Due to the Covid pandemic, many businesses have had to temporarily close their offices and allow their employees to work from home. In doing so, they have realized that their business could go on as usual, without the costs of maintaining a physical office building. With the “idea” of not opening for a long time or potentially never returning to the office, how do employees stay on track and continue to be productive throughout their day moving forward?
I have had the privilege of working from home for many years. Even before the pandemic, I often get asked how I manage to stay motivated while working remotely from home.
So, below are my top 7 ways not to get distracted and still rock the workforce from home.
Start Your Day as if You Were Going to the Office
Have you heard the saying “when you look good, you feel good”? This saying is so true. Each morning, get up and get ready for work, just as you would if you were going to the office. Shower, get dressed, and put yourself together. It’s essential to keep a regular routine.
When you work in your pj’s, it’s too easy to feel slouchy and tired. But when you look presentable, you are awake and ready to take on the day.
Work From Home Dedicated Workspace
Find a quiet space in your home that you can call your office. Although it’s nice to move around once in a while, I don’t recommend going from your couch to the bed to the kitchen table, etc. Even if you do not have an entire room to dedicate to your office, find a place that can be used only for work.
I used to have my desk in my bedroom. I don’t recommend that either. It got to be too much, constantly stuck in one room all day and all night. Find a place that you can walk away from when your workday is over.
Make the Space Yours
Now you don’t have a different workplace to go to. You spend a lot of time in your home office, so decorate it in a way that makes you happy. Paint the walls, put pictures up, and remove items that belong to other people in the house.
Bonus read: Top recommended items for the at-home worker.
Keep the Workspace Clean
Keeping your working space tidy and organized can help you stay on track. Invest in a file cabinet, desk organizers, and a corkboard. Dust your desk as needed. I’m a bit OCD, so this is a big one for me. Too much clutter on your desk can make your mind wander, and somehow you’ll find yourself doing other than what you’re supposed to be doing.
Take a Lunch and Quick Breaks
I never used to take lunches. I’d eat at my desk and keep powering through the day. It’s really easy to get burned out that way. Make sure you take time to get up and walk around a few times throughout the day, as well as take a dedicated lunch break.
Getting up and leaving your workspace for 30 minutes will help tremendously with how to stay focused while working from home. In just that short period, your mind can relax, and you’ll feel refreshed coming back. If you can, go outside, meditate, video chat with a friend, or even take a quick drive. I swear the days that I take lunch; my day seems to go by so much faster.
Along with a scheduled lunch, if possible, plan breaks throughout the day. With this sort of routine, your day will be over before you know it. Besides, going all day without walking away from your desk is not only hard on your mind, but it’s also hard on your body. You need to be able to move around throughout the day.
30% of people who work from home report feeling “highly stressed” compared to 25% of those who work on-site.
Set Your Work Hours
Some businesses will have strict work hours. Most have you starting at nine and end at five. But there are plenty of companies that offer work on flex hours. This makes it easy to either get lazy with your start and stop times or find yourself working too many long hours.
Keeping yourself on a schedule is essential. Our minds and bodies thrive on a schedule. It helps us achieve our goals and track our progress. It can help make you feel more in control of your day, form healthy habits, and reduce your stress levels. Staying on a schedule will improve your mental health in so many ways!
When I was going into the office every day, I knew I had to leave no later than 5:30 to pick up my kids from daycare by 6 pm. When I started working from home, I no longer had that time restraint. Before I knew it, it was 7 o’clock, and I was still going. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t put in extra time when needed, but you have to be able to separate your work time and your home time. Closing the computer and walking away will help you stay balanced.
It can get a little lonely when you are by yourself all day. Make sure you talk to your fellow employees on a video call or the phone, not just a chat system. And when you aren’t working, surround yourself with friends and family. Keeping a social balance will keep your spirits up!
Working from home is a luxury in so many ways. I find that I can accomplish a lot more from home than I can in the office. It just takes some dedication and focus. We’d love to know how you stay motivated at home. What are some tips that keep you on track?
Bonus Read: Seven Benefits of Working at Home with Pets