Research suggests that remote employees are more productive, losing fewer minutes per days to distractions. However, learning how to work from home and hold yourself accountable can be a challenge in itself. If you need some help to get there, here are our top 7 tips to stay productive while working from home.
1. Have a designated work space.
Sure, working from bed might seem like the best perk of remote work, but when your brain already associates the space with relaxation, it can be difficult to get in a working mood. Additionally, working from bed can quickly lead to aches and pains as you contort into different positions with your laptop. Check out our ergonomic tips to work safely from home to avoid annoying back pain.
2. Commit to your regular work hours.
Don’t roll out of bed at noon and don’t stay on your laptop until midnight. Keeping steady hours will help you focus when you need to work and unwind when you don’t. If your boss calls you after hours with a new task, ask if it can be done tomorrow. Overtime should be the exception, not the rule.
3. Don’t mix work and home tasks.
If you separate your work hours clearly, it should be easier to separate your tasks. Don’t start a quick video game during a work break and don’t try to tackle household chores during work hours. If the organization of your pantry is truly starting to bother you, make it a priority to tackle it as soon as you log off.
4. Set your goals for the day.
This is particularly important if you have big projects with future due dates. Every morning decide what tasks you absolutely must get done today. Breaking your day up into a series of manageable tasks will help you stay on track—as well as help you feel productive when you check off all your to-do’s for the day.
5. Get organized.
Whether you use a physical planner or an app on your phone, keep a list of tasks you have to accomplish. This will help ensure you don’t forget anything. Additionally, being able to glance at everything that is currently on your plate will help you prioritize and choose your most important tasks for the day.
6. Communicate with your team.
Working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working alone. Without the ability to clear up questions and concerns during casual office interactions, you find yourself picking up the phone to call your coworkers more often. That’s fine! Work with your team to find the system that works best for everyone. Consider a daily team check-in every morning or an instant messaging tool you can all use.
7. After work, focus on yourself.
Most of us have responsibilities outside of work. This means at least part of our free time needs to be spent helping kids with homework, walking the dog, making dinner, or cleaning up the house. However, it’s also important to find time to unwind. Watch an episode of your favorite show before bed, make time to read positive news, or connect with friends on the weekends. For some tips to keep your motivation up, check out these 5 Ways to Stay Positive in Times of Adversity.