Working from home sounds like a blessing to some, but for others it can be so dang hard! It’s important to know how to make the most out of being productive on a day you’d rather relax on your couch.
The trouble with working from home is that you’re home.
In an office, you have your desk as a “home base” for productivity. Your work computer probably doesn’t have many personal distractions on it, and you typically carry out a daily ritual at work that helps you get though your day (1 pm lunch, 3:30 pm coffee break, etc). When you’re home, your schedule and environment are out of whack. Your desk may be cluttered with stacks of cable bills and rent checks, misplaced items, and your brand new Xbox is just staring you in the face, begging to be played. Avoid the distractions by getting yourself organized before you even begin to work. Set aside an area in your home that is exclusively for work. And avoid sitting on your couch or bed to get anything done. Otherwise you’ll unintentionally attend a 2:30 nap!
Be extra extroverted!
Coworkers and supervisors in your office may bring you ideas, give you assignments and take some work off your hands – when you’re working face-to-face. But when you’re nowhere to be seen, you may be out of sight and out of mind. That’s why amping up your communication is a must! Try to be as present in the office while working from home as you would be if you were physically at work. Offer to help others as much as you can remotely. Ask for help or advice, and try to communicate via phone call or video presence instead of email or texting. More direct ways of communication are more efficient, and disable your coworkers from taking their time to respond to you.
Don’t feel guilty.
Sometimes, there is only so much you can do from home. Perhaps your computer doesn’t have the necessary software you need to finish a task. Or maybe you’re not able to open your snail mail and packages you’d typically receive at work. Ask a trustworthy coworker who is at work to help you out by organizing your desk a bit. Place any mail or packages in your cubicle, and even have them open anything that looks urgent. In meetings, ask them to take notes on your behalf, and have them email you any important information or updates you may be missing out on. When your absence is hindering your productivity, think of ways you can work around obstacles to conquer the day and triumph 5:00pm!
Get out of the house.
Perhaps working from home just isn’t ideal. If you have to work remotely, try going to a local coffee shop or restaurant that has free wifi. It may help to clear your mind, grab a cup of coffee, and refocus your attention to the work that needs to be done, without your dog begging for you to take a walk.
What are your tips on staying productive in and out of the office?