Professionals are working from home like never before and while many thought officing at home would be temporary, there are some signs that it could be a longer-term trend. For those with long commutes, working from home saves valuable time, and for parents, it means more time with children. But even with all the benefits and flexibility that come from making your home office your home office, it is important to make sure working from home doesn’t cut into your productivity. To help you manage the potential pitfalls of officing somewhere other than your office, here are three tips for staying productive while working from home.
1. Go on Walks Regularly
One of the greatest benefits of working from home is that it gives you the flexibility to take breaks when you need to. While theoretically, you could have gone on walks when you worked from a traditional office, chances are you didn’t do so on a regular basis. It is a well-known fact that physical activity and movement helps the creative process and can boost productivity. While you most likely can’t devote hours every day to wandering around your neighborhood, you could probably sprinkle a few 5-10 minute walks throughout your day.
The break from sitting and monotony will do wonders for your productivity, and it will have the added bonus of connecting you with your neighbors and neighborhood.
2. Set Up a WFH Space
A well-designed working from home (WFH) space can be crucial to maintaining and even increasing your productivity. As humans, it is important for us to have spaces dedicated to particular activities. It helps us know what to do when we are in any given location and transition more quickly into doing whatever we need to do when we are there. Kitchens are for eating, bedrooms are for sleeping, and WFH spaces are for working.
Having a dedicated WFH space also helps communicate to others in your life that you are working and should not be interrupted. Children, spouses, and friends will instinctively know that when you are in your WFH space you are not to be bothered and this will keep you from distractions that could sink your day.
One final pro tip for WFH spaces is to make sure they are inviting and that you will like working there. If your WFH space is dark and uncomfortable you might start to dread going there and find every excuse not to. On the other hand, if you turn a bright, cozy nook or room into your WFH space you will go there more often and work better while you are there.
3. Work Regular Hours
It can be tempting, especially if you have children, to save your work for after they are in bed. While this will not doubt be necessary from time to time, it is best if you keep your working hours as regular as possible. Working from 9-5 during the week will be your best bet at staying productive. You can also tell yourself that when you worked from an office, your 9-5 was really an 8:30-5:30 or even longer once you count the commute. You can use that extra hour to play with your kids, rediscover your culinary talents, our crack open the latest Grisham.
If you can’t keep your work to the traditional 9-5 it is helpful to keep it consistent from day today. If you have a two-hour slot outside of those hours, it is best to work at that time every day. Doing so will help keep your productivity up.