With so many people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought a few tips on life in the home office would be timely. It’s a whole new reality, so here’s what experienced remote workers say.

Set Up Your Workspace and Your Routine

1. Establish Your Workspace
First, set aside a workspace. Spaces in your home have associations, like your entertainment center, or your bedroom. Find a place where you won’t be distracted, and set it up like an office.

2. Don’t Burn Yourself Out
New remote workers tend to overdo it. For some reason, they get very enthusiastic and work longer hours than they are supposed to. After a while, they stop being able to focus. It’s also destabilizing to the business’ payroll. Work regular hours and quit when it’s time.

3. Don’t Go Too Casual
The meme of the remote worker in pajamas is fun, but you should shower and get dressed. When working from home, people who let themselves go notice that it affects their work. Have a pre-work routine as if you were going to the office. You’ll feel better and be more productive.

Communication Helps Teamwork and Prevents Isolation

1. Collaboration Keeps Things Rolling
Most people are familiar with the very organic, easy software used to facilitate team-based projects today. This is just one way to reinforce the solid communication necessary for productivity. Good communication ensures that people are on the same page, and accomplishing their part of the team’s goal. It also makes work less isolating and more fun.

2. Stay Connected and Communicate Constantly
Stay in touch with people in your company. It’s important to understand what others are working on. The more you know about your contemporaries’ priorities, the better you can support them. It also helps prevent people from going stir crazy.

Maximize Productivity

1. Decide on Your Best Schedule
Working from home forces you to be self-motivated, but you probably have more flexibility in how you do that. Do you find your energy ebbing in the middle of the day? If you have any time flexibility, figure out the times that you work most effectively. You’ll probably be more productive if you work then and schedule a break for your least productive hours.

2. Avoid the Mindless Distractions
Your home is filled with distractions. It can be hard to make the transition to working at home because of everything from family to media to household chores. Commit to work during certain hours. Ask your family to respect and support you in establishing them. You will be amazed at how productive you are once the routine is in place.

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