10. Get Dressed
Sure, getting to work in your PJs is one of the big benefits to working on your own, but it doesn’t help you get into a work frame of mind. You don’t have to wear a suit or anything formal, but at least wear pants (or a skirt). At the end of the day you can change into your “non-work” clothes to create a subtle boundary between your work time and your home time.
9. “Commute” to Your Home Office
On a similar note, get out of the house for a little bit before you start the day. A fake commute—even if it’s just a walk around the block—can be part of a small ritual that jump starts your day. Embrace your eccentricities and you’ll work more creatively.
8. Take Mini Exercise Breaks
You need coffee breaks as much as the in-office person does. Kill two birds with one stone by incorporating mini workouts throughout the day—perhaps during your Pomodoro breaks. It’ll help you think straighter, boost your mood and productivity, and make sure you get enough exercise.
7. Get the Right Tools for Your Job
Telecommuters need particular tools to stay connected to office colleagues. These include enterprise web conferencing tools, document collaboration suites, and screen sharing tools. Your IT department will likely suggest specific ones you need. If not, try out different ones for yourself so you can keep the lines of communication open even if you’re miles away from the office. Also, everyone should have a VPN.
6. Keep Your Family from Disturbing You
Ah, family members. The people you love who won’t leave you alone when you most need to work. It’s hard for significant others and kids to realize you’re in work mode when you’re at home, but you can train them. Give kids a learning station to keep them busy and establish some ground rules with your partner. If both you and your significant other work from home, you’ll have to work together (pun intended) to stay sane.
5. Block All Disturbances
It’s not just people in your household that are vying for your precious attention—it’s the entire world. The temptation to procrastinate or spend all day looking at cat GIFs is very strong when no one’s looking over your shoulder. Carve out space and time dedicated just to working and try these ten tools and tips to block distractions of all kinds.
4. Create a Focused Work Environment
The best tool for any worker: An environment that lets you focus. For many, that will be a dedicated room with a door (to shut out family members and also close at the end of the day). Also important: the right lighting, desk setup, and noise control. You’ll have to experiment with the most effective remote working setup for yourself, though.
3. Switch Up Your Office Location
Sometimes the best way to work remotely to not work from home. Tap into the creative buzz at a coffee shop or find some camaraderie at a coworking space. Perhaps play “Workstation Popcorn” to boost your focus and take advantage of your ability to work from anywhere.
2. Force Yourself to Stop Working
Slacking off might be the biggest fear you and your manager will have before you start working from home. For many of us, though, the biggest problem is overworking and burning out. Your work is always there in the background where you live and play. Make stopping work easier on yourself with little tricks like setting an alarm for the end of the day, setting appointments at the end of the day, and making a pact with yourself to protect your downtime.
1. Create a Routine and Set Boundaries
I’ve been working from home for over 15 years. I’ve had my productivity highs and lows. The best thing I’ve ever done for my productivity? Scheduling my days and weeks around my energy. Daily rituals and a morning routine help too. The video above offers five quick tips for working better from home, including the critical advice to set boundaries so you can stay sane while enjoying the freedom of working from home.