A lot of us are working from home thanks to the pandemic. Even as the pandemic lifts, many of us have found we enjoy the freedom of work from home arrangements. Businesses are discovering that employees are more efficient and happier. Employees love saving time on commuting and getting to spend more quality time with family and friends.
However, in order to work from home successfully, you have to find ways to stay productive. Here are eight tips from Local SEO Search owner John Vuong. John has been operating a remote team for eight years and has discovered some best practices that can help everyone.
Let’s dive in!
1. Have a Dedicated Work Space
The first of our working from home tips is to have a dedicated workspace at your home. This means you have a desk and office chair that are for work only. No working from bed or your kitchen table!
Realistically, this can be a challenge, especially for those with smaller homes. You might have a second bedroom that you can convert to an office, but if you don’t, be creative. Is there a corner you can claim as your workspace? Where can you place a desk and a chair dedicated to your job?
Once you have a spot, make it fun. Work shouldn’t be a burden! Consider the lighting and decorate the area with images that motivate you. You can also have resources that help you work, like a calendar or whiteboard, nearby.
2. Set Work Rules
One of the biggest challenges of learning how to be more productive is creating boundaries between your home and work. When you’re at home all day, they tend to merge. Instead, take a look at your work schedule and set the expectation with friends and family (and even pets!) that you are not available at that time.
If you were at the office you would be away for 8 hours. You deserve the same productive time when you work from home.
3. Create a Morning and Night Routine
Wondering how to be productive at work when you work from home? Having a routine is essential, and it can also help you manage stressful times more easily. Working from home might cause a sudden lack of the structure you are used to, which makes the stress of the pandemic even worse.
The answer is to create your own routine or schedule. You can start with an evening routine to prepare yourself for the next day, and a morning routine that helps you wake up and get ready to work.
John’s morning routine is simple. He shares, “I start by drinking coffee, and then I meditate. After spending some time centring and become more mindful, I read. Finally, I eat breakfast. This routine helps me get ready for my day and focus on my work.”
Yours could be different. Whatever helps you get ready for the day, do it consistently.
4. Follow a Time Schedule
When you work from home, you want to use the calendar to your advantage. Make sure your calendar is in order so you don’t miss out on anything that’s important to you.
It may be counterintuitive, but be sure you schedule time for family and friends, vacations, and taking care of your health first. Once that’s entered in, you’re ready to put your work projects in the calendar.
When you’re in a work period, don’t let your home tasks interfere. At the same time, when it’s time to be with your family or have fun, keep your phone off so you can focus on your leisure activities.
Creating a time schedule is one of the top work from home best practices we can offer.
5. Dress Up For Work
You might think that one of the benefits of working from home is that you can wear anything you want. And you can! However, getting dressed for work can help signal to your mind that it’s time to focus on work.
When you worked in an office, you probably started each day having a shower and getting dressed in specific clothes that you wore to the office. You felt different after that — professional and focused.
You want to create the same feeling at home. You may not wear business attire, although you certainly can! Whatever you choose, make sure that it helps you feel productive and professional.
6. Set Goals
We’re halfway through our tips for working from home! This one is all about making sure your work accomplishes what you want to do.
Goal-setting is linked to higher achievement, no matter who you are. Writing goals down makes them even more powerful. Think about what you want to accomplish each day, each week, and each month. You might even stretch it out and make quarterly and annual goals.
When you have written goals, you know exactly what you’re shooting for. It makes your work more purposeful and meaningful. Take advantage of goal-setting!
7. Use the New Work Communication
Work communication is very different when you’re working remotely instead of in the office. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools that can boost your working from home productivity.
Many times your company will provide communication tools such as Slack, instant messaging, or video conferencing. You can also pick up the phone! Don’t let working remotely keep you from having the social and professional interactions you need.
At Local SEO Search, our SEO team takes advantage of messaging and video calls on Skype. It’s easy for everyone to use, no matter where they are. You can still communicate, wish someone a happy birthday, or share a joke. You’re just using different tools.
8. Avoid Distractions
One of the biggest challenges working from home is that there are so many distractions available. When you’re at an office, there’s not much to do except work! At home, there are a lot more options.
If you’re trying to learn how to be more productive at home, avoiding distractions is essential. Watching TV, surfing social media, and having interruptions from kids and pets can really sap your time. During work hours, set boundaries so you don’t fall into these traps. When you’re productive, you’ll finish faster and be able to give your full attention to these fun activities.
When you’re disciplined at home, you may discover you get more done than you did in the office!
9. Take Breaks
At the office, you have regularly scheduled breaks. When you’re working from home, it’s tempting to skip them. Don’t do it! You need mental and physical breaks from your work.
No one can work 8 hours straight with no breaks. If you’re wondering how to work efficiently, one of the biggest hacks is to stop working sometimes! Take your lunch away from your desk and take regular breaks as well. You’ll be amazed how much it helps.
When you work from home, you get a lot less activity than usual. You aren’t walking around your office or getting as many steps as you used to. You might have had a habit of going to the gym a few times a week, except that gyms are closed or have limited hours now.
What can you do? Find ways to exercise at home if you can’t get out to a gym. You might go for walks outside, ride a bike, or do workout videos indoors. Exercise is an important way to clear your mind, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure you get enough exercise so you can stay healthy and productive.
11. Get Outside!
Our last tip about how to be more productive at home is to get outside your home! You can’t stay indoors all the time. You need fresh air, sunshine, and a chance to let your mind rest.
When you go out and walk around, your mind will have a chance to think of new ideas and simply enjoy the environment. John likes to go out and get a second cup of coffee. It gives him a boost and a reason to enjoy some fresh air.
Where Will You Start?
Of course, you can’t implement 11 productivity tips overnight. Instead, think about where you want to start. Which one will you implement right away? Which others are on your list to try soon?
At Local SEO Search, we know that it’s important to maximize your business efforts. If you’d like help with your business SEO or digital marketing, we’re here for you. Contact us today to see what we can do!