Working from home has its fair share of pros and cons. Some people thrive in this type of working environment, while others can struggle with procrastination and lack of motivation. From not having a set schedule, to juggling the needs of your children and the constant distractions that come from mixing your personal space with your work space (such as TV, video games, and social media to name a few) there is always something that can throw you off your A-game.
However, there are so many benefits to working from home to consider as well. Since you no longer have to commute to the office, you can enjoy the extra time to sleep in, get some exercise, or establish a motivating morning routine. You will save money on gas, and no longer have a need for fancy business attire, so those are nice benefits as well! Plus, with the ability to work from anywhere and make your own schedule, you can use the flexibility to focus on your children, your significant other, and personal development goals. Due to COVID-19, more people than ever are working from home – 42% of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time. If you suddenly found yourself in this new work environment, use these five tips to boost your productivity and establish your new routine.
Keep A Schedule
While you may not be required to work from 8am to 5pm anymore, it is still important to keep a schedule. Prioritize your project deadlines and make sure you are available for meetings or phone calls with your clients and colleagues during the day. Generally speaking, it is best to try to work similar hours to what you worked when you were in an office setting. It is okay to be flexible and work earlier in the mornings or later in the evenings if needed to accommodate other areas of your life. Set a schedule that works best for you and be consistent with it.
Set Up Your Workspace
If you do not have space for a full office in your home, don’t worry! Aim to set up a dedicated work space somewhere in your home that is quiet and away from areas that will distract you (such as away from the TV). Use an inexpensive desk, or even a small folding table, to set up a workspace that allows you to be organized and quickly access your essential work items. Have your computer, phone, ear phones, a notebook, and a pen on your desk at all times. You may even want to set up a couple framed photos, or a small vase with flowers to decorate your space so you look forward to working there each day.
Let’s be real: working from home is filled with distractions. From the doorbell ringing to dogs barking to kids running around to household chores, there is always something that is trying to get your attention. It is impossible to limit all distractions, so instead make a plan to deal with them. Make a promise to yourself that you will not turn on the TV or check your social media accounts during specific work hours. Make a list of all the common distractions you face at your home, and then create a game plan to deal with each one.
When you work from home it can be hard to get away from your work; it seems like there is always more work to do. It can be tempting to just keep working now that your computer is right next to you. While your effort is appreciated, it is important to take breaks to avoid getting burnt out. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every hour so you can get up, stretch, and drink some water for a couple minutes. Take time away from your desk to have lunch, chat with a friend, and unwind for a few minutes during the day. At the end of your work day, resist the urge to keep working. Instead, make a few notes about the top priorities for the next day so you can quickly get started in the morning where you left off.
Stay Connected With Colleagues
Humans need interaction, so do not isolate yourself at home. While staying connected with your co-workers can be more challenging from home, there are huge benefits to doing so. When teams feel connected and on the same page, they can easily work together toward common goals. Plus, it is always nice to chat with someone who understands the work you do and the daily challenges – and excitements – you may face. Use a messenger system, like Slack, to chat with colleagues during the work day. It is faster and more efficient than email to ask a quick question, and provides the medium to have quick conversations throughout the day.
Whether you have been working from home for several years, or this is a new experience for you, it is important to realize that you are not alone. Everyone who works remotely faces the same challenges, as well as experiences the same amazing benefits. With a little self-discipline, planning, and prioritizing, you will be well on your way to being productive when working from home. Use a CRM, like ClientLook, to keep all of your tasks organized and seamlessly share information with your team and clients. ClientLook is proud to be the only all-in-one CRM software built specifically for the commercial real estate industry. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you boost your productivity while working from home.