Working from home can actually be a lot more challenging than you think.
Is there anything more attractive than working in the comfort of your own home? You save money on lunch and transport, there’s no need for stuffy work attire, and have your own freedom. However, newbies to working from home often don’t realise the extra discipline it requires to sustain this lifestyle. Attitudes such as procrastinating, taking advantage of the situation, and laziness can rear their ugly heads, disrupting your usual productivity. For some of us, the lack of human presence can also affect our workflow negatively since working from home isn’t a norm.
That’s why we’ve come up with this concise list on how to cope with yourself while maintaining productivity when working from home. Read on to see how it’s done:
Wash up and dress for work
One of the best things about working from home is being able wear comfortable clothes. However, rattling away on your laptop in your PJs can sometimes lead to being “too comfortable” and unmotivated. Instead, treat it like a regular workday where you wake up early, take a shower, dress up, and have a satisfying breakfast. Dressing up even at home helps to reaffirm your commitment to work by acting as a visual reminder. Ever heard of “dress for success”? This definitely still applies here!
Have a plan
When working alone at home, you should keep a more structured daily schedule than normal. Since you and your time won’t be influenced by other people such as your superiors, your usual workday won’t have the structure and routine you’ve grown accustomed to. Avoid slacking by planning out your to-do list for the day, setting your own deadlines, and scheduling necessary breaks.
Be mindful of your environment
Make sure your work area is clean and tidy to ensure a smooth workflow. If your desk is too cluttered you may find your mind drifting to other unnecessary activities other than work. Try to also confine your work space to a specific area in your home. This is also important if you don’t live alone so you don’t intrude the lives of others while ensuring you stay focused.
Don’t forget to move
Pump up your motivation while avoiding sluggishness by taking some time to stretch or engage in light exercise. Working from home can breed lethargy and promote weight gain, since you’re barely fulfilling your daily steps. Resist the magnetic pull of lounging on your couch or bed without leaving and try some stretching exercises or a HIIIT session to keep your muscles in good condition. Keeping your blood flowing and increased endorphins can also help boost your mood and productivity.
Make use of technology
If you’re required to work from home and aren’t in a position to step out for meetings or social networking, now’s the best time to stick your nose into technology. Apps like Asana can help you and your colleagues stay updated and keep track on projects you’re currently working on. You can also amp up the communication with chat apps like Slack or videoconferencing services such as Zoom. This won’t just maintain a good workflow, it also encourages better communication between colleagues and managers.
If possible, try to work in a place where you won’t be disturbed by outdoor noise or tempted to watch TV. Since you have more freedom over how to get your work done, it’s very easy to fall into the temptation of procrastinating. Move your entertainment apps on your laptop to a different folder or remove them from your dock so they won’t be visibly tempting. If you need to be on your phone for work, try moving apps like social media you don’t need or gaming apps to a different folder.