Whether you’re self-employed or working remotely, these eight tips will help you get the most out of your at-home workday.
Updated March 29, 2021
1. Keep Regular Hours
Maintaining regular hours is key, not only for collaborating with your co-workers (who are likely on the same schedule) but for work/life balance.
Working within routine, set hours also makes it more likely that you’ll get all your work done and makes it easier for your colleagues/clients/employer to get in touch with you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean 9 to 5, but you’ll want to take when you’re most productive and when you need to be available into consideration.
BONUS TIP: Set small goals in time blocks to achieve the work you need to finish - it can feel daunting to worry about bigger projects when working at home, but if you break them into those goals, taking each smaller step won't feel nearly as challenging.
2. Get Dressed
While it may be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, the act of waking up and getting dressed tells your brain it’s time to be productive and get on with your day.
As part of a larger routine that should include taking a shower, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, etc., getting dressed will help you shake off any sluggishness and rally your motivation.
3. Create a Great Workspace
Here again, you may be tempted to resort to comfort such as your couch or easy chair. However, like your pyjamas, these areas signify its time for rest and relaxation, not work.
Instead, set up a designated workspace that is comfortable but allows you to remain focused and alert. Not everyone has a home office, but there's no problem with using your dinner table with a comfy chair!
4. Give Yourself a Break (a WHOLE Break)
Stay up to date with your organization’s break schedule and stick to it. If you’re self-employed, schedule your own breaks and take them in their entirety. Shortchanging yourself will only affect your ability to concentrate, make decisions and stay productive throughout the day.
5. Take a Walk
Speaking of breaks, whenever possible, try to get out of the house. Regardless of a home or office setting, sitting behind a screen all day can take a serious toll on your health. In addition, those who take walking breaks also benefit from boosted mood, concentration, creativity and productivity.
6. Say “No” to Social Media
As social media can be the ultimate productivity killer, reserve your browsing time for breaks.
Avoid the urge to start scrolling by logging out of your social media accounts and removing shortcuts from your browser. Some people go one step further and delete their social media apps off of their smart devices completely!
BONUS TIP: In most web browsers, you can also work in private or Incognito mode which will keep you signed out of your accounts.
7. Set Ground Rules
Remind your family members that although you’re at home, you’re still working. Ask them to respect your time and boundaries and discourage them from interrupting during work hours. Keep in mind, your loved ones are always welcome to approach you during breaks – they may even decide to join you for a walk.
8. Stay Secure
In an office scenario, it is your employer’s responsibility to oversee network security. While that’s not to say your employer won’t provide the necessary tools and protocols to protect you at home, it’s up to you to utilize them. Even if you’re self-employed, be sure to use an anti-virus solution, perform regular updates and encrypt your Wi-Fi. See Remote Working Safety and Security, for other helpful tips.