More people are working from home than ever before. Long before “social distancing” was a thing, about 8 million Americans (5.2% of the workforce) worked from home 100% of the time. A staggering 43% of Americans worked from home on occasion. And since COVID came to be, it’s millions more.
There are endless benefits to working from home, but some people struggle to get accustomed to it. For some, the distractions of home interfere with productivity. For people who enjoy the company of their coworkers, it can feel a bit lonely.
Most people agree that working from home is amazing! But if you’re struggling a bit, keep reading. Here are five ways to make working from home more fun and more productive.
Having a routine is key to being productive, so the best thing you can do is create a regular schedule for your workday.
Start and end work at the same time each day. Work an eight-hour shift and take a one-hour lunch break in the middle of the day, just like you would if you were in the office. If you’re used to making an hour commute each way, try working ten hours in a day to catch up or get ahead of upcoming projects.
Besides having a definitive start and end time, plan how you’re going to spend your day ahead of time. Make a to-do list or fill in your calendar with all the tasks you have to do. You can do this weekly or daily, whatever works better for you and your career.
If you want to be productive at home, you must stick to a schedule.
In a perfect world, you already have a designated home office that’s correctly set up for you to do your job. But if you don’t have a home office, it’s time to create a space that feels like one.
Don’t have a spare bedroom or a lot of extra space?
You can turn any tiny space into a personal workspace in a matter of minutes.
Carve out a corner of your living room and add a small laptop desk and chair.
Don’t have room to add a desk?
Pick a specific seat at your dining room table and make that be your daytime workspace.
Working from the bed or couch may be comfortable, but if you’re having issues with productivity, it’s time to find a new place to sit. Your dining room may not look like an office, but that’s not what matters — what’s important is having a dedicated space for your work.
How to Organize an Efficient Home Office in a Small PlaceAre you trying to work out the best way to organize your home office, but are low on space to do so? Perhaps your home office has already been created in your apartment somewhere but you’re trying to make it more efficient? In this article Nadya Jones looks at how you can make the most of a small space.
People who work from home have the luxury of working in their PJs and skipping the hair and makeup routine. But what you wear and how you look can have a significant impact on how you perform.
If you need an extra push of motivation, put on a nice shirt and a pair of pants that don’t have an elastic waistband. Sometimes dressing the part is all it takes to get into work mode.
And if you’re planning to have a video chat or video conference with clients or coworkers, this is a must! Dress like you’re working, not lounging, and you’re more likely to feel more motivated.
The New Workwear Rules And What They Mean For Your ProductivityWith a recent survey discovering that 47% of Americans aren't wearing pants during their working day, and only around half will brush their hair or wash their face before a video call, you may be forgiven for thinking that all previous advice about professional appearances and dress codes is a thing of the past. However, that’s not the case. While remote working can certainly mean a more relaxed approach in some respects, your appearance is still connected to your productivity.
There is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with equipment that doesn’t work (especially if you’re not super tech-savvy).
Save yourself some headaches and invest in a new laptop, a new monitor, a pair of headphones, a new webcam, or whatever else it is that’s causing you grief. The better your technology is, the easier it will be to do your job, and the less time you’ll have to spend on troubleshooting and fixing issues.
Plus, it can be enjoyable setting up and trying out those new toys!
Have the hardware you need but want to make your interactions with colleagues more interesting?
Try out some different programs and apps, such as Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Slack, or Trello. Get your coworkers together for a Facebook Messenger chat. Set a fun background on Zoom, so it looks like you’re flying through outer space or swimming underwater during a video conference.
Working from home is easier when you set aside specific hours for work time and personal time.
When you’ve finished for the day, be done! Turn off your laptop and spend time with your family. Put your headset away and enjoy some alone time reading, relaxing, or watching TV.
If you tend to be a workaholic, it can be tempting to want to work all day and all night. But you must have some dedicated downtime to relieve stress.
The less stress you have, the more productive you will be.
It may seem counterintuitive to being more productive, but taking breaks can actually boost your mood and make you more attentive.
Take a lunch break. Take ten-minute coffee breaks every few hours. Get in a little bit of exercise here and there. If you feel guilty when you take a break, then don’t think of it as a break. Think of it as something you need to do to boost your productivity levels.
It’s also perfectly fine to double up on household duties and work duties at the same time.
Don’t want to spend an entire Saturday doing loads of laundry?
Throw a load in the wash before you start your day and toss it in the dryer when it’s time to take your lunch break. That way, you’ll have even more time to relax at the end of the day or the end of the week.
If you want to be more productive while working from home, you have to know how to avoid distractions.
But if you desire to be more productive and have more fun working alone, here’s what to do:
- Create a routine and a schedule
- Create a specific workspace
- Improve your tech with some new equipment or programs
- Designate certain hours for work and other hours for personal time
- Take breaks throughout the day
Make these habits a part of your routine, and you’ll probably want to ask your boss if you can work from home forever!
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