Remote work has a ton of benefits for both employers and employees. The company saves money on office space and supplies while also expanding its pool of potential job applicants because people are not limited to apply to companies based on where they live. For many employees, working remotely is the ultimate goal. You have a lot of flexibility in your schedule, you can make your own hours, and you get to spend the day in your own space.
Say goodbye to the days of throwing on business attire and heading into an office of people. You can stay in your most comfortable clothes while still getting your work done right from your house. But, working remotely can be more tricky than it sounds because you need to develop a routine that helps separate your free time and work time. Check out some of our tips on creating a routine and boosting your productivity.
How to Help Create a Routine
Start Your Day with Breakfast
We hear it all the time—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And, in some ways, it is because it kicks off the morning by providing your body with energy and gives your brain a little bit of time to wake up and consider what you need to accomplish that day.
We recommend getting in the habit of making something for yourself––even something small––before getting to work, to help you establish a routine and give your body some energy for the day ahead. Once you start working, you may feel less inclined to step away from your desk and eat something, so it’s important to get it out of the way first.
Make a List of Things to Get Done
Some people love lists. They’ll create a list for anything. But, others are not as inclined to remind themselves in this way. If you’re working remotely, it’s important to keep track of all the different tasks you have in the works because, when our home is also our office, it’s easy to start getting distracted by things that need to be done around the house—vacuuming, dusting, rearranging that shelf you’ve been meaning to get to for a few months.
A good time to start your list is while you’re eating breakfast. Help put your mind in work mode by prioritizing your tasks for the day and jot them down on a piece of paper or Post-It note to keep yourself focused for the rest of the day. If you’re an avid list maker, you might even want to give yourself a loose timeline of when each task needs to be accomplished.
Get Dressed Like You’re Headed to the Office
This one can be tricky to follow. When working remotely, it’s super tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, grab a lap desk and start typing away from the comfort of your own bed, but this can be detrimental to your productivity and motivation. Possibly the most important part of creating a routine is alerting your brain and body to the fact that now is not the time for relaxing.
When you start working in your PJs from your bed, you’re not going to have the focus you need to get your work done in a timely fashion. You don’t have to get all suited up for the day just to work from home. But we recommend a morning routine similar to if you were actually going into the office. Wash your face, brush your teeth, and get dressed to get yourself ready for the day. You can still wear comfortable clothing, but put on items that are going to make you feel like you’re at work—go ahead, wear your favorite gold chain or put on a little makeup.
Have a Designated Office Space
Having your own work space is essential to getting into a routine and completing the work you’re expected to do. When you work from your living room couch or bedroom, it’s so easy to get distracted by the things around you—the TV, the laundry that needs to be done, something in the living room that needs to be tidied. The more distracted you are by household tasks, the less concentration you’ll have on work. You may even find yourself taking breaks from work just to get those chores out of the way.
Creating a space that is specifically for working is one of the most important remote work habits. If you live in a small home or apartment, you don’t need an actual office room (though this is ideal if you do have the space), but you should find an area where you can put a desk and other work essentials to get your brain ready for work. This will also help keep you distracted from doing other things around the house during work hours.
Schedule Breaks Throughout the Day
Whether you work at home or in an office, taking breaks throughout the day is extremely important. Many people are inclined to just keep pushing through their workload instead of taking a lunch break or even just stepping away from the computer for a few minutes, but this can cause feelings of stress and anxiety to build up.
Everybody needs a mental break throughout the day. Most people’s train of thought is that if they keep working, they’ll get more done, but taking breaks has been proven to increase productivity throughout the day. You can also break up your day by working in the morning, taking a break for lunch and maybe some exercise like a run or a bike ride, and then spending the second half of the work day at a coffee shop or local co-working space. Moving to a new environment can stimulate your brain and help you get through the work day more efficiently.
Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Routine
To be successful in remote work, you need to have a set routine and be able to hold yourself accountable for it. Find a routine that works for you by implementing some of these ideas like making lists, eating breakfast, and throwing on your favorite gold chains and at-home work attire to get yourself ready to go.
Remote work can be super rewarding, but it does take some adjustment. Be strict with yourself and wake up at the same time every day, and then take breaks and head to a coffee shop when you’re starting to lose steam. Developing a routine takes time, but, the more you practice, the more successful you’ll be in your remote work.