This Earth Week, Momentum is challenging employees across the country to work from home one day to help reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption.
While many of us know the benefits of working from home, it can sometimes be hard to stay focused and resist the lures of laying on the couch. Losing the structure of a regular office can sometimes be harmful to some employees’ success, but there are a number of ways that you can be just as — if not more — productive at home as you are in the office.
Here are Momentum’s 10 best tips for increasing your productivity while working from home:
1. Define your workspace. To increase your productivity, separate working from home activities by dedicating a specific room to work. That way, when you enter the room, you know you’re going there to work. It can help change your state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work.”
2. Don’t work unshaved and in pajamas. Maintain a professional appearance, even from home. You’ll feel better and be more productive if you take a shower, have breakfast and get dressed in the morning. You’ll be more motivated to make a list of sensible tasks for the day and get started.
3. Make a daily to-do list. Writing out a list of the tasks you need to do each day will help keep you on track and reduce your desire to procrastinate. If you tend to put projects off, you may need to have your manager or supervisor give you deadlines to help you schedule out your time.
4. Communicate well and often with your colleagues. Maintain good, clear contact with the people you’re working with. Communications platforms like unified messaging, video conferencing and web collaboration can help bridge the gap between remote work locations and the office.
5. Don’t stop working if it’s a hard day. Just like in the office, there will be times when you don’t have good ideas or just don’t feel productive. It may be tempting to do other tasks or browse the web while you’re at home, but train yourself to keep working in some way. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.
6. Give yourself small breaks. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you need to be locked in your home office all day. For every hour you work, give yourself a 5-minute break to clear your mind and digest what you’ve done. Then come back to your work.
7. Plan your work, if possible, around your natural schedule. Some people are most productive in the mornings; others thrive during the afternoon. If you have the flexibility, schedule your work day around your peak productivity time so you get the most done.
8. Tell your family and friends to leave you alone. Your family probably doesn’t disturb you at the office with questions they can ask you when you get home. But when your home is your office, they may not show the same restraint. Tell your family that even though you’re working from home, you may not always be available.
9. Make time for some human interaction. Don’t make all of your work connections through email. It’s more valuable for your career and your mental well-being to have some real conversations with coworkers, even if it’s just over the phone.
10. “Leave” at the end of the day. The majority of people go home to get away from work. When work is in your home, it’s important to set defined times when you’re going to work, and when the time passes, stop. If you don’t rest at the end of the day, you can throw off your work-life balance.
Are you ready to telecommute but need to get your boss on board? Download our free remote work policy template to help get the conversation started.