For some, working from home sounds like a dream come true. For others, it’s a nightmare. COVID-19 has changed how we conduct business, and many office workers around the world have gotten their first experience working from home.
There are many benefits to working from home. You can work in your pajamas, you don’t have to drive to work, and you can do laundry while sending an expense report. However, there are plenty of challenges. One of the biggest ones is staying focused.
It can be hard to stay focused on your job under normal circumstances, and you most likely have more distractions when you’re working from home.
Take a look at some tips that can help you stay focused while working from home. It might help you achieve a balance between comfort and work.
Have set hours
It’s one thing to drive to work and know you’ll probably only be working from 9 to 5. When you work from home, this isn’t quite the case. You might have some program that tracks your work hours, but it isn’t quite the same feeling of going to an office and knowing you’ll only be there for 8 or 9 hours.
When you work from home, there tends to be a higher risk of working too little or far more hours than you would typically work. This can leave you stressed out in one way or another by not getting enough done or working insane human hours.
It’s good practice to follow similar hours you would normally work while in an office setting. It helps keep your mind focused, knowing you’re only dedicating this amount of time to work.
Avoid heavy television and news consumption
If you have a tv set, consider keeping it turned off. While it’s tempting to work with the tv going on in the background, you’ll probably get distracted by whatever program is playing more often than not.
Watching television tends to go hand-in-hand with heavy new consumption. Some people work with having CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC running in the background, and while it’s important for people to stay informed about the issues, you should limit how much news you consume. It’s distracting and tends to get repetitive.
Similar things could be said about heavy online news and streaming consumption. It’s a bit more tempting since you’re working from a computer, but it does you no favors. Stick to limiting the amount of news you consume and keep streaming to an absolute minimum.
Don’t work where you relax
Just because no one is looking over your shoulder doesn’t give you an excuse to slack off. You still have work to do, so you shouldn’t get complacent because you’re working at home.
If you don’t have a desk already, make sure to get one. Working from your bed or couch might be fine for a day or two, but it’s a counterproductive setting. Those areas should be relaxing versus doing work.
Having a set area where you conduct your work is helpful. It trains your mind to get into work mode once you sit down and turn on your computer.
It’s pretty nice not to have to go through the normal hoops and hurdles when it comes to your appearance. Many people aren’t required to dress formally when working from home, which offers a lot of flexibility.
A big problem is when you are still wearing your pajamas, you may not be in full work mode. When we normally go out to work, we tend to put on some uniform or another, and it signals to us it’s work time. It’s hard to shift into that mode when you’re wearing yesterday’s clothes.
What you should consider doing is changing into an outfit that feels more work-oriented. This doesn’t mean you have to go full business or business casual. Instead, consider wearing your own type of uniform. Clothes that you feel comfortable in, but aren’t necessarily your pajamas.
Some general rules to follow
A good rule to follow is if you wouldn’t conduct this type of behavior at work, don’t do it a home. This can include anything from spending endless hours on social media to indulging in drugs or alcohol. By all means, you should not show up intoxicated to work. Drug use at work and drinking on the job are serious problems. It’s probably one of the quickest ways of losing your job.
Another good rule to follow is to be your own boss. You may have clients or a manager you have to report to, but you tend to be your own boss at home. You owe it to yourself to conduct yourself probably and focus on doing a good job.
It’s hard to say if working from home will become the norm in the future, but if it does, you should consider implementing some of tips mentioned in this article. It might help you in the long run.