While only a small group of remote workers and creators used to work from home in the past, this is all changing. Thanks to the recent global pandemic, the nature of the way we work is changing—possibly forever.
More and more companies are empowering employees to go fully remote. This means more flexible workplaces, shifting hours, and also evolving challenges.
While working from home might seem like a dream come true, it’s harder than it looks. How do you stay productive when you’re surrounded by so many distractions? While influencers and other content creators have made a lot of money working from home, this is a new territory for more traditional workers and business owners.
Here are the best tips for working from home and staying productive. It’s all about developing your mindset to stay on track for success no matter what the day brings.
1. Keep Your Hours Consistent
It’s so easy to say goodbye to the traditional 9-5 when you’re working from home full-time. This is especially true if you want to bring your side hustle full-time.
In reality, consistency will get you much farther. It’s important to set a schedule and actually stick to it. This helps you keep your work-life balance in check and also make it easier to unplug after hours.
2. Set Rules with Housemates
Sharing a space in your home with family, partners, and roommates might be easy in traditional times, but it’s much harder when you work at home. You need to set clear rules about how they interact with you when working.
If possible, let them know when your “working hours” are and ask them to be respectful. They’ll know to steer clear when you’re trying to avoid distractions.
3. Take Breaks
It’s easy to think working hour by hour is the best way to stay on top of your tasks when working from home. In reality, you need more breaks than you think.
According to science, the optimal way to work is to focus for around 50 minutes followed by a 15-minute break. To make this easier, use a Pomodoro timer to section out your breaks throughout the day. A great app for this is Forest.
4. Leave Home Regularly
While it’s not always possible to leave home during your work from home day, do your best to step away from your desk. Here are some simple ideas:
- Go on a walk
- Exercise outside
- Go to a local coffee shop
- Visit a park
- Tend to your garden or yard
These small things add up to big productivity boosts. You don’t want to feel trapped at your desk.
5. Keep a Separate Desk Space
If you’re busy working from home at your couch or dining room table, it’s time for a change. When you work in areas of your home where you also relax, you’ll discover its harder to “unplug” from the workday.
Instead, keep a separate desk space. This is something you exclusively use for work. Whether it’s an office, a special desk, or an area of your home designated for work, keep it separate.
6. Remember to Socialize
While introverts might thrive at the chance to get away from the office chaos, it’s still important to socialize. Working from home becomes really isolating very fast.
Remember to socialize with friends, family, and even colleagues. Take part in work events or coordinate them yourself. This is a big part of the startup mindset.
7. Take Days Off When You Need It
When you work from home, it’s hard to justify taking days off. Whether you’re sick or in need of a mental health day, there’s a lot of pressure to always “show up” digitally.
Recognize that there’s a lot of value in taking time off. Not only do you recover your body and mind, but you return to work refreshed and ready for new challenges.
8. Practice Communication Skills
Working remotely presents unique communication challenges. You can’t walk over to your coworkers desk to share your idea or chat with your work friends about your progress.
Instead, do your best to “overcommunicate,” or share your progress. Don’t be afraid to update your team on the next steps and where you’re at. Use a tech tool to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
9. Stay Positive
Since you’ll likely do more communicating digitally, make sure you’re always staying positive. It’s easy to feel isolated and down on yourself, but don’t let this seep into your work.
It’s not always easy to interpret meaning or tone from messages sent via email or text. Be clear and positive in your communications with your team and clients so they always understand your meaning.
10. Have a Post-Work Routine
The biggest challenge of working from home is separating work and home life. You need a routine at the end of your work day to help your mind transition into “home” mode.
This could be a nightly walk, preparing dinner, or a yoga session. No matter what you love, be consistent to train your body and. mindto relax when it’s time to log off.
Creating a Work From Home Lifestyle
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to working from home. It’s okay if this transition isn’t an easy one. It takes time to adjust to this new normal, so take every day one step at a time.
These tips above are a must when staying productive and healthy. You don’t want to risk burnout by doing too much too fast. While it’s true working from home comes with a lot of perks, don’t forget about the challenges.