If you’re like many Americans, your employer has probably asked you to work from home or is thinking about it. Your first reaction might be COOL! Working from home is great. Heck, it's easy to work from home. But just having an okay time working from home is not good enough. We want you to have fun! Here are a few tips on how you can make telecommuting awesome!
One of the great things about working from home is not having to commute to work. The average one way-commute in the US is 26 minutes. And that does not count walking to and from your car, looking for parking, stopping for coffee, etc. So, as soon as you get up, groom yourself, change your clothes, make your coffee. Then spend your first 30 minutes tackling your highest priority tasks. By the time you would normally have gotten to the office, you will already have gotten a bunch of stuff done. You’ll feel like a productivity beast!
Tip: Write down the top 2-3 things you need to accomplish first at the end of the previous work day. That way, you can get right to it first thing in the morning rather than waste time figuring it out.
Act Like You’re Actually Going to the Office
You COULD work in your pajamas. But you SHOULD change into regular clothes that make you feel professional yet comfortable. Make your morning coffee, eat your breakfast, take your lunch break at your normal time, and do most of the things you would normally do to make simulate a typical day at the office. Keeping some of these routines will help you maintain discipline in sticking to a work schedule.
Tip: Wear what makes you happy. When you’re in a good mood, you are more creative and open minded which usually means you’re more productive.
Subtle rayon Hawaiian shirt with laptop and external 4K display for working at home
Get Out of the House
One of the best things about working from home is that you have the flexibility to change your location. Move from your desk to your patio or balcony and a little while. Take folding chair to the park or beach. Drive someplace with a nice view and work out of the tailgate of your SUV. Head to a coffee or donut shop for an hour from time to time or do some research at your local library. You can even meet with some of your co-workers for some face-to-face time if necessary.
Tip: Due to concerns about coronavirus, be mindful of avoiding crowded places or other higher risk areas such as restaurants, shopping malls, etc. Maintain social distancing and smart personal hygiene, especially your hands.
Rejuvenate your mind and soul with a simple change of scenery in a retro Aloha shirt.🏖
Interact with Real People
When you work at home alone, it is very easy to go for days without interacting with any other people for work. When all you do is stare at the computer screen all day, you can start to feel like a hermit. You might even start to feel a little bummed out and disconnected from other people or the world in general. To avoid this, get out once in a while to get a cup of coffee or donut. Sometimes just the act of interacting with another human face-to-face is can be rejuvenating. And that’s good not only for productivity, but for mental health overall. (NOTE: During time when you need to maintain social distancing, in-person interactions may not be possible.)
Interacting with other humans will help keep you engaged and connected with the real world.😀
Take Many Breaks
Don’t be a hero. Not only is it okay to take a 5-10 minute break every hour or two., it's actually good for you. If you’re super focused all day every day, you will burn out. Get up out of your chair and look out the window, go for a short walk, do a few pushups, or make more coffee. Short but frequent breaks will keep you productive by avoiding mental fatigue.
Getting up and walking around during a coffee break☕️
Add Some Fun to Your Home Office
When you work in an office, you need to be considerate of your coworkers’ space. But when you work from home, you can do whatever you want! Play your favorite music. Listen to useful or interesting podcasts. Decorate your desk and work area with action figures, posters, etc. You can even wear stuff that makes you feel inspired or happy that you wouldn’t wear to the office. This is YOUR space so customize it and do what make YOU happy.🎧🎼😄
Stock Your Fridge with the Good Stuff
Now that you’re working from home, you can stock up on the types of snacks and refreshments you wish your office will have. Remember that you may already be saving money by working at home by not spending as much on gas, parking, lunches, etc. So be good to yourself and don’t feel bad about indulging in a few things that will make working from home more enjoyable.🍦😋
Take Advantage of Your Most Productive Hours
Spend your most productive hours doing the things that require you to be you be at your mental best. If you’re a morning person, that means saving your most difficult tasks for the morning. Most people are not too productive right after lunch so save the easier or more mundane tasks for early afternoon. Structure your days around your most productive hours so you can get things done with brutal efficiency.💪
It takes a surprising amount of time and energy figuring out what to do throughout the day if you don’t have it planned out beforehand. So, figure out ahead of time what you need to accomplish today and the rest of the week. Write it down or enter it into an online calendar or task list and prioritize this list. That way you can attack the task list with gusto without having to think about what to do next. Before you know it, you’ll have finished a bunch of things and you’ll feel good about it.😊