Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, many employers have switched to working from home. After proving that working professionals can be efficient and productive while at home and eliminates many expenses on both sides of the coin, it has become difficult to find positions that work from an office 100% of the time.
But how are so many workers staying so productive? Aren’t we always told that our living quarters contain countless distractions? From pets to electronics, it can be hard to imagine being successful within the comfort of your own home. But remember, nothing’s impossible! By implementing these seven tips into your work-from-home routine, it’ll begin to feel like you’re in the office again. Well, sort of.
1. Create An Office
Association can be one of the most prominent barriers to getting “in the zone” while working from home. For instance, you may find it challenging to be productive while sitting on the couch or lying across your bed. Not only can spots like these be too relaxing, but we naturally associate them with times of the day when typically, we’re done with work. By creating an office, or at least an office setting, you’ll establish the boundary of where tasks are accomplished and nothing else. You can even take it a step further and have a bell you ring or a notepad you check off to “clock in and out” each day.
2. Put Your Phone Away
If you’re working from home, you won’t have anyone taking notice of your phone in your hand. If work-related apps are the root of your tendency to check texts and social media, try and download them on your computer. If you’re unable to do so, consider getting a tool that limits your access to certain apps at various times. Or, simply turn your devices on silent and place them in another room. They’ll be there when the workday ends, but now is the time to accomplish your tasks.
3. Wear Professional Attire
You can’t expect to feel productive if you’re wearing the clothes you choose to relax in. Putting on an outfit you would wear in a public office setting will create a professional headspace in a snap. Remember that being professional doesn’t mean being uncomfortable in the wardrobe department. Keep a few “work outfits” on hand that are tried and true, that don’t leave you thinking about your loungewear all day.
4. Take A Lunch Break
Working from home can come with many distractions. For many people, a major inconvenience is having their kitchen so close. Set a specific time for your lunch break to eliminate the distractions that come with snacking or meal prep. Not only will this trick keep you on schedule, but it will help you to avoid overworking and forgetting to eat altogether. And most importantly, it’s always helpful to have as much structure as possible when working in the comfort of your own home.
5. Work Steady Hours
Consistency is key. If you begin and end your workday at varying times every day, you can be at risk of falling off track. Or, you can be at risk of working longer than anticipated and fall into a case of burnout. Set a weekly schedule and stick to it. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can get done while working within a specific window.
6. Communicate Often
When you and your coworkers don’t share a physical space, communicating effectively can be more challenging. You may forget to send that important email, or minor updates might get lost in their message threads. Make sure that you have a clutter-free way of reaching out to your team, and schedule weekly meetings to cover important topics.
7. Clock In and Out
As mentioned earlier, it can be psychologically helpful to get in the mindset of when you arrive and leave your office. So, get creative and find a way to clock in and out. You can monitor this time in a physical planner or find an app on your phone. No matter how you choose to complete this task, just make sure you keep up with it daily. Plus, if you’re a freelancer or business owner, this can be a productive way to measure how much time you actually work each day.