We live in a new world in which remote work and home-based employment are the norms rather than the exceptions. Working from home offers plenty of advantages such as no commute and flexible schedule. However, remote work can also come with distractions. If you don’t stay on top of your tasks, those diversions can sap your productivity. To work effectively from home, it’s essential to maintain your productivity.
This article looks at ways to remain on task while being remote. Our tips on staying effective while working from home help you to build focus and ensure you’re on top of your game even when you’re surrounded by kids, pets, and other distractions. Whether you’re a remote web developer or product manager or any other remote position, with our tips, your time at home can be as productive—if not more—as a nine-to-five at the office.
Here Are the Top 10 Tips to Stay Effective While Working from Home
Create a Home Office
It might be tempting to open your laptop and plop down on the couch in front of the television. If that’s the only available space, that’s fine. However, if you can, create a designated work area that is only meant for job-related tasks. Mirroring a real office environment keeps you focused.
Maintain a Regular Schedule
Your bedroom is just a few paces from your office when you work from home, so you might find yourself sleeping at odd hours and working when you have the time. Don’t fall into that trap. While it may be tempting to hit snooze, try to get up when you always do and perform your tasks in the regular hours.
Take Regular Breaks
It’s easy to find yourself in the middle of a multi-hour grind when you work from a home office. Considering that you have very little room for interaction with others, it is possible for you to get buried deep in your work. This can result in burnout and lowered efficiency. To avoid this outcome, it is advisable to go on breaks. Perhaps take a step outside for a walk every hour or so. Here in the UK we're encouraged to take an exercise break of up to an hour (during the April 2020 lockdown). I'm finding it a helpful habit that I (hope) to continue even after lockdown.
Pick Up the Right Equipment
This depends on your preference, thanks to the flexibility and mobility enabled by remote working. If you enjoy working from different venues, a laptop will suit you just fine. However, if you prefer having a proper home office setup, you may want to consider getting a desktop PC, a larger monitor and a peripheral keyboard to ensure optimum efficiency.
It might seem counterintuitive that working from home leads to poor eating habits. A poor diet results in poor performance, so keep to the same dietary rules you’d follow if you were to work in a physical office. Try to have balanced meals at the right times and cook whenever possible to ensure you are eating good, healthy food at half the expenses. If you must snack, go for nutritious options such as mixed nuts or fresh fruits.
Stay in Contact with Co-workers
One of the main hazards of working remotely is the sense of isolation it fosters. The result can be loneliness and an aversion to the work that creates that feeling. Connect with coworkers on Slack or any other messaging platform of your choice to nip that issue in the bud.
Work Is Work, and Home Is Home
Family members and housemates tend to impose on your work time when you do your job from home. Set firm boundaries to avoid this issue, which eats into your productivity if left unaddressed. Let your loved ones know that your work time is your own.
Keep a List of Daily Goals
Without peer feedback, it might seem as if we don’t accomplish anything of real importance when we do remote work. This issue can raise feelings of hopelessness and impotence, which impacts your effectiveness. Stay on top of this problem by managing your tasks and noting their completion. Make a daily list of goals, and check them off as you go.
Keep It Clean
A clean workspace is a productive workspace—that’s as true at home as it is in an office. Wipe down your work area every day, and clean the space as needed. Dust your monitor and printer, and keep a trashcan nearby for small refuse.
Dress for Work
Your wardrobe has a huge impact on your outlook. Instead of spending the workday in sweats or pajamas, prepare for work as you always do. Work from home in business casual, and watch your productivity soar.
With these tips, your time at home is sure to remain effective. A home office is as productive as you want it to be, and our guide helps you keep your remote workstation running at peak performance.
So – Are You Ready For Working From Home?
Whether you're working from home part-time or full-time, as a side hustle to your main income, or during the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown, I hope those tips above will help you to be more productive.