Did you know that over 4.3 million Americans work from home?
COVID-19 has caused remote work to become a necessity rather than a luxury for many companies. But for many people, working from home is a dream come true scenario.
You get to sleep in, work on your coach, ditch commuting, wear pajamas all day, work at your own pace… what’s not to like? Plus, you get to save more money. FlexJobs estimates that the average person can save up to $4,000 per year by working remotely.
However, while working from home may sound like a dream come true, it brings many challenges, and being productive is easier said than done.
But thankfully, those challenges are not insurmountable. In this post, we’ll share some handy work from home tips to help you stay productive and sane. Let’s dive in!
1. Dress Like You’re at Work
What is your favorite outfit when working from home?
Pajamas, right? Of course, it should be as you get to be in your comfort zone.
Most people don’t bother to dress up while working from home. After all, no one is around to criticize your dress code. But that’s not how you should approach remote work. Experts recommend you dress like you’re at work.
Casual attire and sleepsuits are great, and they give you comfort and a sense of freedom. However, donning pajamas may not help you stay productive.
Being in pajamas will make you feel unprofessional. Anything messy or reminiscent of what you slept in will make you feel sleepy, slow, and less prepared to work.
On the other hand, dressing up can help impact the confidence and motivation you need to work. While you don’t need to dress as you would in a professional office, you should make an effort to look professional.
2. Designate a workspace or Home Office
When you’re starting to learn how to work from home, you might be tempted to work from your heated massage chair, sofa, or even from your bed.
While working from your couch or massage seat can give you much-needed comfort, it could take a huge toll on your productivity.
One of the best working from home tips we can give you is to designate a workspace.
If you already have a home office, you’re ahead of the game. If you don’t, you could carve out a space in your living room or bedroom and designate it as your home office.
The idea is to keep work and personal life separate when working from home.
Set yourself up with a supportive chair, office desk, good Wi-Fi, enough workplace tools, and stationery. You’re likely to feel more confident, more alert, and more organized if you work from a home office.
3. Set Ground Rules with the People in Your Space
Often, you’ll have “company” while working from home.
Make sure that any children, roommates, family members, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) give you peace of mind during your working hours.
For example, if you have children who come home while you’re still working, set rules regarding what they can and cannot do during that time. If you have teenagers in the house, let them know your working hours, so they don’t play music while you’re working.
If you’re sharing your space with another work-from-home adult, you may have to lay ground rules about quiet times, meeting times, and shared equipment, like desks and chairs.
4. Stay Connected with Your Colleagues
Working from home can be incredibly lonely.
At the office, you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals. These individuals will give you guidance and support when you need it.
However, when you’re working from home, you lose contact with all your colleagues, and this can result in loneliness and depression in extreme cases. According to new research, working from home can cause increased levels of loneliness and mental distress.
So, what can you do?
Fight boredom by communicating with your friends and colleagues regularly. Reach out to them via video chat apps like Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp video. Sometimes, you might run into work-related challenges, and communicating can help you steer through those bumps.
5. Take a Few Breaks
You’ve heard the saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Working too hard with no breaks might affect the quality of the work you produce. So, aim to take breaks between sessions.
However, let your breaks also be productive.
Rather than watching some YouTube clips or finishing that movie you watched halfway, it’s recommended to take constructive breaks. Go for a walk, enjoy fresh air, take a hot bath, or spend some time with your family or friends.
Breaks can help recharge your body to work at full capacity again. So, ensure you’re taking short breaks—typically 5 to 15 minutes—every hour or so.
6. Avoid Distractors
Distractions are one of the worst enemies of remote work.
Studies show that the average person is distracted every 40 seconds when working online.
Besides the online distractions, you could also get distracted by your friends, family, or noise from the neighborhood when working from home.
However, most distractions come from smartphones.
It’s normal for you to check your phone every time a notification comes in. And considering the number of notifications an average smartphone user gets in a day—from Facebook to WhatsApp to email and slack messages—checking every notification can get out of hand.
So, how do you avoid these distractions?
Put your phone far away from you when you’re working, so it doesn’t distract you. Or make a habit of turning off all notifications during your working hours.
6. Get a Business VoIP Phone
Having a second phone number can benefit you in many ways.
For instance, it can help you strike a better work-life balance.
Whether you work from home or in an office setup, you need personal space to recover from work-related pressures. And you can’t efficiently do that if you’re always available for business calls. With a single number, that’s what you’ll end up doing.
But with a second business line, you can easily separate work from personal.
And with a VoIP service, like Reach, you can screen callers and direct calls to voicemail on the second business line. This way, you’ll be undisturbed and able to spend meaningful time with your friends and family.
Work From Home Tips: Key Takeaway
Changing your work environment from office to home can be challenging, but with changes to routine and space, you can still have a productive work day.
The trick is to step out of your comfort zones and take on the challenge; dress for work, set up a home office, put your phone aside, and set ground rules for people in your space. By following these work from home tips, you’ll never encounter productivity bottlenecks.