Working from home is tough, even for hyper-focused employees. Your home is your safe space where you are free to wander into the kitchen whenever you want, lounge in front of the television, and walk around all day in your pajamas. Working from home can introduce into your life a difficult balance, so it’s important to actively monitor your productivity to get the most out of your workday.
1. Set up your space:
Establish a specific space for work (Hint: Laying in bed with your laptop and a cup of tea is not it) and try to limit yourself to only that space. Eliminate clutter, turn off the television, and move your grocery list into the other room. This will improve your focus and allow you to feel some sense of a productive workspace.
2. Start the day strong:
It’s definitely okay to go for a run in the morning or go to the gym. But when “work from home” sounds a whole lot like “10am brunch,” it might be getting out of hand. If your morning is pretty empty in terms of productivity, that motivational rut tends to carry over into the afternoon, eliminating the possibility of a productive workday. So wake up at your normal time, get dressed up, get yourself a coffee or tea and cross some items off of your to-do list in the morning when your brain is fired up and ready to go.
3. Don’t get up and wander:
When I’m at home, I’m a wanderer. I will mosey from the living room to the kitchen, forget why I came, then next thing I know I’m sitting in front of the TV watching House Hunters with no recollection of how I got there. When you are working from home, imagine you are actually at work. When you want to go up to see if the contents of the fridge have changed, stop and ask yourself, would I get up from my desk at work to check the fridge? If the answer is no, just chill. No need to wander.
4. Check in often:
Staying in touch with the rest of the office will keep you accountable for your tasks throughout the day. Err on the side of checking in too often, rather than falling off of the radar. Staying in contact with the rest of your department will force yourself to stay on-task and develop your communication skills.
5. Know thyself:
Know what you need when it comes to working from home. Everyone works differently. Maybe you work the best in a busy environment like a coffee shop. If so, head to a coffee shop or public place with wi-fi one or two afternoons a week. Being around people without talking to people can be an effective motivator. Maybe you need the complete silence of a home office instead.
Working from home can provide freedom and flexibility that working from the office cannot. For some, working from home makes it possible to juggle a career with other priorities. If you allow yourself, you can easily build a comfortable, productive routine while working from home.