In our last post, we discussed tips for setting up a home office. Read those tips here. Once your office is set up just the way you like it, here are some tips to help get your workflow back to what it was at your company office.
Put on pants, probably
Working from home gives you unmatched freedom when it comes to working attire. This freedom, however, may not be the best when it comes to increasing productivity. While studies show that dressing up and dressing down will both heighten your output, The Muse insightfully points to an article from Harvard about the importance of intention. For example, clothes matter because of how they make you feel, and how you feel matters when you are looking to optimize your productivity at home. So, if you’re wearing pyjamas for work-at-home because you have become too relaxed about dressing in the morning, you may want to start a self-imposed dress code.
Maintain regular hours
It can be important to set a regular schedule for yourself if you’re beginning to work from home. Often these hours can be more flexible because you don’t have to worry about time-sucking activities like the commute to work. Without a schedule, the day can easily get away from you. It is also important to think about the times when your co-workers will be online. This way you can ask questions or collaborate without having to worry about longer than usual response times or disturbing them after hours. Apps like RescueTime or Toggl can help you keep track of your day.
Don’t short change yourself on breaks and sick days
There can be a tendency when working from home to jump back on the computer to continue working because you have finished with your lunch and “might as well” get back to the grind. It is important, however, to give yourself the whole time to let your brain rest before plunging back into the rest of your work for the day. You can simply set a timer letting you know when you break is over. Alternatively, you can take more extreme measures with apps like TimeOut for Mac which locks your browser for an allotted amount of time.
The same idea applies to sick days. Even though you are already working from home, taking a sick day may be in your best interest. Having time to rest and get well before heading back to work can be well worth the long term productivity and health benefits.
Set boundaries with other people in your house
The last thing you want during an important Zoom call is your kids bursting in and making heaps of noise or your roommate blasting rap music in the next room. Having a conversation about boundaries when working from home with others in the house can be helpful in reducing future problems and frustrations.
Establish clearly defined work and personal times
When your commute to work is just down the hall or across the room, there is a tendency for work and personal time to bleed together. Without the commute to work, there is no clear defining line for many people between time to be working and when not to be. Having a clearly defined line between when work starts and when work stops may increase your fulfilment and boost your mood in both areas of your life.
Be your own cleaner
You may forget that cleaners most likely frequent your office to tidy up after you leave. Unless you have an office cleaner for your home, you may notice your work area begin to slowly become a mess. This mess can quickly turn into a hindrance to your work. Just a friendly reminder: a tidy workspace is a productive workspace.