Originally published in Long Island Business News. Donna Sirianni is CEO of Moving Forward Strategies,…
If you work from home, you either love it or you hate it. Either way, a significant portion of Americans are becoming remote workers. While some individuals thrive while working from home, others struggle to separate work and home life. Many remote workers have been trying to figure out how to stay productive while working from home, but even those who work in-person can suffer from burnout and a lack of motivation.
In this article, we will provide you with three simple work-from-home tips to help you maintain a work-friendly mindset while at home by making the most of your surroundings and evading isolation. We’ll also offer easy ways to foster productivity and avoid burnout for remote and in-person workers alike.
Plan for Productivity
While it’s easy to roll out of bed, open your laptop, and stagger tiredly into your workday, it’s far better in the long-run to start your day with a plan. According to Forbes, “Many successful people attribute their personal and financial success to a morning of strict habits.” These morning habits may vary by individual, but a good place to start is your wake-up time.
Waking up at the same time everyday can be the foundation to solidifying a routine for remote workers. Try to give yourself enough time to exercise or have breakfast before starting your workday, so that you don’t feel rushed. Another tip that professionals swear by is dressing the part. Even if you don’t technically have to, it’s important to wake up and get dressed for your workday, rather than staying in pajamas. This will be a subconscious signal to your brain that you are in work mode, not sleep mode.
Your schedule should include the tasks necessary for your workday, but also your lunch and other breaks. Scheduling your breaks ensures that you will actually take them and that they won’t interfere with work, and vice-versa. A large factor in maintaining productivity and avoiding burnout is the act of taking breaks from your work. Try getting outside, doing exercise, or talking to a friend. Taking even a few minutes to pull your mind away from work will rejuvenate and refresh your brain, optimizing productivity when you do get back to work.
Your schedule should also signal when your workday ends. Working from home can make the lines blurry as to when to start and when to stop. Actively unplugging from work at a set time each day will prevent you from overworking and will allow you to separate your work life from your home life.
If you are a remote worker, creating a schedule– whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly–will help motivate you to accomplish more and leave you feeling more productive and satisfied with your work/life balance.
Set Your WFH Space Up for Success
The environment in which you work has an immense impact on your performance, mood, and productivity. Again, it is tempting to work from the comfort of your couch or bed, but these places are meant for relaxation, not work. To make the most of working remotely, try setting up an area that is devoted solely to work– a place where you remain only during work hours. Doing so will allow you to separate and balance your work life and personal life.
One of the most effective remote work tips is to work from a spot that is:
- Secluded: Minimize distractions to facilitate focus and productivity.
- Quiet: If you live alone, this might be simple. Many remote workers have children or roommates, so it can be difficult to find a completely quiet area. Noise is a huge distraction from work, so try using headphones or a noise machine to reduce distracting sounds.
- Organized: Clutter can contribute to stress, and cleanliness can contribute to productivity. Try scheduling five to ten minutes of cleaning or organizing into your daily plan.
- Peaceful: If possible, sit near a window. Studies have shown that sitting near natural light improves mood and facilitates creativity, amongst other benefits. No window? Try natural light bulbs. Enhance your workspace with inspirational decor, calming colors, or refreshing aromas.
Practice Productivity with a Remote-Worker Buddy
Working remotely can be isolating. Isolation can cause you to feel detached from your work and unmotivated. Communication is an important factor when it comes to doing your job well, but even more so when you’re working from home. Staying in touch with coworkers and higher-ups ensures that, as remote workers, you aren’t dissociating from a work-related mindset.
If you’re struggling with communication due to remote work, try expressing these feelings to your boss to find a solution. Consider incorporating a daily meeting with a coworker into your schedule, or maintaining communication with them throughout the day via Slack or Teams. Doing so will hold you accountable for completing your tasks and give you the sense of teamwork that usually comes from being in a physical office together.
Remote working comes with its perks and its challenges. As an employee, you are expected to be as productive as you would be at the office, but it is hard to facilitate the same levels of motivation while working from home. Create a detailed schedule, and be sure to stick to it–make sure you take your breaks! Talk with a coworker or a friend who’s working remotely to hold each other accountable. Communicate your struggles, and design a workspace that allows you to focus and remain productive.
Need help getting started or staying consistent? You could benefit from one-on-one coaching or motivational seminars that provide more remote work tips.
Contact us today for virtual or in-person personal development seminars.