Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. Sure, you don’t have to worry about getting yourself to an office every morning or dealing with co-workers in person—but you do have to deal with the tempting distractions that come with staying home all day. It can be challenging to focus on work when you’re lounging in a comfy bed or looking at the pile of laundry you need to get done. To help you stay on top of your game, here are five ways to make the most of those WFH days.
Even if you don’t go to an office, it’s always a good idea to shower and get ready for the day all the same If you’re wearing pajamas all day, you might not feel motivated to get to work. In fact, according to one CNBC article, “getting dressed for the day can make you feel more determined to get your work done.” Plus, going through the motions of a morning routine (i.e. showering, getting dressed, brushing your teeth, and reading the news) might just help you wake up and get your body—and—mind moving.
Designate a Workspace
Consider what kind of environment will be the most productive for you. Do you like to sit at a desk? Would you prefer to work on a sofa? Just make sure whatever space you choose has good lighting, a nearby table for any papers or a computer, and access to an outlet if you’ll need one. It’s also a good idea to keep your workspace nice and tidy if you’re easily distracted.
Set Office Hours
Not working from an actual office doesn’t mean you have to be “online” 24/7. Since you’re not leaving your workspace at the end of the day, try to set a daily schedule for yourself and stick with it. Unplugging each night is crucial to avoiding burn out. Just remember, it’s best to mirror normal work hours—especially if you’re communicating with in-office staff.
Don’t Be a Hermit
It can be lonely to work by yourself, which is why you should get out of the apartment at least once a day. Whether that means working from a coffee shop in the afternoon or going for a lunchtime run or walk, getting out of your bubble will help keep your mind fresh. If you can’t fit it in during the day, socialize after hours by getting dinner with friends or taking a workout class.
Stay in Touch
Communication is key when it comes to working remotely. Be sure to let your boss or co-workers know when you are—and aren’t—working. Try video conferencing via Skype so your colleagues can put a face to the name and be sure to send regular status updates so people know you’re focused on the task at hand, even if they don’t see you in action. Plus, it’s nice to chat with co-workers from time to time when you’re spending the majority of the workday alone.