More and more employees are working at home instead of the office, and of course, more and more workers are opting out of corporate life altogether and going into business for themselves, often setting up shop in their own living room. While many get excited by this more relaxed environment at first, feeling giddy by being able to work in their pajamas or listen to some music while they work on reports, they too often find that they have trouble staying productive when working from home.
It is important for you to create a work-like environment in your home so that you can be as productive as possible and meet your goals. If you are working from home — either for a company or for yourself — these tips can help you to create a productive work environment from home:
Get Up at the Same Time
Having to punch a clock may have been a drag, but it also gave you structure to your day. By setting a time for yourself to work, you can get yourself mentally prepared to work each day, helping you to be more productive. Make sure that you get up at the same time each and every day and “report to work” at the same time. You’ll set the tone for the day, and you’ll get more work done as a result.
Hanging out in your PJ’s might be comfortable, but it doesn’t put you in the mindset to work. It puts you in the mindset to relax and to sleep. Getting dressed in some more “formal” work clothes will help put you in the mindset to work and to be productive. You don’t have to put on a suit, but you should put on a full outfit AND shoes. If it helps, go ahead and put on business attire. The key is to do what you need to do to help you feel mentally like you are going into work — because you are.
Create a Professional Space
Just like your PJ’s, a giant bean bag chair may be comfortable, but it’s not going to be conducive to helping you work more. You need to create a professional space to help you be more productive. This can include a sturdy chair, a clear work surface, and professional gear that you may need like a computer, software, and other tools. Whatever you would have in the office to do your job you should also have in your home office.
Create a Dedicated Space
If you are working at your kitchen table, it may be difficult to divorce yourself from thoughts of cooking dinner that night or cleaning up the crayon marks that your toddler left under the seat. Creating a dedicated work space in your home can help you to become more productive by getting you mentally prepared for work when you enter it. You can transform a room in your home into an office space, or you can add on. The key is to only use that space for work and then not work in any other part of the house.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Minimizing distractions is key to productivity in any setting. However, when you are working at home, there is potential for even more distractions. Don’t turn on the TV. Don’t try to work when your kids are home and you are the only one responsible for their care. Minimize distractions on the computer by installing a blocker that will limit access to certain sites that could waste your time — such as Facebook or gaming sites. The more you can do to minimize distractions, the more productive you are likely to be.
Working from home is often the best of both worlds for many people as they can feel more relaxed while also getting the work done that they need to do. However, if you aren’t careful, you can be much less productive working from home if you don’t put yourself in the right mindset. These tips can help you create a professional work environment from home that will help you to be more productive.
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching salaries for pastry chefs. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.
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