Working From Home? How to Stay Productive and Sane

Many people find themselves working remotely from home these days. Working from home can be beneficial for some (there may be fewer distractions) but it can also present challenges. It can be hard for some employees to remain productive and happy while working in extended isolation. If you find yourself struggling, these tips can help you stay on task and keep your sanity too.

Have a Dedicated Space

Try to avoid working from your couch, or even worse, your bedroom. If you are not fortunate enough to have a separate home office, set aside or create a space just for work. This can be a nook in your living room, or even your kitchen table. Just make sure it is comfortable, has everything you need, and is free from distractions. If you have family members who will also be home while you’re working, make sure you communicate to them that your new workspace is reserved for you while you are working, and to please not interrupt you.

Keep a Routine

Avoid the temptation to stay in your pajamas all day while you work. It’s important to signal to your brain that you are switching to “work mode”. Get up, get ready, get dressed, have your morning coffee, or whatever you did that was part of your morning routine before you went in to the office previously. It’s obviously not necessary to dress in business clothes at home, but do get yourself ready for the day and avoid the temptation to linger in loungewear.

Have a Schedule and Build in Breaks

It’s much easier to get distracted while working from home. It’s important tot set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Don’t attempt to do laundry and clean the kitchen while completing work tasks. Have clear times set aside for work and make task lists for yourself to complete. It’s also important to schedule in short breaks for yourself during your work day. A short 15 minute break to take the dog out, take a quick walk, or just get up and stretch without any screen time will help you stay focused and keep your mind clear.

Connect With Others

Working from home for long periods can feel very isolating, even for the introverted among us. Make sure that you have some sort of regular contact with your co-workers or the outside world. Set up video conferences or phone meetings to stay connected and collaborate with others. Consider social meetings outside of work too – a virtual “dinner with a friend” can be the pick-me-up you need to feel “normal” when your world is anything but.