Are you a remote worker who has good work habits at home? Are there things that help you work at home productively? If you’re like many people, working from home has become the new norm in the last few months. Some people are returning to the office, while many will be working from home in the long-term. Some people have developed tips for working successfully from home, while others may still struggle with it.
Tips for working successfully from home: Tips for working remotely
Working from home has many benefits for individuals. Whether it’s not having to commute, having more flexibility, or spending more time with family, they’re a lot of good things about working from home. But for some people, it can be challenging if they’re accustomed to an office setting for most of their careers. With the struggles comes the bad habits that people can fall into when working from home. They may not be necessarily wrong, but likely to make people less productive working at home.
Work From Home Tips 2020: What To Avoid
I’ve written posts about the best tips on working from home. They may not be for everyone, but they’re the ones that help me stay focused whenever I work at home. But for this post, I will go over things you should NOT do while working from home. These points include the following:
1.) Working in the bedroom
2.) Not taking breaks
3.) Not getting dressed
4.) Eating at your desk
Tips for working successfully from home
Working in the bedroom
There are several areas where you can conduct work, but the bedroom may not be the best area to work at. The bedroom is meant to be comfortable, but ideally not the best place to stay focused. Especially if some people think they can stay in bed working on their laptops, they don’t want to get super comfortable. Plus, what are the chances of you going back to sleep quickly? If possible, the bedroom should strictly be for sleeping only instead of a place to work.
Pick a couple of areas to work besides the bedroom
If you have a designated home office, utilize that area to do your work. If you don’t have that option, figure out other areas, you can switch up your work tasks. Do you find your dining room table to be another good alternative? Is your basement a quieter place to get more things done?
For myself, I have two desks (one sitting and the other a standing desk) where I can switch it up during the day. I’m not somebody who limits myself to one spot, as I like to move around throughout the day. When I’m distracted at times, moving to another area helps me regain my focus while staying on track.
Not taking breaks when needed
Some people may have a problem of taking longer breaks, but some may not take many breaks when needed. If you’re laser-focused, it can be hard to step away and take a brief break. Sure, some days may be busier than others. However, you don’t want to run into the possibility of burnout by not taking breaks. There are those days where we’re getting a lot done but might slow down when we’re taking breaks.
Set reminders to take breaks (i.e., every 30-60 minutes)
One of the best practices while working is taking breaks after a short work period, which could be a half-hour. For some people, maybe it’s an hour or an hour and a half. But either way, taking a break in between can help clear your mind and remain focused throughout the day. It’s easy to work longer while you’re staying concentrated, but breaks in between can help keep those focus levels up on a given day.
I always get in the habit of taking breaks while I’m working. I usually practice a few methods- one of them being the Pomodoro technique. I’ve become more accustomed to working 30-45 minute time blocks, followed by brief breaks afterward. I’m not as tired like I used to be if I had worked a couple of hours taking no breaks.
Not getting dressed properly
One of the advantages of working from home is dressing the way you want. Some people like the idea of working in their pajamas or dress in more comfortable options. Then again, being too comfortable may not be the best approach for working from home. I always think working in my PJs is odd because I’m not set to perform at my best. I’m more likely to get less work done if I feel too relaxed.
Dress for success- No matter what environment you’re working in
Whether you work in an office or at home, you want to be ready to perform your best. So if it means getting dressed after you get out of bed, you’re one step ahead of the game. Even if you’re working at home, getting dressed should be one of the first things you do before starting work. I’ve managed to dress the way I would if I were to go into the office on a given day.
Eating at your desk
It may or may not be the case, but some office workers are used to stepping away from their workstation to grab more coffee and a snack. For those who work at home, some people may not do that, and they’ll bring food to their desks. If your work area is in the kitchen, it’s super simple to grab food or eat while you’re working. Also, it’s easy when you’re not around a boss or a bunch of coworkers.
I think eating (or bringing food) while working at your desk is another form of multitasking. Not only is it distracting, but I don’t like the idea of making a mess at my workstation. It’s one thing to say if they’re messy foods (i.e., pizza, sandwiches), but it makes me a little more disorganized. More so, I’m not as productive if I were to bring food and eat at my desk.
Step away and take a brief break to eat
Whenever I’m hungry or need a coffee break, I get in the habit of stepping aside and grab a bite to eat. It’s good for me to get away from being in front of a screen for a while. I treat it as one of my brief break periods to get myself ready for the next round of work. Plus, I don’t have to worry about making a mess at my desk. It’s another way for me to stay organized and on track of my work.
For those who will continue working from home moving forward, these are some things you should try to avoid when possible. Although for some people, it’ll vary depending on the work they do. Maybe they work the best working in their PJs or while having some food nearby. It all depends on the work they do and the home environment they’re in. The most important thing is to know yourself and determine what works best for you or not. I know that for me, switching up where I work around my apartment (and not eating while I’m working) can help me stay more productive and on top of things.
Have you done any of the things mentioned earlier? Which ones would you avoid moving forward?
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Eric is a time management consultant and owner of the blog, quitkillingtime.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time, personally and professionally. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He likes to go for long walks out in nature and been taking Zumba classes every week at his local gym. You can follow Eric via Facebook and LinkedIn.