Today’s work from home trend continues to grow, meaning more and more people are gaining the option to tackle the work week from the comfort of wherever they call home. While it can be convenient and cost-effective, adjusting to working outside the office setting can require both time and careful effort.
These tips offer a few shortcuts to making any work from home day as productive and efficient as a day in the office:
1. Invest in Technology
The convenience of working from home can be hampered by a lack of technology tools or equipment often found in the office.
Invest in the technology you need to work most effectively from home. Whether its an extra screen or a specific software, you’ll be thankful you invested in what you need to be equally productive at home.
2. Establish a Workplace
To effectively work from home it’s important to designate what space will be dedicated to your at-home work day. This can be a spare bedroom converted into a home office, or simply a free corner of the living room.
Wherever you choose, it should be a space that’s comfortable, functional and conducive to your daily tasks.
For those who live in an apartment, it can be even easier to establish a dedicated work from home space as many communities now offer residents shared co-working areas in the building. Cobalt Lofts, a luxury apartment community in Harrison, New Jersey, provides residents with a dedicated coworking space called Oxford Labs, which includes conference rooms, breakout call rooms and AV capabilities— all within an elevator’s commute and is available 24/7. Other luxury apartment buildings around the country are doing the same as they increasingly cater to renters who spend the majority of their work week in the building.
3. Take A Break
Research has shown productivity and creativity levels actually benefits from short regular breaks from work. When working from home it’s just as important to schedule short breaks, like you would if you were in the office and decided to take a lap around the building, catch up with co-workers or grab a cup of coffee.
Allot time in your day to step outside, run a quick errand or otherwise get away from the desk. Returning to work after a 15-minute break will help you feel refreshed and prepared to dive back in or tackle a new task.
4. Set Works Hours
One common drawback for those who work from home regularly is “work creep”— the lack of physical boundaries between you and “work” can result in an invasion of your home life.
To avoid this, set official work hours. Whether your hours are based on when you’re most productive, or your workplace’s preference, it’s important to remain firm about your availability and official time “on the clock”. Abiding by your set “work hours” will contribute to a more balanced work-life routine overall and a healthier, highly-productive work from home schedule.
5. Stay Organized
When outside of the office setting and separated from fellow colleagues it can be harder to task manage or prioritize responsibilities. However, there are a lot of approaches you can take to stay on track and feel organized when working from home.
Take the time to create a to-do list and establish the day’s priorities. For some, simply using a planner or notebook is a sufficient guide. For others, task management tools will offer the flexibility and detail-oriented planning needed to handle both the day ahead, next week and into the next quarter.
There are plenty of web-based and mobile versions which not only assist in planning but can be used across teams to help foster collaboration no matter where team members are located.
6. Stick To A Morning Routine
Part of boosting productivity will come from creating a morning routine and sticking to it— whether or not you plan on heading into the office, or working from home.
A few aspects to consider as part of a healthy morning routine include: setting an alarm and rising at the same time every day and changing out of pajamas and preparing for the day as though you were leaving for the office.
Establishing a routine and healthy morning habits will help you succeed and have a productive day regardless of setting.