According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, as of 2018 4.7 million employees, or about 3.4 percent of the workforce, work from home at least half of the time. Given that more companies are allowing their employees to telecommute part-time and over 80 percent of the US workforce reports wanting to work from home at least part-time, this number is only expected to increase. For employers, telecommuting is linked to increased employee job satisfaction and retention. For employees, telecommuting provides flexibility, removes commute times and allows for greater work-life balance. However, some people still struggle to stay productive and motivated while working from home. For this reason, we have compiled 5 tips to help anyone struggling with production when clocking in from home.
Designate a workspace
It is important to allot part of your home for your workspace. If you have an office or spare bedroom you can make that your designated work area. If you’re pressed for space, designate a corner or desk space as your work area. Make sure the space is comfortable and well lit and free of distraction. According to the psychology of space, by consistently working in this space, your body and mind will start to associate you being in that space with you being productive. Then you will naturally become increasingly productive from your home workspace
Change out of your PJs
One of the perceived benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to dress up anymore like you would when going to the office. While understandable, this kind of mindset can work against your productivity. You need to implement habits that clue your brain into the fact that now is the time to work at home and not relax. One such habit is to wake up with enough time to shower and change out of your pajamas. Now, I’m not advocating that you don a three-piece suit to work from home, but changing out of your sleep attire helps you transition out of relax mode and into work mode so you are productive from the moment you begin your workday.
Remember to take breaks
One of the perks of working from home is the ability to work without distractions from coworkers and management. However, this can be taken to the extreme if you don’t also schedule in time for your breaks. Overworking yourself leads to mistakes and burnout which in turn can damage your productivity. So be conscious of your schedule and make sure you take breaks to step away from the computer so you can come back refreshed and ready to work.
Stay away from social media
Without a boss or peers looking over your shoulder, it might be tempting to check your social media throughout your workday. After all, it only takes a few moments to open and browse a social media platform. However, social media is also designed to keep you engaged for as much time as possible which could be a time drain on your workday. If you find yourself being tempted too much, try logging out of all your accounts during the day so you can’t just open the pages with a click of a button. Or you could work in a private or “Incognito” browser so you don’t have as many urges to login and scroll through your feeds.
Leave the house when you’re not working
One of the biggest benefits of working from home is the lack of a commute. You can be “at work” the moment your computer turns on and as soon as you log out, you’re home. While many people recharge after a long day of work at home, it is very important when you work from home to make yourself leave the house when you’re not working. You could take long walks on your lunch break or get a glass of wine at your local watering hole - just get out of the house. Otherwise, you run the risk of burnout if you find yourself spending your days and nights at home isolated from the outside.
We live at a time when more people than ever before work from home and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Telecommuting provides countless benefits for employees and employers, as long as you manage your workday and workspace accordingly. By maintaining habits that are conducive to productivity you will find it much easier to produce and work efficiently.
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