In the past year, working from home has become the norm for a lot of us. And many employees would prefer to continue telecommuting some or all of the time—even after the pandemic is over.
However, if this is your first time working from home, you might be struggling to be productive. The following five tips can help:
Create a dedicated workspace.
According to Forbes, studies show that having a dedicated workspace is important to your ability to focus. If you set aside a specific spot in your home where you “go to work,” you’ll likely be less distracted and, as a result, be able to concentrate better. If you have a guest bedroom, consider repurposing it as an office. You can also clear a space at the kitchen counter or dining table for work.
Keep regular work hours.
Even if you’re in the position to determine your own schedule, it’s helpful to keep regular work hours to ensure you’ll be able to communicate with your team in a timely manner. By consistently getting in the habit of going to work at a certain time and working until a set time, you’ll make it easier for yourself to stick to your schedule. Don’t forget to build in time for breaks so you can go outside for a bit of exercise, as this can really help your overall wellbeing and productivity.
Stay away from personal tasks.
The Muse advises that one of the best ways to stay productive is to avoid performing personal tasks during work hours. Remember: It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re shopping online or checking your social media accounts — and that can come at the cost of your productivity.
Check in with your colleagues.
Working from home can be very isolating — but it doesn’t have to be. Find a way to communicate with your team members throughout the day, for example by using Slack or Microsoft Teams. It can also be helpful to have a short standup at the beginning of the day on Zoom or Google Meet where your entire team can get together and discuss your current projects and individual tasks.
It can be tempting to wear jogging pants or even your pajamas when you don’t have to go to an office, but dressing casually can also make you feel less inclined to work. On the other hand, if you wear the same kind of clothes you’d wear to the office, you’re recreating your professional work environment at home. This can help you be more focused and productive — plus, you’ll be more prepared to hop onto a Zoom call if your supervisor or a client unexpectedly wants a meeting.
Working from home can give you a better work-life balance than you’d have if you were commuting to an office every day, but you need to know how to remain productive. If you keep these five tips in mind, you stand a good chance of getting into the habit of creating a work environment where you can be a valuable member of your team and help your company achieve its goals—both of which are great for your career.