What is it really like working from a home office? The answer may surprise you.
Ahh, the glamour. Hanging around in your pajamas all day while you sit comfortably at your desk eating Snickers and Cheese-Its while chatting with your friends through Skype. You smell your freshly brewed coffee and realize that you really have no boss standing over you, breathing down your neck. You have a little party of one.
The career we all dream of. Right? No one to watch over us, no cubicle mates gossiping about whom they saw last night and to whom they were out with, and no one making google eyes at the water cooler.
Here you are, feet propped up, staring blankly at the computer screen, wondering just where you should start with the day’s projects. The next thing you know, you look at that little clock down in the right-hand corner, and it’s noon.
Before you know it, 4 hours have passed, and you have done nothing.
That is why everyone wants to work from home, isn’t it? To be free to work and do as you, please. But, sometimes, this new-found freedom can be a tad bit overwhelming. With more and more of us now working from home, it can be hard to stay motivated and productive in the comfort of our own homes. But with just a few simple tweaks, you can make sure your home office set-up is conducive to getting work done. In this article, we’ll explore how to create a home office environment that keeps you energized and focused without sacrificing comfort. We’ll also provide some tips on how to stay on task even when distractions are abound.
Tips for Getting Work Done When Working Remotely
Working remotely has become the new normal for many of us, with an ever-increasing number of individuals taking on remote work. This shift to working from home can be a challenge, as forming a routine and getting work done isn’t always easy when you’re not in an office setting. Here are some tips to help you stay productive while working remotely.
#1. Set Up the Designated Work Space in Your Home Office
Setting up a designated workspace in your home can help add structure and organization to your day-to-day life. By taking the time to create a professional atmosphere, you can ensure that you are able to stay focused and productive while working from home.
When planning out your workspace, it is important to take into account both practicality and comfort. Choose a bright, comfortable room for the best results. Make sure that your desk is ergonomically appropriate; this will help reduce physical strain on your body down the line.
Be sure to set up your workspace where you can complete your tasks without distractions. Set up your desk in a quiet corner or room away from any family members or roommates who might be at home during the day. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just enough space so that you can focus on getting your work done.
Having an organized space that’s just for work will help keep your mind focused and make it easier to stay on track with your projects.
#2. Make Your Daily To-Do List
As the home office continues to become an increasingly popular workspace for many, it’s important to start off each day with a clear plan. Having a daily to-do list is one of the best ways to stay organized and productive while working from home. Not only does having a list help you stay focused on your goals, but it can also help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with juggling multiple tasks.
Creating your daily to-do list should be one of the first tasks done each morning. Start by writing down all the projects or tasks that need attention that day. It can be helpful to break larger projects into smaller steps, so they don’t seem as daunting. Then prioritize them in order of importance or difficulty based on your own preferences and deadlines.
Cross things off as you go along.
#3. Establish a Routine
When it comes to working from home, establishing a routine is essential for staying productive and organized. Establishing a consistent schedule can help create structure in everyday operations while allowing you to remain flexible when needed.
Creating a daily routine for yourself when working from home is essential for staying organized and on track with your goals. Make sure to start your day off on the right foot by creating a morning routine that starts with setting an alarm and ending with a cup of coffee (or tea.) This will help get your mind in the work zone and make sure that you stay productive throughout the day. Additionally, make sure there’s enough natural light in your workspace as well as good ventilation for maintaining concentration throughout the day.
#4. Clear Out Your Emails – Daily
One of the most important tips for any work-from-home professional is to clear out their emails every day. By taking a few minutes each day to delete unnecessary emails and prioritize what needs to be addressed first, professionals can save themselves time and hassle throughout their home office experience.
Organization is key when working from a home office, and managing email inboxes is no exception. Taking some time each day to delete old emails that are no longer needed or relevant will help keep inboxes tidy and make them easier to manage in the long run. Moving messages into labeled folders or creating filters can also allow for more efficient sorting of emails, allowing users to more easily reference information at a later date when needed.
Make the unsubscribe button your best friend.
#5 Take Scheduled Breaks
To ensure productivity and work-life balance, taking scheduled breaks is key to success in the home office. Breaks are important for any type of work environment but can be especially beneficial when working from home.
Recognizing when it’s time to take a break is essential, as this helps prevent burnout and maintain job satisfaction. Taking short breaks throughout the day allows for improved focus and overall better performance. Additionally, stepping away gives your brain a chance to reset and refocus on tasks with renewed energy. Scheduling regular breaks also provides an opportunity to disconnect from work which helps create healthy boundaries between personal life and professional duties.
“I find what works best for me is to reward myself once I have completed a task. Then I take a small break and reply to a few personal emails. This way, work has been done, I feel better, and I am no overloaded with tons of emails at the end of the work day.” – Chrystal Mahan
#6. Eliminate Distractions
Managing distractions can be tricky when working remotely. With so many potential temptations in the home environment, setting up systems to eliminate distractions is essential for productivity and success in work-from-home situations.
Stick to working in your home office, as this is the best way to keep distractions at bay while working remotely. Unlike using spaces within other parts of the house, such as on couches or beds, using your home office – an area specifically allocated for work – creates an atmosphere that gets you into “work mode” even if you are still at home. Additionally, having this space stocked with all necessary equipment will ensure everything you need is within reach without any added temptation away from your tasks.
Noise is one of the most common types of distraction in a home office environment. Whether it’s roommates, young children playing outside – or inside, loud music coming from another room, pets, or construction happening next door – noise can easily disrupt focus and productivity. To combat this issue, try wearing headphones with white noise or peaceful nature sounds playing; this will help block out any external noises.
Other ways to eliminate distractions:
- Turn off your social media alerts.
- Turn your status to “away” on messaging like Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other real-time messaging communication platforms.
- Turn off active status on Facebook Messenger.
- Hang a sign on your office door to signal to others you are working and not disturb you.
- Put a sign on your front door for packages and such to be left – please do not ring the doorbell.
- If you are easily distracted by your cell phone, put it on silent or Do Not Disturb to let others know you are busy.
- If you have pets that just can’t manage their barking, try a bark collar.
#7. Create Boundaries
The shift to working from home can feel like a dream come true. You finally have the freedom to work in your own space without having to worry about office politics or distractions. But it’s important to remember that creating boundaries is key when you’re running your own home office.
Setting boundaries with others can be challenging. Whether you have roommates, family members, or pets in the home office with you, it’s important to establish expectations for how work and personal time will be divided.
Establish set working hours (as we discussed in #3) for yourself and stick to them as much as possible – this could mean keeping regular 9-5 hours or taking breaks during the day where necessary. Make sure to tell those who need to know what your established working hours are and that they are not to disturb you while you’re working unless it’s an emergency.
Create boundaries between work life and personal life – this means cutting yourself off after certain hours each night so that you can still have time for yourself without being tempted to check emails or take calls late at night.
#8. Delegate Tasks
Often we have too many tasks on our plate. No matter how many hours in the day we have, there is always something that does not get done. Keep an eye on that and consider hiring a virtual assistant to help you out and delegate those tasks that keep lingering.
“Working from home is almost like boot camp, you have to be tough and buckle down. – Chrystal Mahan
Let’s be honest, working remotely does have its advantages. You don’t have to commute, you can work in your PJs, no one is going to care if you wake up with a huge zit on your head, it is okay to be a few minutes late, and no one will be staring at you if you walk in all red-eyed from the night before.
But not only are you the employee, but you are also the boss, and you have to act like one. All the responsibilities lay on your shoulders, and it is up to you to get the job done. And sometimes, we just need to ask for help.
Ready for an Extra Set Of Hands to Help you Get Things Done?
Working remotely in a home office requires a lot of dedication, discipline, and motivation. It can be difficult to stay focused on the task at hand when you’re not in an office environment, but with the right strategies, it is possible to remain productive and get work done. Set yourself up with the right tools and habits, schedule your day in advance, and structure your workspace for maximum productivity – these are all proven techniques for getting work done when working remotely. Try applying them to your own routine and watch your productivity soar!
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If I have any words of advice for those about to walk into the world of working from home, it would be, “Buckle up, soldier, you have a lot of work to do!”