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Working remotely can make it difficult to get into the work mindset and also get out of it once you’re done for the day. There are many pros that come with working from home – no commute, flexible schedule, and working in your PJs (or yoga pants for me) – but it also comes with challenges. I have been working remotely for over 7 years and now that so many people are working from home (even if just temporarily), I want to share some tips with you to help boost productivity.
Have a Designated Working Space
If you commute to work and have an office to work in, you have time to prepare yourself mentally and you know it’s time to get down to business when you’re there. You go about your workday, and when you’re off, you simply pick up your things, head out the door and drive home. In this process, you can separate yourself from the work mindset and wind down. If you work from home, it is a lot more difficult. One of the best ways to help you get in and out of the work mindset is having a designated working space.
Pick an entire room that is your office, a nook or den, or simply anywhere your desk is located. The moment you sit down you know that it is time to focus and get work done. At the end of the day, you can walk away from your desk and relax in other areas of your home. Separating your work and relaxation space makes a big difference in being able to get into the work mindset and then be able to close your laptop and be done once your tasks are completed. Just try to resist the urge to always open your laptop back up after you should be finished for the day! This will keep you from feeling like you’re always working, even from feeling overburdened.
Starting to get antsy or losing focus? Take a short break to rest your brain and refuel. I’ll usually log off of work for 10-15 minutes, grab some tea or coffee, eat a snack, or take a walk. This helps to clear my head for a bit and refreshes me. If I’m really busy and can’t take a break at the moment, I stand up and work for an hour or so. I try to alternate between sitting and standing so that I’m not sitting for 8+ hours every day. Get a standing desk or work at a high counter if you have one. If you’re short on time, you can simply close your eyes and try not to think about anything for even just 2 minutes.
If you have animals or family that are around while you’re working, try your best to keep them out of your working space. It’s easy to get distracted when there are others wanting attention. I’ve been guilty of letting my cat snuggle in my lap while I’m working, but if he wishes to be pet or gets on my desk, then I have to relocate him, or he may start typing secret cat emails.
Like to work with music? Choose relaxing tunes that don’t take your mind away from work. I love classical or instrumental music because it doesn’t have lyrics that tempt me to sing at the top of my lungs while trying to do a project, and provides a great atmosphere (not too quiet or loud).
I feel a bit restless sometimes since I’m practically always at home and indoors. Exercising outdoors is a huge benefit for me mentally and physically. If able, I’ll take a break during the day to go for a run, get outside, and get my blood pumping. Afterward, I always feel refreshed, reenergized, and ready to focus on my tasks again.
Communicate with Your Team
If you don’t regularly communicate with your team, you can start to feel isolated. Luckily at FMTC, our management has made sure we always communicate. Our teams meet for a few minutes each day to go over tasks and ask questions. We regularly chat through Slack where updates and reminders occur in real-time. Even though we work remotely, we are always aware of what’s going on, and we work together as a team to get the job done.
Use these tips while working from home to be as productive as possible! Stay safe and healthy out there.