Working from home can be the best . . . unless your crying child runs into the room while you’re on an important conference call or you can hear your neighbor’s music blasting through your walls.
For all those who find themselves missing a day in an actual office, here are nine tips to help you be productive while working from home.
- Find the perfect space.
Your bed or recliner may be comfortable, but that does not mean they will help you be productive. If possible, set aside an area in which you can work that is somewhat away from your family members or roommates. If possible, buy a desk.
- Buy a good chair.
If you don’t have a good chair, invest in one. According to Concept Seating, the right chairs can increase productivity by easing lower back pain, minimizing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and improving your oxygen and blood flow.
- Keep your desk tidy.
Working in a clean area will increase not only your productivity but also your morale. The dirtier your desk is, the more unnecessary stress you may feel. So buy some organizers and wipe down your working area with some sanitizing wipes. The cleaner, the better!
- Structure your day like you would in the office.
What time would you start work if you were going into an office? When would you take your lunch break and go home? Pattern your work schedule as you would in the office. This includes making a to-do list each morning.
- Set expectations with your family.
Being around family can make it that much harder to focus. Set expectations with them by letting them know your schedule. In addition, set arrangements to make sure your children are being taken care of during the hours you work.
- Use digital tools to communicate.
Email and phone calls aren’t the only means of communicating with coworkers and clients. Try setting up Google hangouts within your company so that you can easily contact your colleagues. In addition, consider downloading Zoom to host meetings.
- Eliminate all social media.
Delete social media apps from your phone or set up limitations to restrict your use. If you’re bored, you may find yourself clicking on Instagram or Facebook without realizing it. If you take your lunch at noon, consider limiting social media use to that hour.
- Take breaks.
Some employees refuse to take breaks in the name of productivity. However, that only has the opposite effect. “Taking breaks from work is important for recovery – and adequate recovery is critical for top performance,” says Jennifer Deal, a senior research scientist. Make sure to set aside 10-minute rest periods throughout the day.
- Log off.
Don’t let work and home become indistinguishable. When work is over, log out of your accounts, power down your computer, and enjoy your evening. Doing this will help you set boundaries and increase your productivity during working hours.