Whether you’ve always worked from home, just started this year, or plan to in the future, you need to be prepared for how working in your home office will differ from the in-person office. Though we don’t believe 2020 is the end of the in-person office, it’s important to do #WFH right.
Here are 10 tips to keep working from home productive:
1. Have A Dedicated Workspace
Though it may seem tempting to work from your bed, studies show that this will actually decrease your productivity. Instead, you need to create a workspace far away from where you sleep. Pick a chair you’ll be comfortable in all day and only have work-related items on your desk.
2. Stick to a Schedule
Mental Health specialists will tell you that a schedule is SO important - especially when working from home. Whether you’re naturally drawn to routine or not, give a consistent schedule a try. Waking up and going to bed at the same times will help your body know when it is time to sleep and time to work. Plus, your stress levels are likely to decrease, too.
3. Dress for Success
It’s super tempting to roll out of bed and work from home in pajamas, but this isn’t in your best interest. If you want to stay productive and positive in your home office, dress as if you’re going to see everyone face to face - including the CEO!
4. Minimize Distractions
First, you have to ask yourself what your biggest distractions are when working from home. If you’re craving TV, take the batteries out of the remote. If you’re a social media scroller, put your phone on airplane mode. Maybe it’s your family or pets that keep interrupting you. Regulate how many times you allow them to interrupt what you’re doing and schedule breaks to allow for things you need to do.
5. Give Screens a Break
Do your eyes feel dry after a day of staring at your computer screen? Our lives have become reliant on technology to do our work, but sometimes the consequences are irritated eyes and an aching head. Whether it’s a 15-minute break or your lunchtime, try to turn all screens off. Use this time to get some fresh air or read a good book.
6. Go Outside
Spending even 20 minutes outside is proven to improve your mood. So spend some time in the great outdoors! From eating al fresco to going for a walk to taking a meeting outside, a little fresh air is bound to make the workday feel like a breeze.
7.Get in the Kitchen
You’ve been sitting for hours, so take advantage of having your kitchen steps away and cook your lunch! People tend to eat healthier when they cook themselves, and it allows you some time to be creative in the middle of your day. You’ll find yourself pumped up and ready to work again after lunch.
8. Turn on the Tunes
Music is great to dance to, but did you know it can also help you work? Stick to instrumental tracks or songs you’re very familiar with so they can fade into the background. Studies show this is especially helpful if you’re doing a repetitive task, and will even help you make fewer mistakes!
9. Idle Hands?
Struggling to keep your eyes open on long Zoom calls? You’re not alone. A tried and true technique for keeping focused when you may be listening and not speaking: keep your hands busy. Try handwritten notes, a simple knitting project, using a fidget toy, or anything else that will keep your hands occupied but your mind focused on the call.
10. Avoid Isolation
It can be easy to feel isolated when working from home. Communication with the “outside world” is going to be one of your best tools for keeping the blues at bay. If you’re part of a team, keep in daily contact with them and not just over email. Try to see friendly faces and spend at least a few minutes catching up. It’ll improve your mood and remind you that we’re all in this together!
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