Avoiding a stressful commute, having a customized office space, answering emails in your pajamas – these are just some of the #workperks of working from home.
Companies are adapting and enabling employees to be mobile, according to recent Global Workplace Analytics’ research, the non-self-employed work from home population has increased by 103% since 2005! Working from home has many benefits (like pajama wearing conference calls); however it can be challenging, as unavoidable distractions arise and deadlines may fall to the wayside. So, if you are jumping on the home-office bandwagon, here are 7 tips and strategies to help you stay focused, increase efficiency, and jump-start your engine toward success.
1. Wear your pants: People who wear pants (not sweatpants, but actual pants) have increased productivity and higher success rates during sales calls and negotiations. Your dream of working from home in your pajama pants is counterproductive. Recent articles from both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes discuss the correlation between choice of wardrobe and productivity. Workers who dressed in more professional attire had more confidence, and higher levels of abstract thinking. Dressing for work helps place you in a different psychological mentality, and helps set you in “work mode.” Don’t be a pajama-clad bedhead.
2. Stick to a schedule: When no one is around and directly holding you accountable, it’s easy to lose focus. Even when working remotely, you still need to arrive on time! This should be the easy part, as your commute is likely across the living room and not traversing public transportation between two boroughs. Creating a regimented schedule will help you keep momentum throughout the day; you’ll likely be surprised with how much you can accomplish. Knowing when to shut your computer down is also crucial. If you’ve been accused of “bringing your work home with you” this will likely be the most difficult aspect of your new work environment. Set you hours, stick to them. Period. You’ll be more productive overall and your co-workers and clients will know when you are on and when you’re not.
3. Create a comfortable workspace: Have a dedicated home office space. Sure, working on your laptop in bed seems glamorous, but it offers too much temptation (like sleep). When you have a dedicated, private space to work, you’re separating work and play. The unassuming act of shutting the door to your office will help maintain focus and eliminate distractions.
4. Learn the best way communicate: This is especially crucial for those working in teams who are used to leaning over the desk and simply chatting with colleagues. There are almost too many ways to communicate these days, take advantage of the methods that works best for you and your team. At Clarity, we have found Slack to be an efficient way to stay on top of our most pressing projects and be most efficient without anyone missing a beat (no matter where they sit). Keep up with the needs and changes of the day to day. Don’t miss out because you’re a thousand miles away. Little rhyme there for your pleasure.
5. Take breaks: It’s easy to lose track of time when you are working in your own space alone. Do not spend the entire day sitting at your desk uninterrupted. Take breaks to step away from your computer, stretch, and eat lunch somewhere other than your desktop.
6. Be Healthy: Ok, you don’t have to drink wheatgrass and smoothies for breakfast just because you’re working from home, you can, but seriously…incorporating healthy habits into your work day will help set you up for success. Working remotely can be challenging as you’re exposed to distractions and temptations (i.e. your entire kitchen not just the office pantry). Be smart and healthy – your attention to detail and ability to focus will thrive.
7. Connect: This is a fast-paced world, make sure your internet can keep up and invest in the proper tools that enable you to keep up with a typical office!
Working from home offers a complexity of advantages and distractions. Hopefully some, or all, of these tools can help you discover productive and money-making bliss.