With so many companies now relying on their employees to work out of their homes, mastering the art of getting things done where you dwell is a valuable skill. You don’t need the perfect home office. Just the right tools and practices. Here are 5 tips that can make anyone’s at-home work life easier:
1. Keep Your Communication Lines Open
When it comes to working remotely on a team, there’s no such thing as over-communication. While you only need your lines open when you’re actually working, do keep them open wide to ensure you’re on the same page with your team.
2. Close Off Distractions
You might think there are fewer distractions at home than at work, but you’d be surprised. If music helps you focus, play it. If Twitter is a distraction, avoid it. Certain web extensions can temporarily block your procrastination-prone websites like social media platforms or YouTube.
Close the door of the room you’re working out of and let roommates or family members know that you’re busy. Put your phone on do-not-disturb to prevent notifications other than important phone calls or alarms.
3. Block Your Worktime and Breaks
Schedule your workdays with chunks of work time and chunks for breaks. If scheduling doesn’t help you, try the Pomodoro technique, where you work in four 20- or 30-minute blocks with 5- to 10-minute breaks in between each. After 4 work blocks are complete, you earn a 30- or 60-minute break before starting another “Pomodoro.”
4. Take Productive Breaks
Trying to focus on work all the time won’t keep you productive. Make good use of your breaks to recharge your batteries and keep blood flowing to your brain. Do a little exercise in the house, have a snack or step onto your patio for fresh air. When you return to your work, you’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes and a clear mind.
5. Use a Project Management Tool for Your Team
In an office setting, you get to get up and talk with your co-worker or sit down for a face-to-face meeting with your devices or even paperwork in front of you. Working remotely on a team, project management tools are critical for keeping everyone organized and preventing tasks from slipping through the cracks.
Platforms like Monday, Asana, Trello and G Suite give remote teams the ability to assign tasks, track progress on projects and collaborate on documents in real-time.
Working at Home Can Work for You
Working from home is an adjustment. If you find you’re not getting as much done as you’d like, consider your habits and try implementing these tips. With routines in place and tools that make collaboration efficient, you’ll find your groove.
You may end find out you’re more productive at home than at the office, as research shows most remote workers spend less idle time while working compared to office workers.