A recent Gallup study found that “about four in 10 workers are currently either hybrid (working remotely part of the week) or working entirely from home. Furthermore, about eight in 10 ‘remote-capable employees’ — whose job can be done remotely at least part of the time — are currently hybrid or fully remote.” If you’re part of the percentage that works either hybrid or fully remotely, some unique challenges can present themselves. Here are some tips for working from home so you can stay focused and productive and set yourself up for success.
Set Clear Work Hours and Create a Schedule
It can be helpful to put tasks on your calendar and set a schedule when working remotely. Think of your daily and weekly to-do items and book time off for those tasks on your work calendar. While you may think you can knock out a lot of tasks in one day, also add in some additional “buffer” time since emails, calls, and other unforeseen tasks can often interrupt your day. Having a schedule (with some flexibility) can keep distractions from derailing your day and help you feel more organized. Also, when working remotely, set clear boundaries so you don’t find yourself repeatedly working 12-hour long days. If you’re constantly checking emails or working on projects outside of standard work hours, you’ll quickly find yourself burned out. Think of your day as you would if you were to go into the office, have a clear start and end time (with breaks), and at the end of the day leave work behind.
Have a Designated Work Space
Your environment can have a huge impact on your productivity. You want to work in an area that’s clean and with minimal distractions. While it may be tempting to work on your laptop in the kitchen or living area, if those are high-traffic spots with constant distractions from your pets, family, household chores, etc. you’ll not be as effective as you would be if you were in a quiet space. Ideally, find a room in your house that you can convert to your office (even if that’s just a desk in the corner of your bedroom) and have that become your daily work spot.
Create a Work Playlist
Along with finding a quiet environment, think of ways you can further your productivity such as by creating a work music playlist. In an article on Indeed, they say that “Listening to music at work may increase your overall happiness regardless of what you’re doing. Music can engage your brain when completing repetitive tasks, providing you with more satisfaction and less burnout.” However what type of music you listen to is also important; in the same article they go on to say, “If you’re doing a repetitive, physical task, consider fast-paced dance music, but if you’re reading or analyzing information, a soothing instrumental might be best.” Studies also find that music with lyrics can be distracting so keep that in mind. If you need help creating a work playlist, simply search for work or focus playlists on your preferred music streaming platform.