Home offices are quickly becoming more common. This can be seen with telecommuting, where a remote work arrangement is made with an employer, or for home-based business. Many companies can see that some people just like to work from home for a change, and they are really good at it. The telecommute option is desirable for the independent-minded employees who find value in flexibility.
Not everyone may be highly effective in their home office; thankfully the home routine, just as with an office culture, can be learned. Here are 10 habits for increasing at-home productivity.
- Stay organized. Many apps are designed just for telecommuters and the unique situations that arise from a home office. Find the most effective ways to organize your time and information. Telecommuters may need to give special consideration to things like the closest Wi-Fi access or call forwarding options.
- Take breaks. A more flexible schedule will require more attention. The casual co-worker conversation or group breaks are not instigated by anyone else. Be conscientious that movement increases brain productivity.
- Morning’s best. Numerous studies have found that the most successful, productive people jump into projects right when they wake up. Try to schedule in the bulk of your work before lunch.
- Be comfortable. Comfort naturally leads to increased productivity. Dress in clothes that are non-restrictive and relaxed. In case of an impromptu Skype call, keep a nice shirt handy.
- Hydrate. Mental, emotional, and physical well-being are at their peak when your tissues are hydrated. Keep a 32 oz. bottle close by, and track how much you consume. Ideally you would drink at least two bottles a day.
- Single-task. The skill of multi-tasking has long been a desirable skill, but the advent of technology and never-ending distractions has taken it to a whole new level. It is far better to be able to set all distractions aside – email, instant messaging, phone calls, or project work – and focus on one task at a time. Toggling between tasks will actually slow down progress.
- Set an end. Just as with working at an office, there are days when work will go into the evening hours. This should be an exception and not a standard. Set daily goals with tasks and accomplishments. The day can be over upon their completion. Cleaning your work plate each day will help to stay on track.
- Intentional errands. Distractions can consume precious time and focus. Steer clear of random wandering and last minute invitations. When leaving the house, have specific errands and a necessary purpose.
- Track habits. Identify the best and most productive times in your day. Build in mini-breaks as best fits to your schedule.
- Measure deliverables. Keep track of your deliverables by day, week, and month. This will identify how you’re doing, how much you’ve done, and where you could improve.