The Cloud has changed the way we do business. With more freedom and flexibility, businesses with employees working from home is becoming more and more common. While some studies show that working from home makes employees more productive, it may not always be the easiest routine to fall into. With no office to reach in the morning, and no set lunch breaks it can take some time to get used to. So, if you’re one of the lucky ones but aren’t quite sure how you’ll stay productive, check out these five tips on how you can stay focused when working from home!
Even though it has been proved time and time again that working in a remote environment increases an individual’s productivity, that all can be proved false if you are in a room surrounded by distractions. The key to staying focused is to create a designated work space for yourself.
If you’re lucky enough to have enough rooms in your house to create a home office, then I suggest a quality chair and a door that locks! So, if you’ve got the space, here’s how you can make the most out of your home office!
But what about those who work from a one-bedroom condo and just don’t have the space to give up for a desk? Or those who have a roommate that is always home? Try using your condos communal amenities. Most condominiums have cyber libraries and communal lounge spaces that pose the perfect setting to get some work done! Away from the distractions of your home, here you can set up shop for the day and really focus! If you don’t have access to your condos amenities or prefer something a little more personal, try a co-working space! Most operate on a monthly membership for under $30 so you can skip buying the office equipment and get straight to work! Check out the list of Co-working Spaces available in Toronto and the GTA!
Start your day off each morning by creating a list of 4-6 things you want to accomplish by the end of the day. So many times you can start your day and find that its already noon and you’ve just spent the last three hours answering emails. While things come up at work that need priority, you should never lose sight of your goals or you will always be playing catchup!
When you’re working from home, its important to stay connected with those who are out of the office as well. To help enhance your productivity its important to take advantage of the tools at your disposal. If you are a OneNote user, be sure your taking advantage of the top multi-tasking tools available!
When people start working from home, a lot take the opportunity to spend the whole day in their Pajamas. While this sounds like an ideal situation, individuals who get up and get dressed each day are 5x more productive than those who don’t. Part of the process of waking up in the morning is the routine of getting ready for your day. If you spend the whole day in the same clothes you slept in, you may find yourself more sluggish and tired than if you woke and got ready with a purpose.
Without technology, working from home wouldn’t even be a concept. So, while it is great for collaboration and telecommunicating, it can also be an individual’s pitfall. It is not enough to just turn off your notifications, you need to turn them off and put them away! To help keep your impulses to a minimum, keep your hand-held devices out of sight and out of mind.
For your desktop, use programs like SelfControl (MAC) or SelfRestraint (Windows) to block your own access to distracting websites. While taking a break to watch a YouTube video or browse Facebook is a nice way to spend your lunch break, when working from home this distraction can start to span a couple of hours. So, with the blockers in place, and devices turned off and away from reach, you can start to minimize the temptation and therefore increase your productivity!
The biggest benefit to working from home is you now have the freedom and flexibility to make your own schedule. While it’s great to work 9-5, you are no longer confined to office hours. So, when you start to hit a roadblock in your work, take a walk outside and get some fresh air. A 15-minute break can help you refresh your mind and enable you to focus more on your work! If you hate losing time, try multi-tasking! Take a phone call outside, or listen to a meeting. Taking time to reengage and refocus your brain has many added benefits and helps you get more out of your work day!