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5 Ways to Be More Productive Working From Home

How to Be Productive Working From Home

Home Sweet Home there is no such thing as Office Sweet Office

Working from home is a benefit most of us want, the flexibility to choose your own working environment and the ability to adapt your working hours to suit, but there is a downfall of working at home. You're away from the office and the structured working day, there is no manager looking over your shoulder so it is all up to you to stay productive, be organised and still get the job done despite the fact you're sat in your PJ's. 

According to a survey by Flex Jobs 85% of millennial's want to work remotely 100% of the time and although that statistic is high it doesn't surprise me because I am one of them.


With my blog I get the luxury of working anywhere, at home, during a commute or even out in the garden if the English weather allows! I have been lucky enough to work with employers previously who have also given me that freedom and if done right working from home can make you a lot more productive and help you achieve a better work life balance.

So how do you set up a home office that demands you to work smarter not harder?

Get Your Office Sorted

1)  Get Your Office Sorted

If your idea of working from home is sitting in front of day time telly whilst you reply to a few emails, then unfortunately you're going to get a rude awakening. Yes, you can work from anywhere but you first need to make sure that your working location is fit for purpose and has all the tools to help you be more organised.

So before your first day at home, have a look around your home and decide where is best for you to work. We are not all lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to an office but find somewhere that is quiet, somewhere without a TV is always helpful and a big must somewhere where you won't be distracted.

Your space needs the essentials for your business, whether that's a laptop, a printer and of course a desk and chair. Try and have this in a room that isn't constantly used by other people, so avoid places like the kitchen or living room for example.


Have A Clear Agenda

2) Have a Clear Agenda 

You know me I like a plan and I'd be useless without one but when you work from home, you can go one step further. If you're normally in an office cubicle then space can be an issue, is your work colleague forever pushing your stuff back on your side? Well at home you can spread out. For a home office a pin-board or a white board can be a great way to stay focused by having a visual reminder of where you are right in front of you. 

A trusty notebook or calendar reminders will also work but having your plan up on the wall in front of you is a brilliant way to motivate yourself and can help you stay on track. (If you prefer an online tools that can help you keep track of your to do list check out my previous post on How to Stay Organised at Work.) Even though you're at home you still need the structure of goals and time slots to work towards.


Stay Connected

3) Stay Connected 

If you work from home full time, it might seem like your company's office is almost a completely different business. It is easy to feel slightly alone and distant from the rest of the team.

So if you're doing a project that is stressing you out or you can't find the solution to that problem, don't forget you are not alone. Touch base with your colleagues from time to time and reach out for help (or just for a catch up if you need it.)

You might not want to get dressed for that video conference call but virtual meetings are a time to share your ideas and get an open forum on things you are working on. Think about it, if you were in the office all day you wouldn't sit in silence and not speak to anyone, would you? So just because you are at home don't feel like you can't reach out.


Don't Blur The Lines

4) Don't Blur the Lines

You can't take your work home with you when your office is your home because you're already there. The hours can quickly add up so keep an eye on the clock and make sure you are balancing your work and personal life. (I give some tips on how to do this here - Search for the Perfect Work Life Balance

If your job is a 9-5 position, don't feel guilty about turning off the computer at 5 pm and having some much needed you time. I know a lot of people who work from home and the second it hits 5 pm they tell themselves they are no longer working but in reality they just move to the sofa where they work all night in front of the TV.

Ask yourself - how productive are you actually being when you are half-heartedly working in the evenings? Wouldn't it be better to get some rest and feel recharged for tomorrow? But this does work two ways, working from home doesn't just mean you can sleep in until mid-day, you need to be getting up at your normal time and starting the day as if you were in the office.


Dress the Part

5) Act the Part 

Working from home is still working (sorry to break the news to you) so you need to be in the right mind set to achieve a productive day. Have you ever wondered why you wear a uniform or dress smartly at work although you're not customer facing? Well it is not because your employer has some strange thing against jeans it's because dressing professionally gives you a professional mind set.

Now I'm not saying you need to be suited and booted at home (I'm definitely not in my Sunday best everyday) but I am saying you still need to get up, get out of your pj's, get from under that cover and get ready for the day.

Also, keep to time slots for taking breaks just as you would at work. Instead of just walking in and out of the kitchen all day restrict yourself to working times and rest times, a structure will make you more organised. 

Summary

Working from home is increasing in popularity and the great thing is more and more employers are getting on board to help make this change in the workplace. So take full advantage of the benefits of work at home and being able to do your laundry in your lunch break but remember you're still at work. 

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