Working from home can be challenging. It can feel lonely. It can be full of distractions. Those who are not used to it may have a difficult time being productive. However, many of us may have no other choice. Over the past few months, businesses across a number of industries have required that employees work remotely – and this trend may not be letting up any time soon.
So, what do you do when you are trying to stay focused on a task in your personal space? How do you manage to get work done while those dirty dishes are staring at you in the face? Or when your kids are playing the music too loud and the dog is begging to go outside for a walk?
It is tough, there is no doubt about it. However, there are some tips that can help you find some peace and professionalism amongst the chaos.
Create some structure
The most important thing that you will need to do is create some clear boundaries – both in terms of time and location. Where possible, you should designate a single area as your “home office.” This means not trying to do work in front of the television or while in bed. This will signify to your brain that it is time for work, and better allow you to focus. You should also try to keep regular work hours. Establish a routine so that you start and end work at a particular time. This will also help you from being “on the clock” at all hours of the day.
When your partner is on a work call right next to you, or your neighbors are loudly chatting outside, it can break your concentration and elevate your stress levels. Noise-canceling headphones would make an excellent investment. Listening to soft, ambient music has also proven to have calming effects that can help you focus and even lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
Make time for fun
One of the toughest things during this time is feeling claustrophobic. It can be difficult when you feel like you never leave your home. The days can start to bleed together when you are spending all of your working hours in the same space that you spend not working. When you are done for the day, make a conscious effort to move to a different space of your home. You should also be looking for opportunities to get outside or spend on creative hobbies and other personal projects. Doing so will not only help you stay happy, but it will also help you be more productive.
There is no doubt that these are challenging times. By following the tips listed above, you can hopefully start to see all of your additional time at home as a blessing as opposed to confinement. However, it will be important that you create a real separation between your work life and home life, both physically and metaphorically.