Many professionals find they can be at least as productive – if not more so – working from home as they were in the office. However, that doesn’t mean distractions, complacency, and even burnout can’t become issues.
Additionally, being successful while working from home does mean developing a unique skill set that allows you to thrive in the paradigm. If you want to make sure your productivity remains high while you’re working remotely, here are some tips that can help.
Maintain a Set Schedule
Consistency is crucial when you’re working from home. Often, it’s easy to assume you can come and go from your work as you’d like, as your office is just a few steps away. However, if you use a willy-nilly approach, you run into problems. You may fail to allocate enough time to handle your duties, could accidentally forget about a deadline, or might not respond to messages from your colleagues in a timely manner.
When you’re telecommuting, a set schedule is your ally. It allows you to adopt a routine and ensures you dedicate enough time to your responsibilities. Plus, your co-workers and managers will know when you’ll be available, allowing them to reach out as needed to keep group projects moving forward.
Focus on Communication
While you might not need input from your manager or colleagues during a given day, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t touch base. Keeping others apprised of your efforts, providing status updates on team endeavors, and even just saying “hello” are a good idea.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to become disconnected incidentally. This could hinder your professional relationships and increases the odds you’ll miss a critical piece of information that was being shared within the group. Make an effort to communicate regularly, allowing you to keep your bonds strong and to ensure you remain fully apprised of any crucial changes or project updates.
Find Your Path to Motivation
Telecommuting means no one is standing over your shoulder, keeping you on target. Instead, you have to motivate yourself to perform, something that is surprisingly challenging for many professionals.
If you notice yourself faltering, reflect on what helps you build motivation. Do you find a checklist beneficial for maintaining focus, allowing you to receive a boost when you cross an item off? Does blocking out time on your calendar and setting reminders help, ensuring you can transition between responsibilities at an appropriate time?
Find a system for keeping you focused and stick with it. That way, if your personal motivation flounders, you can bolster it all on your own.
Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
It’s easy to forget to take breaks when you’re working at home. Often, that’s just a side effect of being in a comfortable environment that doesn’t contain many of the traditional triggers that let you know it’s time to step away for a moment.
Try to add your breaks to your calendar and set reminder alerts. When you get the notification, pause what you’re doing, get up, and walk away from your desk. Spend the moment stretching or taking a stroll. You could also fix yourself a snack or your favorite beverage.
Ultimately, what you do is less important than giving yourself a chance to relax and rejuvenate. That way, when you get back to your desk, you’ll be at your productive best.