In recent years, business leaders and employees alike have had a lot of different things to say about working from home. From the CEO of Yahoo banning remote work to tech firms and startups championing the productivity benefits of working from home (WFH), none of it seems to matter these days. That’s because the coronavirus pandemic has us adopting the WFH life whether we like it or not.
Those of us who are used to commuting to the office every day might be facing quite the shock. While working from home can provide greater flexibility and even save time and money – no more hours-long gas-guzzling rush hour traffic sessions! – it also comes with its own perils, especially if you have kids or pets at home. Working from home requires you to self-manage and stay productive amidst a lot of tempting distractions. (What’s that you say? The entire run of The Office is on Netflix?)
If you’ve found yourself in the position of working remotely for the first time and are trying to stay on track, check out our go-to tips for working from home effectively.
4 Productivity Tips for Working From Home
Operate on a schedule
While one of the greatest benefits of working from home is greater flexibility, to stay productive, it’s a good idea to maintain regular office hours. Not only does this make communication easier for the people you’re collaborating with, but it also gives you a sense of structure. Structure is key to productivity.
Define your hours and stick to them. Perhaps you’ll work from 9 until noon, then take a break for exercise and lunch, and then return to work until around 6pm. This will also ensure that you stay on the same schedule as your friends and family, preventing you from letting work get in the way of your personal life.
Get out of the house
Whether it’s the grime in your shower, a chatty roommate, or that six-part docuseries that you can’t tear yourself away from, there are a lot of distractions waiting for you at home. Isolation and loneliness can also create a hurdle to productivity, so making an effort to get out as much as possible is very important.
During normal times, going to a coffee shop or coworking space provides you with a distraction-free workplace as well a sense of “going to work.” However, with most such businesses closed for the foreseeable future, you’ll need to find other ways to step away from your work zone and get some fresh air. Taking breaks to walk around the neighborhood or even practice mindfulness in the backyard or on a porch can give you the boost you need.
Define an “office space” in your home
Working from home blurs the lines between work and leisure, which can be detrimental to both aspects of your life. If you work from your bed, you’ll sabotage your productivity and your sleep.
To the extent that it’s possible, create a home office for yourself, even if it’s just a desk in the corner of a room. A lot of staying productive while working from home is creating a sense of “going to work.” A designated workspace will give you a sense of leaving your daily life behind to get things done.
Make sure you have a comfortable seating solution that provides you with proper ergonomic support. This will help keep you in place throughout the day.
Use collaborative tools to stay in touch
One of our top tips for working from home effectively is to use collaborative tools to your advantage. A task management software like Clarizen Go can help team members stay connected and deliver results from all over the world. Cloud-based technology allows us to enjoy the benefits of working from home while collaborating as effectively as we would in an office. Team members can assign tasks and deadlines to each other and see updates in real time. This is an excellent way to stay on track when motivation is running low.
A lot of remote employees find themselves more productive working from home than they would be in office. We can take a page from their book by following the above tips for working from home effectively. If you, like us, could use the added productivity push, you may want to try out a cloud-based collaboration software like Clarizen Go. Get started with a free trial today.