Tips for working from home
More and more office workers have left corporate headquarters and set up shop remotely at home. However, not many people have the luxury of a home office already set up in their apartment, and many people also struggle to stay on task and productive with the many distractions at home. We’ve put together some tips on how to reorganize your set up and working habits so that you can be as productive at home as you are in the office (maybe even more so).
1. Create a designated working area
If you live in a one-bedroom or studio apartment, it may not be that easy to separate your working life from your personal life. However, in order to work productively, it’s important to have a specific spot in your apartment where you can be in work mode which is separate from your normal leisure areas. That means no working from bed or the couch: as comfortable as that sounds, it’s easy to slip into a more relaxed state while you’re in your usual chill spot. Or, if you find yourself overwhelmed with work, it could even prevent a good night’s sleep if you work from the same spot where you rest. Instead, put together a little work area which is clean and organized, with your working tools easily at hand. That could be your kitchen table, which has been tidied and set up with your laptop and notebooks. Or, if you’re really making do, try setting some cushions on the floor and use your coffee table as a desk. This might sound like a strange idea, but if you don’t have a regular dining table it works just as well! Just be sure to have something to support your back. Alternatively, if the sun is shining and you have a balcony, why not work outside in the fresh air?
2. Keep your normal routine
When working from home it can be all-too tempting to sleep in or get distracted with household chores instead of the work at hand. Monday starts to feel like an extension of Sunday, and before you know it, you’re having a nap in the middle of the work day! To stay on track, set yourself a schedule that imitates your normal working day at the office. If you usually start at 9:00, then start at the same time while you’re at home. That also means finishing at the same time as you normally would-—if you end up having to make up work later in the evening or through the night, you’ll mess up your sleep schedule. Being rested is still important for productivity, even if you aren’t going anywhere.
3. Get ready for the day
Keeping your normal routine also means getting yourself ready for a day of work as you normally would. While you don’t necessarily need to put on a suit and tie to go into the office, putting on clothes instead of sweatpants ensures that you feel like you’re on the job. If you feel more put together, you're likely to also work more efficiently than you would in your cosy sweatpants or pyjamas. Plus, it will make you look polished and professional when it's time to video call with clients or colleagues.
4. Check in with your colleagues
Video-calling with your teammates is another incentive to get dressed when working at home! Interacting with your co-workers can be key to staying motivated and productive. Having other people to keep you accountable always makes it easier to stay on task and get your work done in a timely manner. Moreover, it can help keep up spirits and motivate the team to keep working hard together to acheive set goals. It might sound contradictory, but socializing is key for productivity. Daily social interaction helps elevate your mood and prevents boredom and depression, both of which are productivity killers.
5. Take a break
If you’re sitting at your desk at home working productively just as you would at the office, it’s also important to take breaks. That doesn’t mean a few hours of Netflix in the afternoon, but it’s important to get some fresh air and have a good lunch away from your laptop. Go for a quick walk around your block or enjoy a coffee on your balcony so that when you return to work, you’re refreshed and ready to go.
Working from home doesn’t have to inhibit productivity or creativity. It will be easier for some than others, but we hope that these tips are helpful for those who find themselves disoriented away from the office. Who knows, you may even find that with these tips, you're more productive at home than at the office!