Whether you’re self-employed or you work remotely for a larger company, working from home seems like a dream come true to many people in the workforce today. You get to work and enjoy the comforts of home without dealing with the hassles of commuting or the micromanagement and frustrating coworkers you can encounter in the office.
Of course, working from home isn’t always immediately the ideal situation that many people expect it to be. Some people may have a hard time being productive at home when they’re used to working in an office. Here are some tips to adapt to a home office and make it a successful transition that can improve both your quality of life and your work productivity.
Stick to a Routine
“The problem with working from home is that sometimes it gives you too much freedom,” says Steve Lewis, president and CEO of Plumbing by Jake. “The structure and routine of going to an office and working alongside colleagues is helpful for some people.” You might be so relaxed while working from home that you don’t get anything done.
The key is to create a schedule for yourself to follow while at home. Because no manager is watching over your shoulder, you can create a routine that works well with your schedule for sleeping and eating, regardless of other people’s expectations. You should have specific times set for working and eating, and you should hold yourself to them.
Get Out of the House When You Can
One unfortunate side effect of working at home that you might encounter is feeling isolated or restless by all your time inside. Because you don’t have the necessary commuting time outside between things, you might not have very many reasons to leave the house during the workday. That restlessness can reduce your productivity and general quality of life.
Take advantage of your open schedule to go outside more often and get some exercise or walk around the neighborhood. Get your blood flowing and energize yourself and then get back to work.
Don’t Forget to Get Dressed
Without the social environment of the office, you might enjoy the novelty of getting work done while still in your pajamas. However, as tempting as it is to skip some of the getting dressed and grooming that you have to do for work, you shouldn’t let yourself abandon some of those habits.
Don’t dress up in formal office wear if that’s not what you enjoy, but be sure to still take care of yourself. Grooming and getting dressed help you create a routine in your day, and they’re essential for your mental and emotional well-being.
Create an Environment That Helps You Focus
You might have a hard time focusing on work when you first start in your home office. You’re accustomed to relaxing when you’re at home, not working. Try to create a separate, distinct space in your home for getting work done where you can focus. Let your living room be a space just for relaxing, but make your home office a place for work.