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Telecommuting is the work practice of performing one’s job from home or another remote location. For some, working from home offers an opportunity to save money on commuting, find a way to balance their personal and professional life, and even find a way to thrive in isolation. However, for others the ability to work from home can lead to isolation and a lack of motivation. Creating a productive work environment from home can be challenging due to the lack of coworkers for inspiration and accountability. While you cannot control your colleagues, there are ways you can optimize your home office so you can thrive at home as much as you do at the office. Here are 7 tips for creating a productive work environment from home:
Organize your workspace
A clean desk is an organized mind. Your workspace will be at the forefront of your day and the way your day begins influences the way it ends. This is true whether you work from home or at an office. It is important to have a clean and organized space so that you can stay focused without distraction and without wasting time finding things. Even if you have a smaller space for your home office, you can still make room for an efficient workspace by keeping only the most essential items nearby. This allows you to clear your desk of clutter and stay focused on the tasks at hand.
Create a routine
The key to a productive workday is routine. It is important to keep the same amount of work hours as someone working in the office so that you can maintain a consistent schedule. A morning routine helps you become more productive for the rest of your day. You can start your day with a quick meditation or a walk, or even a cup of coffee. A routine can include a few different tasks or even just taking time to write in your journal. Rotating between different tasks can help you to find a creative flow and avoid burnout. A good night routine will help you to relax, de-stress, and get ready for bed. This can include things like journaling, stretching, reading, or even meditating or taking a bath.
Find a quiet place to work
A quiet place to work might sound like a luxury, but it is a necessity for some remote workers. A noisy environment can interrupt concentration, lead to frustration, and cause distractions that may lead to errors. It can be helpful to look at soundproofing options before settling on a space. If you do not have the option to soundproof your space, noise cancelling headphones can be helpful for blocking out noise. Sound can also be reduced with a simple pair of earmuffs.
Get out of the house or room for a break
Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to recharge, find new ideas and perspectives. The ideal work environment should provide you with relaxation and focus so that you get done with your work on time. You can step away from your desk and find a nearby café or library. Find an environment that is conducive to the kind of work you’re doing.
Make sure you have supplies you need
Your home office or workspace should have everything you need to be efficient and productive. This can also help reduce distractions and interruptions. Depending on your job, you may need a separate computer for work, a high-quality desk, office chairs, a printer, or even a separate phone for business calls. There are also a variety of apps and software to help you stay on track. These can include project management apps, to-do lists, online calendars, and more.
Try different lighting and sound options
Florescent lights can create an environment that is both clinically white and unproductive. Instead, try to find a way to add some colour to your space. Or, even better, get rid of the fluorescent lights entirely. If you can’t change the lights, you can try to change the way the light looks by putting up curtains, using a floor lamp, or even a lamp or a bookend on your desk. Sound can also be a critical aspect of your work environment. White noise machines can help to drown out distracting sounds, and they can actually be more effective than earplugs at blocking out sound. Using sound can also help to create a productive work environment like music, nature sounds, or even podcasts.
A productive work environment can be challenging at home due to the lack of coworkers for inspiration and accountability. It is important to create a routine, find a quiet space, and keep a stocked workspace. It is also important to try different lighting and sound options to find the best work environment.