Working from home definitely has its perks: time, money, and frustration saved with no commute, fewer distractions (well, hopefully!), and more flexibility, just to name a few. However, working remotely definitely has its challenges, too.
Whether you work from home daily, once a week, once a month, or only once in a blue moon, here are a few tips to make your telecommuting days as productive as possible:
Get up and get ready for your day
Many people say one of the perks of working from home is just being able to roll out of bed 30 seconds before you need to start working. Sure, in theory that’s true, but I’ve found that if I don’t get up, take a shower, make my bed, and have my morning cup of coffee before I sign on for the day, I am much less productive. In most cases your employer is doing you a favor by allowing you to work from home, so out of respect for that, be sure to show up at your best – fresh-faced and alert.
Don’t work in your pajamas
While staying in your pajamas all day and getting paid to do it may sound like a dream – they’re so darn comfortable – many studies have shown that how you are dressed impacts your productivity. You don’t need to put on a suit, but try to wear something that you would be willing to wear out in public. It will shock you how much more alert you will feel throughout the day!
Sit at a desk
…and not on your couch, in your recliner, or on your bed. Just like the clothes you are wearing, your environment can have a strong impact on your productivity. It’s tempting to let yourself get a little more comfortable when you’re working from home, but getting comfortable can be very dangerous. I had a friend who once fell asleep for a couple of hours on the job because they decided to settle in to their big, comfortable recliner for the day. Yikes!
Get out of the house
This is especially important if you are working at home for multiple days in a row. Make sure you get the change of scenery that you need, whether that means working from a coffee shop for a few hours or spending part of your lunch break running a quick errand or walking around the block.
Set clear boundaries with others in your home
If you have a significant other, roommate, kids, or other family members that will be home during your workday, make sure you set firm boundaries and stick to them. Be clear about the hours you will be working, where you will be located, and under what circumstances (if any) it’s okay to interrupt.
Leave the chores for later
While it may be tempting to sneak in a load of laundry or two, unload the dishwasher, or get dinner started, try to save your chores for outside of working hours. Take advantage of the time that you would otherwise be commuting to get the housework done so that you can focus 100% on your job during business hours.
Don’t let the fact that you’re physically removed from the office impact your work or work relationships in any way. Call into the office regularly, get on video chat for important meetings, and make sure to stay active on your company instant messenger. It will make all the difference!
Do you work from home often? Have any other tips to share about effectively working from home? Please share!