Best practices for working from home

© Noriko Cooper | Dreamstime.com

How To Successfully Work From Home

How To Successfully Work From Home

Work hard, even on your couch
Best practices for working from home

© Noriko Cooper | Dreamstime.com

Working from home might sound easy — especially if commuting to work takes hours and you’re feeling burnt out at the end of each day. But how do you guarantee you’ll be as successful from your own home as you would be in a busy office? Here are a few tips.

Get dressed for the day

Get dressed for the day

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Staying in your pajamas all day long is one of the perks of being able to work from home. However, it’s more likely that those comfortable pajamas will inspire you to curl up for a nap than to do your work. According to Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites, remote workers who get dressed before they begin working are more successful. You won’t need to worry about abiding by fashion rules from the comfort of your own home, but ditch the pajamas.

Create a workspace

Create a workspace

© Auremar | Dreamstime.com

Find a space where you are most comfortable and dedicate that area to work and work only. Use home organizing hacks to keep your space neat and tidy. A messy space will easily distract you and your coworkers if you have to do any video chats, according to Cisco, a multinational technology conglomerate.

But also be willing to switch up your workspace

But also be willing to switch up your workspace

© Simona Pilolla | Dreamstime.com

It’s important to have a predetermined workspace before you start your day, but don’t be afraid to switch things up. According to Glassdoor, changing your work environment every once in a while can re-energize you and eliminate the chances of getting bored by looking at the same surroundings. Take advantage of warm weather and work outdoors if possible.

Stay focused and avoid distractions

Stay focused and avoid distractions

 © Lightfieldstudiosprod | Dreamstime.com

When you’re working in an office, the only thing that’s probably on your mind is accomplishing the tasks at hand. But when you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by the laundry that needs to get done or that one dish you forgot to clean. It’s important to stay focused on your work and not let at-home errands pull you away from timely assignments. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the key to successfully working from home is realizing that there will always be things that need to get done around the house, but committing yourself to be disciplined enough to avoid distractions.

Create a schedule

Create a schedule

 © Dmytro Zinkevych | Dreamstime.com

Create a schedule and stick to it. And if writing things down helps you assess what needs to get done in a day, use a timesheet template to help you stay on task. Be sure to include time for meetings, assignments, lunch and potential unplanned interruptions. According to Glassdoor, setting a schedule and sticking with it will help you create productive habits and get your work done.

Take intermittent breaks

Take intermittent breaks

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Even though you’ll be working hard, following a schedule and getting things done, don’t forget to take care of yourself. When you’re working in an office, you get up to take coffee breaks, grab a glass of water and give your mind a breather. You should follow the same steps at home. Cisco recommends taking regular moments to stretch out your body. And if you miss having a friend or two to talk to, schedule virtual coffee chats with team members. Stay active even if you do have a busy schedule.

Keep your work status updated

Keep your work status updated

© Iuliia Lisitsyna | Dreamstime.com

Unlike in an office, your coworkers won’t be able to see when you’re away from your desk grabbing lunch or a glass of water. It’s important to keep everyone in the loop, even if you’re only stepping away for a few minutes. Shoot your coworkers a quick message letting them know you’ll be right back. If you’re using a communication platform, like Slack or Skype, Cisco suggests setting a custom status to keep everyone updated.

Communicate as much as possible

Communicate as much as possible

© Stefan Dahl | Dreamstime.com

Communication is key when you’re working remotely. Not communicating is an office etiquette mistake you should never make. One missed message or phone call can lead to the demise of your entire workday and reflect poorly on your work ethic. Let your team members know if you need help with an assignment and keep your manager updated on what you’re working on. And remember: Nothing is too small to communicate when you’re working remotely.

Become a pro at email

Become a pro at email

© Kaspars Grinvalds | Dreamstime.com

Your email will most likely become your best friend when you’re working from home. So it’s important to become a pro at it. According to Glassdoor, it’s key to be precise in your wording to avoid miscommunication. It’s also important you document all emails and keep your inbox just as organized as your workspace.

Remain social

Remain social

© Mimagephotography | Dreamstime.com

Working from home has its perks, but one downfall is that you might begin to feel more alone with each passing day. According to Glassdoor, it’s important to not let becoming a remote worker turn you into a hermit. Schedule after-work phone calls with friends and family and make a note to go outdoors and get a breath of fresh air at least once a day. Taking a walk outside can change your life.

More from The Active Times:

The Fastest Growing Jobs in the US

Tips for Reentering the Workforce After Raising Kids

The 10 States With the Highest Income Taxes (and the 10 With the Lowest)

Six Figure Households Are Most Common in These US Locations

20 Ways to Make Your Bedroom Better for Sleep