Working from home may seem like it would be a piece of cake, but with no real supervision, no serious restrictions, and the complete freedom of being at home, it can turn into a whole new skill to master. While this transition can be smooth for most people, for others it can be slightly more difficult. If you are someone who does well in a standard work environment, here are five tips that can help you thrive while working at home!
Working From Home – Eliminate Distractions
We all are guilty of going on our phones while trying to be productive and get work done, it’s an unfortunate reality of how we operate in our society. Let’s be real though, you know you aren’t going to get any work done when you’re on Twitter or watching YouTube, so if you actually care about your job and want to get your work done while at home, don’t tempt yourself.
My few recommendations are: first, if possible, silence your phone and either place it in a different room or somewhere where it’s not easily accessible to you, then once you have your break, take the time to message your contacts back. Secondly, if you are someone who has a fierce social media addiction, set yourself a timer for 10-15 minutes, indulge in your Twitter feed, and then get back to work. Once you set a time limit for yourself, you’ll not only feel better after your break but you’ll also be able to jump right back into work!
Working From Home – Create an Office Space
Working from home requires a great deal of both self-discipline from distractions and dedication. To help foster a great work environment for yourself, it is absolutely necessary to create an adequate office space. If you work from your bed or from your couch, you’ll be more prone to wanting to relax rather than work. Doing this can work for some people, however, if you not only want to appear productive but also get work done, having an office space is your best option.
Now, not everyone has an extra room in their home to dedicate to work, so if you don’t have an office, you can make one! Find an area in your home/apartment that has minimal distractions, plenty of light (natural is the best), and enough space for a table or desk with a chair to work from. Include some visuals to inspire you, along with some items that can create a positive atmosphere to your space, like a favorite picture or candle. A dedicated space will motivate you to get all your work done as well as give you a sense that you are in a traditional work environment!
Establish a Schedule for Working
Part of what can seem so scary about working from home is all the newfound freedom you have. When working in a standard work environment, everything is structured around time: a time you are required to arrive, a time for lunch, and a time to leave. At home, you start to work whenever you want (unless directed by your boss), which can turn out to be overwhelming and a little chaotic at points. You don’t want to find yourself caught up in a Netflix binge, starting your work at 9pm and getting to bed at 3 a.m.
To help solve this problem, establish a schedule for your day. Designate specific times for your breakfast, important meetings, lunchtime, working on projects/tasks, corresponding with co-workers or your boss, and dinner. Though you might not stick to the exact schedule you make for yourself all the time, having a timeframe to go by will continue to motivate you as well as help you accomplish your goals throughout the day!
Take Breaks When Necessary
Just because you are working from home does not mean that you can’t take breaks. You may think that working from home is a luxury in itself and thus, your breaks are unnecessary, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether you are in a company building or working from home, it is not only important but also necessary to take breaks. Dedicating yourself tirelessly to your work is admirable, but it won’t benefit you in the long run. The less you are able to collect yourself and relax your mind, the more you will be prone to make mistakes, burn yourself out, and end up unmotivated. If you’ve been focused on a certain project/task for a while and feel yourself getting tired, take a break! During this break, grab a snack, listen to some music, get some fresh air; do anything to unwind, and relax your mind!
Keep in Touch with Co-Workers
Finding the right motivation to work can be difficult when you are relying on yourself. Of course this is necessary for the majority of your work, but in a regular work environment, you can bounce off of your coworkers and use them as motivation to get work done. While working at home, instant message, Zoom, or email with your coworkers to get an idea of their day, what work they are doing, and see if they can help you with anything you’re working on!