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It is estimated that around 45% of the workforce will be working from home in some form by the end of 2021. For someone who has worked almost entirely remotely for the past 30 years, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that working from home can increase your productivity. The bad news is that you have to be twice as focused to get there. Here are some helpful tips and strategies to ensure your productivity increases and you maximize your potential from home office.
Keep your routine
If you worked from a corporate office, you woke up at the same time each day; You got dressed, had your coffee, and arrived at your office at a certain time. Your work day started with checking voicemails and emails, scheduling calls and meetings, going to lunch, taking breaks, and walking at the same time each day. All of a sudden you're working from home and the first thing you have to do is routine. Don't let that happen.
Start by dressing for the office. As Hall of Fame defender Deon Sanders famously said, "When you look good, you feel good, When you feel good, you play well, When you play well, they pay well." Getting up and dressing as if you were going to the office at the same time each day puts you in a professional mood.
Make sure you get to your home office at the same time each day. That might sound weird because your home office might be a few feet or 20 feet away; However, this way you stay in a routine and start your day when everyone else in your company is doing it.
Also, try to leave the home office at the same time each day to keep up your routine.
Another part of maintaining a routine is making sure you check your voicemails and emails as if you were in the office. Not only is this expected, but it is a great way to keep up with your daily tasks and goals. As a managing partner of a company, it is frustrating at the end of the day when the employee on the other line has no idea what is happening because he has not checked any e-mails or voicemails all day.
Also, make sure you schedule your office hours with everyone else in the house. I can't emphasize the importance of this enough and it can be difficult to juggle. Families need to understand that we are at work when the door is closed. When your door is open, you are at home. Being productive when interrupted with personal affairs every 10 minutes can be challenging.
Related: 20 Reasons To Let Your Employees Work From Home
Talk to people and take breaks
Working from home is an excellent opportunity to maximize your time and productivity since you won't have the same distractions as working in a corporate office. However, if you try to replace a personal job with just email or text communication, you can get disconnected from the overall business plan and often run into misunderstandings. It is important to stay connected and have a clear understanding of what is going on in the department or department. My goal is to make ten phone calls before 10 a.m. every day. If you end the day with at least five phone calls to team members, you make sure we got everything we had to do.
Taking breaks and having lunch in the home office can be difficult because it's easy to get involved in our activities so much that time flies by. However, if we do not take breaks or take a lunch break, the walls will slowly become thicker. Remember that the home office is not the canteen, and if possible, go for lunch outside the home if you have something close by and can afford it. It is important to sit down and eat in a different place.
Related: Six Tactics To Improve Collaboration For Remote Teams
Separate your home and work
Last time I checked, the company office doesn't have a living room or master bedroom. These are great distractions because these rooms are also the areas where we relax when we are not working. If possible, make a habit of staying away from these rooms during work hours. Try to maintain an environment similar to that used when working in a corporate office.
Often times we are limited by the space available, but that shouldn't dictate our level of production or organization. Since many meetings are conducted via video conferencing, it is important to have a neat, organized, and well-lit workspace. Bright lighting in the home office makes you feel like you are in a company office. Whether a desk or table is used doesn't matter as long as it's set up to maximize productivity.
Leave your office and turn off the lights
When your work day is over, it is important that the home office location be closed to allow the separation of business from private life. Often, at the end of the work day, I actually leave my house and go to the gym for an hour. For me, physically leaving the environment in which I spent the whole day sets me back and prepares me for the transition to personal time.
If you follow these suggestions, you will have a good start on the path to success as a home office worker. Over the years I have learned that a lack of discipline leads to a lack of productivity and has a negative impact on employment. Stay focused and enjoy the benefits of working at home.
Related: Is Work From Home Here To Stay?