunch of other applications to help you out in this matter. So there’s really no reason to cancel your weekly meetings with your team just because you’re working from home. That’s why they invented conference calls.
7. Set up an area dedicated to work
Obviously, you’ll need a place to set up shop when you’re working from home. However, there will probably be a difference between permanently and temporarily working from home. If you’re permanently working from home (of you’re a freelancer for instance), you’ll need to set up a real office space with an ergonomic chair and one of those height adjustable desks. If your work-from-home-situation is of a temporary kind this is probably a bit overkill. Just make sure you have the essentials to work comfortably. Basically, stay away from working from your couch and you’ll be fine.
8. Make sure you have the right technology
Last but not least, make sure you have access to the right technology. I already mentioned this earlier but having your laptop, an extra monitor, Skype or some other type of instant messaging, and of course a decent internet connection will really get you a long way when working from home.
At one time or another, most of us will try to work from home. This may be forced upon us or we may choose it ourselves. More and more companies also hire remote workers so it’s a really good skills to add to your resume. Keep these headlines in mind when working from home.
- Keep your regular morning routine
- Wear your normal work clothes
- Create a schedule for your day
- Create to-do lists
- Make deadlines for yourself
- Stay in touch with your colleagues or your peers
- Set up an area dedicated to work
- Make sure you have the right technology