When first imagining what it is like to work from home, it is easy to envision this work arrangement as a good alternative to spending your time on a long commute and wasting hours in the office.
Statistics shows that more and more specialists follow the same thinking paradigm, and it is hard for humans to dispute the sheer value of being able to do whatever you want and whenever you want.
However, the same factor is also a massive trap for newcomers to at-home job placements, as it is easy to slip into procrastination, unhealthy practices (e.g. waking up late and missing deadlines) and losing productivity.
Let’s take a look at what can be done to extract the maximum from being an at-home employee with our best working from home tips.
In this article:
Follow a Tight Schedule
The fact that there is no supervisor physically present to control your work schedule does not mean that you need to get rid of time planning entirely.
On the contrary, when working from home it would be wise to focus your primary effort on creating and adhering to a strict distribution of activities.
For instance, you should choose the exact time when you start working every day, the total time allocated to breaks (either one large break or several smaller ones), and the time at which you log off and your domestic life takes over.
If you struggle to achieve this, you can try free software like Time Planner to automatise reminders and keeping track of your activities.
This should eliminate any major gaps in productivity and allow you to achieve a more focused mindset.
Physically Separate Your Work from the Rest of Your Apartment
One thing that is easily overlooked is how your work is physically embedded into your living environment.
What could possibly go wrong if buying a powerful Mac and a decent table?
Be careful, treating your work space as any other place in your apartment could stimulate your brain to make no distinction between your ordinary and leisurely activities and work, which can lead to you being easily distracted from completing your daily objectives.
No need to do anything extravagant.
Even placing a thin curtain between your workspace and other rooms in your apartment could do wonders.
Try to use your desktop computer only for work purposes, while social media and games can be accessed from a tablet.
Keep Your Phone as Far Away as Humanly Possible (and Turn Off Notifications Too)
Smartphones have proven to be the most significant cause of procrastination for modern workers.
Unless you work in sales, you do not really need to have that iPhone or Samsung nearby at all times.
You could find out that the temptation to check your Facebook Messenger is less intensive if the phone is located at the other side of the room.
For that matter, you do not really need to know when your friends upload new selfies on Instagram, do you?
Turning off notifications for social media could free up to 30-40 minutes daily, which could be spent on concentrated work.
Reap Mini-Rewards for Meeting Deadlines and Completing Objectives
It can be difficult to stay motivated when home offers so many opportunities for fun such as playing with your pets, spending some time on your game console or simply taking a relaxing bath.
However, these do not need to serve as obstacles to your productivity.
Instead, treat these factors as possible rewards that you can assign to yourself (after all, you are your own manager!) for completing difficult tasks and meeting deadlines.
What you need to remember is that breaks shouldn’t take more than 20% of your working time.
Establish Boundaries with Your Roommates and Family
If you do not live alone, it can be easy to frequently help your partner with chores or simply chat with your roommates whenever they are around.
Nevertheless, these are all substantial distractions for the work process.
Before transferring to an at-home position, discuss at length the possible times when you are available for conversations and other household routines with everyone who shares the apartment with you.
The above list may seem daunting at first, but improving your at-home work productivity is no more difficult than effectively organising your working environment and adopting healthy habits.
Follow our best working from home tips and you’ll enjoy more productivity working from home.
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in freelancing, academic dissertation writing consulting, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.