Working from home is quickly becoming the norm. According to the remote job site FlexJobs.com, working from home has increased 44% in the last five years and a whopping 91% in the last ten years. This surge in remote work is linked to the many benefits remote work offers, which include increased productivity, fewer distractions and a lessened need for sick days. Working from home does come with challenges, though, especially for those who are used to an office environment. To help you better navigate the world of remote work, we’re sharing our best tips for working from home.
Set Up A Workspace
Your work life and home life can begin to blur when you’re a remote worker, and that isn’t good for your productivity or mental health. Working from bed is tempting, but it’s a better idea to set up a separate workspace for yourself at home. That way, you’ll have clear boundaries between your work area and your “home” areas. When you’re at your workspace, that means it’s time for deep work, which brings us to our next point.
Structure Your Day
When you work from an office, you’re usually expected to arrive at a certain time each day. This may not be the case with remote work, so you’ll need to structure your time to make sure you stay on task. A simple way to do this is to plan your workdays in advance. Write out a to-do list each morning. And be sure to give yourself an end time, too. For example, stop working at the same time every day. Otherwise, you run the risk of working nonstop. Sticking to a schedule is another way you’ll be able to separate your work from your home life.
This is one of the most important tips for working from home that we can share. As a remote worker, you may not have any reason to venture outside. Do it anyway. Research shows that sunlight is vital to our mental well-being, and we know our moods have a profound effect on our productivity. Don’t allow yourself to stay indoors all day, or you could fall into a habit of isolation.
Talk To Others
Speaking of isolation, you need to make an effort to talk to other people as a remote worker. You won’t be able to turn your chair around and chat up the coworker in the next cubicle, so you’ll need to go out of your way to communicate with people. Luckily, the internet makes it easy. Remote-friendly companies often rely on tools like Slack to keep the communication flowing between remote employees. However, it’s important to talk to other people IRL, too. If possible, visit a coffee shop or grab lunch out of the house to get some human contact each day.
Another easy pattern to slip into as a remote worker is working too long. You may enter a state of deep work or flow and find that hours have passed without any breaks. It’s great to be productive, but regular breaks need to be a part of your daily schedule. Research shows that breaks are necessary to restore motivation. Additionally, they increase creativity and productivity, among other benefits.
Move Your Body
Last on our list of tips for working from home is to get up and get moving. Exercise naturally increases dopamine and will help improve memory and concentration levels for greater productivity throughout the rest of your day. Be sure to get up and move your body. You can combine this tip and a few others above by taking a few brisk walks outside during your scheduled work breaks.
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