Despite the comfort and convenience of working out of your home, with the onset of the pandemic, many people realized that working from home can be overwhelming. Virtual work can surely provide opportunities, but it also creates unique challenges. In order to capitalize on the benefits of working from home, you’ll want to instill a few tips to account for the obstacles it poses. Here are the top productivity tips for working from home.

1. Create a private space

One of the toughest challenges for remote work can be finding the appropriate space for your online work, especially if you have kids at home during the day. Use the most quiet space in your house where you can close a door, and lock it if necessary to reach maximum productivity.

2. Take breaks for movement

One of the biggest pitfalls of work-from-home life tends to be the easy access to nap spaces and lethargy during dull work tasks. Working virtually typically only requires a monitor, meaning everything you need is already within reach as soon as you sit down for the day. Fight sleepiness by incorporating regular movement into your daily routine. A standing desk, a five minute walk every hour, a mid-day stretch break, sitting on an exercise ball or a 10 minute workout during lunch can all work wonders. 

3. Don’t multitask childcare if you can avoid it

The closure of in-person workplaces was coupled with school and daycare closures, leaving many people simultaneously juggling full-time work and full-time childcare. While financial limitations require many people to manage both at the same time, investing in childcare is one of the best tips for keeping your work hours productive. If you find yourself pressed for the funds to afford childcare, shoot for smaller increments. See if you can hire a nanny for a few hours a day, creatively schedule work hours so your partner can give you uninterrupted time to work, nanny-share or take turns watching a friend’s children. Save tasks that need the most focus for when you will have coverage for childcare. You may need to schedule meetings for naptime or wake up early to give important projects the attention they deserve.

4. Build in social time

While you may be in virtual workspaces or meetings with people all day long, it’s no replacement for real socialization. The face-to-face time you have with friends and family can increase your serotonin levels, making you happy and giving you a positive mood. If you’re looking for productivity tips for working from home, it’s not just about changing your habits when you’re on the clock. It’s important to change your lifestyle outside of work, too. 

5. Set rules with your roommates

Working from home means that you’re likely interacting with others throughout the day. Whether you share a home with other adults, kids or pets, setting boundaries is one of the simplest time management tips for working from home that will make the biggest difference. Here are some subjects you may want to clarify rules about in your household.
  • Work hours
  • Volume levels
  • What interruptions are and aren’t OK
  • The best way to make an interruption (via text, knocking on the door, sliding you a note) 
  • What kids are able to do on their own (helping themselves to snacks, answering the door, etc)
  • What spaces you’ll need for work
  • When your meetings are scheduled
Most boundaries will depend on your type of occupation and who else is home. Regardless of what rules you set, make sure you make them before issues arise instead of allowing for potential conflict.

6. Keep up with small talk

As counterintuitive as it sounds, keep up the small talk with your virtual coworkers. One of the greatest tools for making work meaningful is creating bonds with coworkers, even if it happens over the phone or on video conferencing calls. You’ll find that solid relationships with coworkers make collaborative tasks easier in the long-run, so an investment of a couple minutes to ask about your coworker’s weekend will go a long way. Even if you’re not particularly interested in the answers at first, over time you’ll create a healthy foundation when you take a few minutes to foster small talk.

7. Take time for you

Working from home can drain your energy, there’s no doubt about it. Just as with in-person work, it’s essential to take breaks to invest in things that re-energize you. Try to develop a habit of engaging in a hobby at least once a week.  Your self-care could include yoga, reading, attending a pottery class or cooking, but if you really want to make a positive impact on your overall wellbeing and productivity, a great tool to improve your mental clarity is partaking in counseling.

Seek counseling today

There’s a common misconception that counseling is only for people who struggle with mental illness. In reality, anyone can benefit from counseling services. In counseling you can learn and apply the best productivity tips for working from home, learn how to balance your emotional energy and find purpose in your career. Get started fostering a healthy balance between work and life for your employees with Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP. A person-centered approach is guaranteed to give your employees access to the best help available. Get in touch now.
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