So you just got a job where they allow you to work remotely, part-time or full-time — sounds great, right? You’re able to work in your PJs while eating cereal and you don’t have to worry about a manager breathing down your neck.
Believe me, although working remotely is great, it does come with its challenges. It’s considerably harder to stay productive while working outside the office. You are faced with more challenges and distractions at home than while at the office.
When we are home, we are comfortable, and when we get comfortable, we get lazy. You’ll have to work extra hard to remain productive and focused. However, if you’re able to successfully work remotely, it definitely comes with its perks. Here are 5 easy ways to stay productive when working from home.
I know what you’re thinking. “Well if I just wear the same PJs I woke up in to work, I’ll save a lot of time not having to get ready and be more efficient.” Don’t think like that. Why do we wear comfortable clothes? We wear them when we want to be lazy and lounge. These are things that you shouldn’t be doing while working.
Take a shower and get dressed every morning, even if no one else sees you throughout the day. When you’re dressed like you mean business, you get shit done. I’m not saying you have to be in a full suit and tie while working from home, I just mean wear clothes that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to grab coffee in.
Establish a routine
Establishing and sticking to a schedule is very important. If you normally arrive at the office by 9 A.M., then start your remote day by 9 A.M. Be sure to take a proper lunch break like you would at the office. Be sure to take small breaks and go for walks every once in a while. End your work day when you would normally leave the office.
When we work from home, it can be hard to end the day, because you never physically leave the office to head home. Since your home is also your workspace, it’s important to draw a line in the sand and establish when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll be more productive with the time you designate as work hours if you do this.
Create a legit workspace for yourself
You’re not going to be your most productive working out of your bed or on your couch. Well, on your couch is fine sometimes but it’s important that you create yourself a legit workspace at home. If you have an extra room, turn it into a legit office. If you’re not lucky enough to have an extra bedroom, all you need to do is set up a desk in your living room or bedroom.
Set yourself up with all the tools necessary to succeed. I am talking about a printer, notepads, pens, staplers and so on. Often, your employer will reimburse you for this stuff if you work remotely full time.
Switch up your environment every once in awhile
Just because you work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to work from home. If you’re only working remote once a week or less, it’s probably fine if you only work from home. However, if you’re working remotely full-time or multiple times per week, it’s important to switch things up every once in a while.
Switching up your environment from time to time can take several forms. It can be as easy as working remotely for a couple of hours from your favorite local coffee shop with fast Wi-Fi. A more permanent solution can be purchasing a membership at a local co-working space such as The Hashtag. Co-working spaces provide their tenants shared working space they can use to work out of.
Communicate with your team
Sometimes, working all alone in a remote location can make you forget that you have a team. Do your best to not forget this by regularly communicating with everyone you work with. Since you won’t see anyone “in the office,” you have to make an effort to have a constant line of communication with your team.
Don’t rely just on email to communicate with your team; give them a call sometimes. You can also be sure to utilize chat tools such Slack and Hipchat as well as video conference tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts. Always have a clear line of communication open and never be afraid to ask questions or get more clarification on something.