Today, almost 3 million Americans work from home, and many more consider their home or apartment their primary workplace. While there are certainly many benefits of working from home – namely no commute, no bosses looking over your shoulder, increased comfort, and saved expenses (food, travel, etc.), it can also have its drawbacks. It takes significant effort to keep yourself motivated and on the task in the confines of your own home. If you’re starting or you’re looking for a little more structure, read on.
Create A Workspace
Separating your living space from your working space is incredibly important for staying on task and working stress-free. When you work in your den or living room, you’re bound to be distracted by things that need to be done or things that you’d rather be doing. Creating a home office removes those distractions and gives you a space just for working.
If your modern apartment home doesn’t have enough room for an office nook and you have to double your bedroom as a workspace, keep your work area free from clutter. This allows you to focus on your work and keep a clear mind.
Dress for Success
When you first start working from home, working in your pajamas is a true allure, but the novelty quickly wears off. It’s hard to get motivated when you haven’t even changed your clothes or brushed your teeth. You don’t need to dress in a suit and tie, but at least put on a flannel and pair of jeans. You’ll be ready to tackle the day’s tasks rather than crawl back into bed.
Set A Schedule
Nothing kills productivity like a distraction, and nothing creates a distraction like a lack of structure. Create a work schedule and routine that fosters a productive environment; otherwise, you’ll find yourself taking 15 minutes here to fix a sandwich and 30 minutes there to check the internet. To create a healthy sense of urgency, create a schedule of tasks the night before, and don’t forget to assign break times.
Step Up Your Communication Skills
When you’re communicating primarily via e-mail, you no longer have the ability to use tone and body language, so you’ll need to be clear and direct. Communication tools like Slack create team chat rooms that allow for instant and informal conversation. You’ll also need to make sure you have an internet speed of at least 5MBPS (download) so that you can download large files quickly.