Working from home may sound fun, even luxurious where you don’t have to wake up early to get ready and do your hair and makeup, or even having to take long hours to commute. It may be fun at first, but the truth is, it can get old fast. As the isolation sets in, the couch starts luring you in and by the end of the day you can feel like an unproductive person who longs for the days of small talk with your colleagues at the office.
Now that more offices are sending more workers home for the foreseeable future, what are some ways that you can make working from home, work for you? Here are five (5) steps we think can help you make the most out of your productive day when working from home.
Step 1: Shower and get ready for the day
It’s very tempting to sleep in as late as possible and roll straight out of bed and into your email inbox. Although, we beg to differ and recommend against doing that, so get up, shower, and put on some decent clothing. And then give yourself a little buffer time before getting to work. Perhaps make a cup of coffee, have some breakfast. Having that fresh start will really go a long way.
Step 2: Create a designated work area
Everyone’s home is different but try to carve out somewhere that can feel as close as possible to a desk or an office space. It’s also good to place somewhere quiet if you have children or pets. Then you are going to want to set up the best computer situation as possible. If you’re working with a laptop, consider getting a mouse or a keyboard or a monitor. Pro tip we like to recommend is to get a bed table that’s usually meant for breakfast in bed too so you can set up your desk virtually anywhere at the comfort of your home space. With that being said, as you’re working from home and if you need a change of scenery, go sit on a couch and don’t feel bad about it.
Step 3: Stay connected
Working from home can be boring and isolating for some. This is why staying connected and human interactions are good as it creates and encourages creativity and innovation amongst team members. While it may not be possible to perfectly replicate those face-to-face interactions, that doesn’t mean you should give up on socialising completely. Video conference calls or even a regular phone calls are a nice change of pace. Bonus tip: Make at least one of those calls with a co-worker completely not work-related.
Step 4: Take breaks
The most productive days believe it or not, included breaks! It may seem like the enemy of being productive, but the reality is that a short break can refresh your mind and lead to more productivity in the end. Most people work best for an hour straight with a 15-minute break. Another popular method is called the Pomodoro Method, or as we like to call it – focus time. Simply set a timer for 25 minutes and work straight through and then take a break! Also, make yourself a nice lunch, you’re at home, so you should take the advantage.
Step 5: Have a hard stop at the end of the day
Pretty soon work is going to feel like home and home is going to feel like work and it can be a really daunting feeling for some of us, so make an end point and stick to it. Once you hit that hard stop, stop working and go do something fun, preferably, if possible, outside.
Now we’d love to hear from you and our question to you is, which of these 5 steps do you think is most important for remaining productive while working form home? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org