To many people, working from home is an entirely new concept. You may be used to structure, communal workspaces, or constant supervision and are struggling to adjust to the freedom—and distractions—that come with remote work. If this sounds like you, walk through these eight tips to see if you can improve your situation with a little reorientation and reorganization.
Tip #1: Set a Regular Schedule
Whether you have a strict nine-to-five job or flexible work hours, following a set schedule can help you boost your productivity and manage your time wisely. Especially during stressful times, having a routine keeps you organized and accountable to the tasks you have to complete on any given workday.
For those who work from home, a daily routine should solidify when you wake up, shower, eat breakfast, start work, take lunch, end work, have dinner, and go to sleep. Synching to a schedule with this level of structure will take time and willpower, but soon enough, it will feel completely natural.
Tip #2: Create an Ideal Workplace
Having a well-defined area for work will help you enforce your schedule by creating a physical divide between your workspace and your relaxation space. With a bit of reorganization, you can create a functional yet comfortable and calming workstation using the things in your home. When setting up this space, be sure to account for the following:
- Identify a quiet space with adequate natural lighting.
- Use a chair that’s comfortable and yet provides the necessary support.
- The workspace you choose should be close to a power outlet and have a strong Wi-Fi signal.
- Add a little personality to your space by pulling in a houseplant or a favorite piece of art.
Tip #3: Get Quality Sleep
Irrespective of where you work, lack of proper sleep can affect your memory, impair your creativity, and reduce your problem-solving capabilities, thereby bringing down your performance and limiting your productivity.
One of the easiest ways to improve your sleep quality is to upgrade your mattress. If you’re looking for something durable, temperature-neutral, and supportive, you may want to look into air foam mattress options. If you prefer something firmer, a traditional memory foam or spring construction mattress may do the trick.
Tip #4: Set Boundaries
Striking the perfect balance between your work life and personal life is certainly more challenging if you work from home. In addition to tips #1 and #2, you can create this balance by turning off work notifications once you clock out and limiting interactions with your family or housemates during your work hours.
Tip #5: Make Time for Breaks
Taking regular work breaks can help reduce stress, maintain focus, avoid fatigue, and promote productivity. These breaks are just as crucial if you work from home or from an office. Of course, if you work from home, you have more options for filling in those breaks. It’s OK to leave your workspace for short periods, but make sure you don’t get pulled into long conversations with family or time-consuming chores.
Tip #6: Communicate More
Some productivity loss for work-from-home employees is a result of poor communication practices. If you work with a team, do what you can to simulate typical in-person interactions. Between emails, instant messages, project management tools, and video calls, you should be able to stay connected throughout the day, so everyone has the support and resources they need.
Tip #7: Still Call In Sick
Working from home doesn’t mean you should work even while you are sick. If you are not feeling up to it, make sure you call in. Rest well and take the required time to recover from your sickness before you report back to work.
Tip #8: Stay Positive
The isolation that comes with working from home can take a toll on your mood if you don’t do the work to counteract it. To help stay positive while working remote, you can:
- Socialize as much as possible with your team members, even if it’s through a call or chat.
- Make it a point to get up and move for at least five minutes every hour.
- Get outside during one of your breaks, weather permitting.
Make Working From Home Work for You
Any big change comes with an adjustment period, and switching to a remote work model is no different. When it comes to working from home, it’s easy to fall into bad habits like working from the couch, skipping lunch breaks, and disconnecting from coworkers. But if you’re cognizant of these pitfalls and take action to prevent them, you can make the work-from-home experience work for you.