Adjusting to a remote work schedule and environment can be challenging. Though there are some advantages to a remote work setup—namely, no commute—there are also many obstacles you wouldn’t normally face in an office setting that may keep you from working to your highest level of productivity.
Many in-office roles switched to remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the pandemic is ongoing, you may not know when in-person work will resume. For that reason, developing good work-from-home habits in the midst of so much uncertainty will only benefit you in the long run. For those who will continue working remotely even post-pandemic, finding ways to increase productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential.
Here are six tips to help you stay productive while working from home:
1. Develop a morning routine.
Maybe you went to the gym every morning before heading into the office. Or maybe you ate breakfast while reading a good book before setting out on your commute. Keeping the same morning routine, even while you’re working from home, is a great way to get yourself into a work-ready mindset and increase your productivity.
2. Create a designated workspace.
Working in a home office space is ideal, but it’s not always possible for everyone. Avoid using your bed as a workspace. Your mind and body associate your bed with sleep, so working from your bed may make you feel tired and decrease your productivity. Instead, try finding another space that can be used on a daily basis. Make sure to customize your workspace so that it feels more like your desk back in the office.
3. Make a to-do list.
Working from home will bring a different set of distractions and challenges from those you faced when in the office. Creating a to-do list will help keep you on track amidst these distractions and increase your productivity. As you check off items from the list, you’ll feel accomplished and motivated to complete all of the tasks on your list each day.
4. Take short breaks throughout the day.
Sitting in front of a screen all day with no breaks can place a strain on your mental and physical health. Taking short breaks throughout the day is helpful in coping with the day-to-day stresses that arise. Whether you go outside and take a walk or just leave your workspace for a little bit, you’ll likely return refreshed and ready to keep working.
5. Listen to music or a podcast.
Drowning out the outside noise and distractions is essential for many people in order to remain productive while working. Listening to your favorite music or podcast can help you de-stress and focus on the work at hand—while blocking out all other distractions.
6. Continue to socialize with colleagues.
Feeling isolated while working from home can affect your overall mood and make you feel less motivated. You may not be able to meet with colleagues face-to-face, but maintaining socialization via video chat and messaging can provide a helpful boost to your mood and your productivity.