Certain circumstances may require you to work from home, or you might choose a flex-work arrangement on certain days if that is an option. But working from home (WFH) effectively is an art, and when done well you can keep your productivity operating at a high level.
WFH is a common struggle and so we’ve come up with a list of tried-and-true tips for working remotely, drawing inspiration from both our personal experiences and the internet. We hope you find these as useful as we did. Read on!
Create a Morning Ritual
Opening up your laptop while in bed may sound tempting. But the first productivity tip is to create your own morning ritual, which could include things like:
Make and enjoy your favorite morning beverage.
Do a morning workout routine.
Read the news.
Get ready as if you’re going into the office.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Whatever it is, stick to it! Think of it as a time to transition from home life to work life.
Identify a Designated Work Area
Create a space at your home that is dedicated just to work. It could include a standing desk, a bunch of colorful stationery (you may never use them, but they can bring a pop of color to your surroundings!), a printed-out calendar with your tasks on them, to-do lists, a white board for brainstorming and anything else that will help keep you on track.
Or, go the minimalist route with just a desk, a laptop and a chair with good back support. Find out what works for you and create your space!
Another perk of having a designated work space is that it can help you remove house distractions (e.g.,unwashed laundry, dishes and other messes) from your line of sight. But you will also need to keep virtual distractions out of your work day.
Make a list of all your distractions such as checking your phone, scrolling through social media and perusing YouTube. Then, set a rule that if you want to engage in these distractions, you need to physically move away from your work space.
Pretty soon, whenever you feel like checking your phone, you won’t want to get up and move away from your space, and will just continue on with your work!
Schedule Your Day
It’s important to make each hour of your day count! By having a consistent schedule, you will get a similar sense of structure that you find at the office.
As this article from Think With Google says, “A simple to-do list can do wonders for keeping you organized, motivated and productive as you work from home. As you create your list, think about big, long-term goals, like finishing a project, as well as small goals, like completing tasks that lead to that big goal. Write or type out your list instead of just having it in your head. You won’t have to devote headspace to constantly remembering what you have to do, and the pleasure of crossing tasks off your list can help you stay motivated.”
Lean Into the Afternoon Slump
You’ve been there before: It’s past 2 pm in the afternoon, you've had lunch and you’re feeling the all-too-familiar afternoon slump. Instead of trying to force yourself back into work mode, get up from your desk for a bit and engage in some physical activity, like getting in a small workout, cleaning up around the house or even just stretching.
Engaging in a short-term physical activity that’s productive and rewards your brain will put you in a much better mindset to continue working.
Maintain a Rapport With Your Colleagues
Whether through Google Hangouts, Slack, Zoom or Microsoft Teams, stay connected with your colleagues—and have fun as you would in an in-person work environment. This Entrepreneur article talks about how a CEO built a virtual friendship with his team members from around the world. CEO DJ Haddad says, “Just like in a real office environment, we joke around, we make fun of each other, we make stupid GIFs of each other, we share high school prom photos, vacation photos, etc. We have Teams chats for everything—book club, employees with kids, employees without kids, competitions, etc. It makes it easy for us to still have fun and have ‘water cooler talk’ throughout the day.”
Get Your Body Moving
If you’re working from home all day, it might be difficult to find time to do a full workout. It’s important to keep yourself active in any way that you can.
Walk around when you’re in a meeting that doesn’t need video.
Take a 5-minute break every 25 minutes to stretch or a half-hour break during the day to do a basic fitness routine, many of which you will find on YouTube. A great starting point is a fitness channel run by a husband-and-wife team called Fitness Blender, with over 500 workouts of varying lengths and intensities. There’s no music to the videos so you can play your own mix with the routines. For something more fun and dance-oriented,check out PopSugar Fitness on YouTube, which has fun dance workout routines ranging from Zumba to Latin pop!
Do Your Meal and Snack Prep
Working from home takes away a very important energy-consuming activity from your day: commuting.You may find that you don’t get hungry as easily, which can lead to bingeing on snacks. So do your meal and snack prep for the week on the weekends as you would normally do if you were commuting to the office.
What are some tips you’ve found helpful when WFH? Let us know in the comments below!