More people are working from home than ever. A study conducted by Gallup’s State of the American Workplace survey found that 43% of American workers spent some time working remotely. I have worked from home during the vast majority of the past 7 years and I found some great ways to keep me on my game while working remotely. In order to be successful, you need to find ways that work best for you in staying focused and motivated. Here are some tips to stay focused, motivated, and refreshed while working from home.
Turn off outside distractions
I recommend limiting any outside distractions to stay motivated and focused during the day. Turn off phone notifications during working hours like news updates, ESPN, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook alerts. Recruiter Stacy Zapar shared a great recommendation on turning off Outlook notifications (that little envelope and alerts that come across your screen) and checking emails once an hour. It’s easy to get distracted, especially during conference calls because of these alerts. Since turning them off, I have been more engaged and less distracted while still being responsive to my emails.
Work from a dedicated workspace
Try not to work from an area where others in the home share the space. I suggest not having your home office in your bedroom. I read a study about how one's body reacts to watching TV from their bedroom and how it affects their sleeping patterns. I believe that the same can happen when you work from your sleeping area because you will start associating this place with work. Work from an area where other members in the home know is a dedicated workspace. Find a place associated with work where you know you will not be disturbed.
Change it up
It can become increasingly boring working from home. For your sanity, you need to have some outside interactions during the day and occasionally work from another space such as a coffee shop. If the weather is nice, work outside. If you have wi-fi access with a scenic view, take your business there. A change of scenery will help you feel refreshed and allow you to focus. It’s easy to feel trapped when you’re working under the same fluorescent lighting in that tiny desk space at work, and working at a cluttered space at home. Get a nice hearty lunch that will fill you up and keep you productive. Who says work can’t be a little fun?
Know when to turn it off
You need to have outside interactions and quality break times to put your mind at ease. It’s absolutely essential to make it through the day. Don't work through your lunches, take this time to go for a run, to the gym, walk the dog, or meet someone for lunch. It's easy to get caught up in the work day while working from home but you need to take some time to refresh your mind. Also, when you end your work day, you need to actually end it,otherwise it will feel like you are working all day. Most importantly, you do not want others to think you are always available after working hours. Set the precedent early because it is extremely important to set a work/life balance while working from home.