At least one in five people work from home, and the number will only increase in the next few years. And who can blame them? More jobs than ever allow employees to work from home, especially if your job involves heavy online work. Working from home can be rewarding; I work from home, and I find I get more work done than I did in traditional work environments. Plus, I save money on gas and other work-related expenses.
But it’s not always easy. The freedom of being at home means anything but work will likely distract you. You’ll find yourself “remembering” that you need to do laundry, or that the dogs need to go out for a walk, or that “Weird Al” Yankovic just released a new music video (you should totally watch that, by the way).
And that’s okay! I have tips for remaining productive while working from home.
Create a strict schedule
You might be thinking to yourself, “Modern-Shed blogger, isn’t that obvious?” Yes, but it’s an important reminder. Create a start and end time that you follow every single day. Make time for lunch and pee breaks. This structure keeps you in check throughout the day and gives you something to look forward to: the end of a long workday.
Have a dedicated work space
This is where the beauty of Modern-Shed comes into play. It’s easy to get distracted when you don’t have a desk, or if you’re lying in bed. You should create a space that maximizes productivity and gives you a bit of privacy. If possible, take over a room in the house for a home office. If that’s out of the question, maybe check out some other options. I hear this one company specializes in backyard structures that could serve as home offices (or whatever you want, really).
This is the most important tip. I live in a two-bedroom apartment with my parents, and I never work from my bedroom. The dining room table is my office at the moment, and it shall remain that way for the foreseeable future. I feel like I’m working when I have a space I can carve out as my own.
Communicate with your coworkers
When you’re working alone, it’s important to let your coworkers know what you’re doing. If you’re not talking to anyone throughout the day, you’re likely to fall behind. I speak with my superior for about half an hour every single day before I start working, and we remain in regular communication throughout the day. It helps keep me diligent and him informed. Work gets done when we’re all on the same page.
Dress for success
Resisting the urge to not shower or properly dress myself every day is my biggest challenge. But getting work done is all about your state of mind. If you treat working from home like you would any other job — which, you know, you should — you’ll get more work done. That means get dressed, eat breakfast (I eat eggs, the Gordon Ramsay way), brush your teeth, shower, and shave. Do what you need to feel productive and healthy. You’ll feel better about yourself and more confident about the way you work.