Working from home certainly has its benefits, but mixing your work life into your home life can bring plenty of challenges as well. Longer work hours, decreased productivity, and difficulty balancing work/home life, just to name a few. Whether you’re working from home full time or splitting your time at the office, learning how to be more productive at home will boost your career and make your life happier at the same time. Here are a few healthy work from home habits to set yourself up for success.
Set Ground Rules.
Working from your home doesn’t mean the chaos throughout the rest of the house is going to come to stop. It can be difficult for children and spouses to fight the urge to interrupt you.
Designate a signal that lets them know that you really cannot be disturbed at that time. Whether it’s a sign that says you’re in a meeting or simply just a closed door.
Creating these ground rules will ensure that everyone is on the same page and prevent your productivity from being derailed.
For those with pets, block out a few designated times each day for walks. This will give both you and your furry friend time to stretch out your legs
Avoid The Couch.
Thanks to Wi-Fi, you can pretty much work from anywhere. Just because you can work from your couch or bed, doesn’t mean you should.
Designating a certain area or room specifically for work will create a mental boundary for yourself between working and relaxing. More importantly, avoiding the couch will also prevent aches and pains from poor posture and lack of support.
If you work in a common area of the house, clean up your workspace at the end of each day. This will help avoid disruptions during family time.
Plan Your Lighting.
Try to work from an area with as much natural light as possible. You don’t even have to spend your entire workday here. Natural light and a nice view can help you feel energized and create a better workflow.
As for artificial lighting, a single lamp fixture may not be enough. Incorporating multiple light sources will help diffuse the light. It will also prevent computer screen glare, and, most importantly, reduce eyestrain.
Create The Ultimate Setup.
Whether you’re spending your entire workweek at home or just a few hours, you’re going to want to make your workspace work for you and not against you.
Using a sturdy chair and desk or table is key. Arrange your computer, keyboard, and mouse with proper ergonomics too.
Creating a dedicated space for chargers, headphones, notepads and any other accessories you commonly use will help streamline your day and keep you as productive as possible.
Upkeep Your Space.
Once you’ve created the ultimate work area, make sure you keep it tidy! A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind, adding even more distractions that can come with working from home.
A pile of unopened mail or an overflowing trash basket can subconsciously nag at you throughout the day, so clear the clutter away from your workspace.
You don’t have to go into organization overload, just keep the stuff that you’re currently working on top of your desk and stow away extra files in a bin or box so you’re not constantly staring at them.
Make A Schedule.
Creating a structured routine is an important part of staying productive, especially when adapting to a new or different environment. It’s all too easy to feel less motivated working from your dining room table rather than at the office, so having a set game plan for each day will help keep you on task.
Be sure to build breaks into your schedule as well so you’re not burning yourself out and losing focus on your work.
Keep Work Separate.
It may be tempting to start chipping away at that ever-growing chores list, but taking on non-work-related tasks can hurt your productivity and eat up a ton of time. Don’t feel responsible to do housework just because you’re working from home.
If you feel like you have to run the vacuum or throw in a load of laundry to keep up with the chaos at home, schedule time into your day to do so. Allow yourself a break to tackle some chores, then get back to the work grind.
Follow An End-Of-Day Ritual.
Commuting to and from work allows your brain to switch gears between work and home life, so it’s important to create that same transition routine at home.
Review your to-do list of what you accomplished for the day and more importantly, plan out tasks that need to be tackled tomorrow. This will help deter any lingering thoughts of sending out one last email or writing one last memo.
Additionally, try changing into different clothing after you finish work. Switching outfits will help trigger your mind to discern between work mode and relax mode.
Following a few simple guidelines and creating healthy habits will help make working from home a breeze for you and your family. Your boss will be sure to appreciate them too!