My career consists of mainly remote work positions. At this time, there seems to be a need for most people to also work away from office situations. I’d like to share a list of some of the key solutions that have helped me to be successful all of these years while working remotely. Although working from home seems like the ultimate luxury, it is important to not forget about one crucial element: productivity. Working from home is great, but it can be a real drag if you struggle with staying productive.
- Create a work space separate from your “living” areas: Regardless of space or location, establish an area of your home where you will work, and commit to working in this space every day. Be sure your work space is comfortable and enjoyable, and where you can work quietly when needed.
- Set “work hours”: If you are going to make working from home an everyday affair, then set specific business or work hours. During these current times, be sure to communicate frequently with your colleagues, staff and your boss so that they know when is best to contact you. Normally it is best to establish set work hours to follow each day, but with all of the current life disruptions, you may need to be more flexible based on your family needs, etc.
- Avoid “work creep”: Don’t allow your work to creep into your home and personal life at all hours. This goes back to #2 where the risk is real if you don’t set some boundaries. By setting specific work hours and sticking to them each day, then you can manage a healthy work schedule. When your work day is over, whether that is at 3, 4, 5 or 6 pm, shut your laptop and shut your office door and leave it all behind!
- Create To-Do Lists: When you work from home each day and you don’t have a boss/teammate breathing down your neck, it can be challenging — and sometimes overwhelming — to keep track of what you have to do each day. It’s easy to lose sight of priorities, tasks, deadlines and even the little things. Stay on task by writing down all the things that need to get done that day. If your list is long, then set goals and time limits for accomplishing each task. After you complete each task, cross it off the list. This simple technique is both effective and fulfilling and will keep you more productive!
- Don’t Work in Your PJs: As we all know, this is one reason why people love working from home. If you love working in your PJs, then you are probably killing your productivity. Even if you don’t have to leave the house, make it a point to set a morning routine and stick to it. Therefore, when you are ready to sit down to work, you will be mentally and physically prepared for the day.
- Don’t Work in Front of the TV: This is another productivity killer. Although you might treat “working from home” as really a “day off” that involves your couch and Netflix, glancing at your laptop from time to time, making this a habit will not get you very far. If you need the TV on as background noise, then do so, but avoid looking at it every few minutes.
- Get some Exercise and Fresh Air: If your day allows, take a lunch break and go for a walk, go to the gym or stretch. Exercise can give you that natural boost that can help increase happiness, enjoyment, and interest levels, all of which are important for productivity.
- Remember to Take Short Breaks: It is easy to get sucked into the idea that you will get more done because there are fewer distractions. Just remember, there are always distractions! You can easily avoid this by working short, five-minute breaks into your daily schedule. Although taking breaks might seem counterproductive, research has shown that taking short breaks can actually increase productivity and creativity levels.
- Use Communication Apps: Interact with others! Working from home can get pretty lonely, especially if you are single or live alone. Make it a point to chat with colleagues, team members, or clients each day.
- Think Positively …It can and has been done by many before you! Be sure to have the confidence to make working remotely productive and enjoyable during the difficult time that we are all currently experiencing in our daily lives.
It is just another work day in a different place. I hope some of the hints above will provide you with some tips to be successful.