Working from home has now become the new normal and your position may lead to new opportunities working from home. For some people, it can be hard to make your home the workspace you need without being sidetracked. For others, they can set up shop practically everywhere. If you are someone who is just starting to work from home, here are a few helpful tips on how to work at home productively.
Find a Work Space
Please don’t make your workspace a coffee table in front of your TV while sitting on the floor. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but trust me when I say, that picture you see of your friend on Instagram sitting on the floor with her laptop is fictitious. They will not be getting any work done. Kitchen or dining room tables are not the best idea because it is considered a communal area where you associate eating or talking with friends and family. Try finding a spot that is quiet and where you will not be easily distracted or bothered. Once you find your ideal spot where you know you will productively flourish, make it yours. Set up a desk where it will always be ready for work. Card tables are a quick and inexpensive way to start off working from home.
Temperature and Lighting
Temperature and lighting are important when it comes to working productively. If it’s too cold, you may want to keep getting up to warm yourself and if it’s too hot you will not want to be near a computer. Working in natural light is best along with having an overhead light on. Try not to work without lights on because it may make you tired and your bed will be calling you. Don’t listen to the siren call!
Take Designated Breaks
Just because you are in your home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking breaks. Get up and stretch your legs and take a moment for yourself. Never feel bad to take a break when you are working from home. You deserve to take a quick 10 minute break and regroup.
Make a List
If you are a person who can be easily distracted, make a “to-do” list. It will keep you on track throughout the day.
Even though your office is in your home, setting boundaries is very important to keep the productivity flowing. Let people around you know your work hours and do your best to keep them as much as possible. Same goes for the people you work with. If you are at lunch, you are at lunch and should step away from your computer. Work just like you would have in the office. If the mother-in-law calls during your office hours to catch up since you’re working from home, doesn’t mean to take the call and chat. Tell her you will call her back when you are done with work or if you have a break coming up, use that time to follow-up with her. Don’t try to juggle personal life and work at the same time since it can lead to errors and will set you back.
Dress For The Office
This may sound silly but when people say “dress up for success”, they are not kidding. Jumping out of bed and going to work in your pajamas may sound incredible, but it may lead you on a path of unprofessionalism. Being too comfortable may steer you out of “work mode”; where your productivity or professionalism will be lacking and not up to par like it used to be.
Be Open With Your Manager On Work Changes
Talk to your manager if a normal 9-5 schedule is no longer a possibility when working from home. It may need to be split up because of family constraints. Try to think of out of the box ideas that will make it work.
Try taking a walk on a break to get some fresh air or consider eating lunch outside. It will help recharge the body and make you feel refreshed when you get back to work. Physically leaving the work environment and coming back to it will help you differentiate what is work and what is personal time. When you sit back in your chair you are ready to get back into work and productively get things done.