Want some other genres to spice up your routine and make you feel focused? Take them from startup marketer, Ginny Mineo, who offers her work music preferences below. If you’re struggling to develop a reasonable work schedule for yourself as a telecommuter, start with the solitary tasks in the morning. You shouldn’t have to give yourself too much time to become productive in the morning, but you can give yourself some extra time before working directly with others. Verily Magazine calls these tasks “small acts of success,” and they can help build your momentum for the heavier projects that are waiting for you later on.
To help you make a smooth transition and stay engaged, here are eight steps you can take to start working from home more effectively. Prior to the global health crisis, remote work was more common than ever, with 43 percent of Americans working from home at least occasionally, according to Gallup. A recent survey by PwC found that even after COVID-19 is no longer a concern, 55 percent of executives anticipate most of their employees will work from home at least one day per week.
‘Show Up’ to Meetings and Be Heard
When you set up a home office space that is specifically for your work and nothing else, you’ll inevitably have fewer distractions. Find a room (or a closet!) in your home that isn’t used for anything else, how to work from home successfully and turn that into your very own work area. Of course, when your office is in your home, you also have the freedom to switch it up once in a while to create a cool, new workspace that keeps it interesting.
One potential pitfall of working from home is allowing your work time to bleed into home time. By setting specific work hours and making a point to shut down at night, you’ll be fresh and ready for the next day. Successful remote employees have a reputation for being extremely disciplined. After all, it takes serious focus to do any full-time job from an unconventional space.
The 8 Best Books on Working from Home for Remote Work Employees
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Find your productivity window
After setting initial expectations and goals, be prepared to address questions or clarify things as they come up. Once projects are underway, provide regular feedback to ensure expectations are being met. It’s not until it’s gone that you realize how important that walk from office to station or from the desk to your break-out area really is. Remember to keep active and get out there—just because the office is gone, doesn’t mean the world has done likewise. Start and end your day with a stroll to act like a commute, and to help clear your head and get ready for the day or start to switch off. Working from home, though you may not think it, is something of a skill—you need to find the perfect balance to get the most from yourself and your team.
With this structure in place, working from home will not cause your work to invade your personal life. However, without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can easily lose focus or burn out. When working from home, you’re your own personal manager and can choose your working hours. The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when working remotely. When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk.
Dr. Paul Kelley, a researcher at Open University found that his students had increased concentration levels when he started class at 11am compared to earlier. But the bottom line is… Everybody has a different sleep schedule! You could be a night owl who wakes up later, or a morning bird who wakes up when everybody’s still asleep. The key to working from home successfully is to understand your productivity triggers and to optimize your home life WITH your work life. So, I’ve come up with my favorite strategies to counteract these seven problems and let you work from home effectively, productively, and—dare I say—enjoyably! I now LOVE working from home and think it is an incredible option for most people (including extroverts).