Remote work certainly has its upsides, as you can set your own hours and tailor your workspace to your needs. But as you’re on your own, you’re susceptible to feeling lonely and it can be tough to focus and stay accountable.
Here are 10 ways you can make sure you’re at your most productive and positive, no matter where you’re doing your work.
1. Say no to sweatpants.
While we understand the inclination to be comfortable in the privacy of your own home, it could make you feel more relaxed during the work day than you intended if you opt for pajamas or sweatpants. Put on an outfit that makes you sit up a little straighter. That way you’ll get in the frame of mind to put your best foot forward and do your best work.
2. Create a defined workspace.
Pick a spot — preferably not your bed — where you will do all your work. It creates a routine and necessary boundaries.
3. Invest in your surroundings.
Make your work space a place where you actually enjoy spending time. Decorate it with inspiring or calming images and colors that will help you focus. Throw up some art, get plants and buy a chair that is actually comfortable. If you look forward to getting started with your work every day, it will boost your productivity as well.
4. Step out into the world.
Make sure that throughout the course of the day you’re not glued to your seat, otherwise you may never leave the house. Getting some fresh and new perspective can help you with your biggest projects.
5. Limit your social media.
“Oh, I’ll just take two minutes to look at Instagram and get right back to work,” you may say. But two minutes can turn into 20, and then, studies show, it can take roughly 25 minutes to get back on track again. So do yourself a favor and delete the social apps from your phone and employ software to limit your internet access if you’re working on a major project.
6. Maximize your time.
If you know that you’re the most focused at 2 p.m. instead of 9:30 a.m., work around that and organize your schedule accordingly, and focus on the big stuff when you know that you’ll be at your best.
7. Stay looped in.
Especially if you and your co-workers are scattered across different places, it can be tough to build a rapport and a routine. So set up a time when you can get each other up to speed on what everyone is working on, whether it’s through Slack or a weekly video chat.
8. Stay active.
Part of remote work is flexibility. Why should you be stuck inside to have a sit-down meetings? If you have to give a status update to your supervisor, why not take a walking meeting and chat with them on the phone while you stroll around the block.
9. Eat well.
Be sure to keep a supply of healthy options — fruits and veggies, lean meats and cheeses, and whole grains to keep your energy up.
10. Set time boundaries.
If you’re already at home, it can be easy for your work time to bump up against your leisure time. Make a concerted effort to stay accountable and switch off work notifications so you’re not always on.