Last February, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced that she was putting a ban on employees working from home. This caused a great deal of controversy and has been heavily debated ever since. While working at home can be a great perk, there is also a risk in allowing your employees to work from home whenever they please. Most employees will work diligently and stay on task, but working from home has also been proven to be a greater distraction for employees and can deter them from their work. Here are 5 tips and tricks to make working at home just as productive as a day in the office.
1. Set a routine
If working from home is going to be an everyday thing, this is an essential step to success. Just like a structured day in an office environment, learn to structure your day in a similar way at home. Set hours for yourself and schedule out tasks so that you have direction throughout the day. Make the schedule and stick to it on a daily basis. Make sure to include time for lunch and also include time for breaks to refresh and recharge.
2. Separate work from home
One of the most difficult parts about working at home is separating your work-life from your home-life. To avoid having an imbalance between the two, stick to the hours you have set for yourself and when you’re outside those hours, disconnect from work. Whether that means turning off the computer, putting away your designs or turning off your phone. Also, creating a separate space to work in, like a home office, can greatly increase your productivity. Just because you work from home does not mean that work is your entire life.
3. Get out of the house
So you don’t work in a corporate office, that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck in one place. On days where you feel stir-crazy or unmotivated, switch venues and check out a coffee shop or set up your office in a library study room for the day. There are also collaborative working spaces such as CoCo. This will prevent you from having an unproductive day and feeling antsy in your house. Even if it’s for an hour or so, venturing out of the house can help you regain your focus in a new setting.
4. Stay connected
Working at home can be feel lonely and isolated. To avoid feeling disconnected and bored, schedule coffee meetings, lunch dates and meet with clients outside of your home on a regular basis. Even heading to a coffee shop can prevent you from feeling disconnected from the working world.
5. Recognize distractions
Working at home will usually provide more distractions than an office environment. From kids to phone calls, your day can get interrupted more often than you’d like it to. In these moments it can be easy to get frustrated that your day isn’t going as planned. Recognize the distraction and take the time you need to regroup and get back to work. Going back and forth from life to work over and over can become exhausting and really dampen the quality of your work.