The at-home workforce has skyrocketed since the COVID19 pandemic, and it continues to grow. While some companies have returned to the in-office daily grind, other major corporations like Google and Apple adjusted their policies to encourage flexibility and choice for their employees.
If your job gives you the chance to work from home, it sounds like a dream come true — until you’re doing it for a few weeks. By then, you’ve been adjusting to the new routine and environment, and you realize there are a lot of challenges to overcome.
Don’t give up, though. Working outside the office, whether it’s in your home or anywhere else, can be an incredibly freeing and advantageous pursuit. As long as you follow these 5 productivity hacks, you, too, can enjoy the benefits of the virtual workforce.
1. Stick to a Routine
Unless you’re held accountable by your job, it’s easy to get lazy with your schedule. You’re tired, so you hit the snooze button a few extra times. Your bed looks comfy, so you take a nap. There’s a really great show on, so you binge one episode that turns into five.
These are normal setbacks for the at-home worker, and it’s up to you to recognize the temptations and avoid them. One way to do this is to set a routine and stick to it.
Wake up and go to bed at set times. Start your day with a consistent routine, and begin and end your workday as you would at the office.
Having a routine is essential. You might not need to force yourself to stick to it every day, but there will be times when you would rather be anywhere but there. Act like you’re at the office, where you wouldn’t be able to leave or take a nap, and push through those mental fogs.
2. Invest in Good Technology
At work, when something goes on the fritz, it’s your employer’s job to fix it. Until it’s up and running again, you’re still on the clock, getting paid to do other things besides your main job.
At your home, this is different. You’re expected to work, regardless of whether your technology is acting up or not. You have deadlines, and they need to get met.
This is why many professionals invest in business IT support solutions. Not only are many of these technical obstacles prevented, but they can be corrected quickly without a hassle. It’s an investment that’s worth every penny if it keeps you productive and going through your workday without a tech glitch.
3. Dress the Part
If you don’t see anyone during your work time, you might not think it’s worth it to get dressed for a professional day. But how you dress impacts how your brain approaches the day. You can trick your mind into being more productive simply by dressing the part.
4. Get Rid of Clutter
Clear your workspace of anything that isn’t absolutely necessary for your productivity. Get rid of pictures, office supplies, knickknacks, and other clutter.
Whether you’re paying attention to it and distracted by it or not, your brain is processing it. Too much clutter tires your mind and reduces your ability to focus for long periods.
5. Take Scheduled Breaks
Don’t try to force yourself to work 6-8 hours straight without a break. You need time to stretch, eat, drink, and wake up.
Staring at a computer screen for hours on end reduces your productivity. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique or other expert methods to increase the efficiency of what you’re doing while you’re working. You might be surprised how this focus cuts down the time you spend on a task.