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Tips for Working from Home (Productively)

Working from home may seem like a dream come true, and for many of us that dream came true earlier this year. Companies across the nation have sent employees home to work to prevent the spread of COVID-19—but staying focused while working from home can be a little tricky!

How to Stay Focused & Productive While Working from Home

staying focused while working from home

Working from home comes with a surprising number of unique challenges—like not letting yourself get distracted, or knowing when to leave work behind at the end of the day. Here are some tips to help you stay productive (and sane) while working from home.

Maintain regular hours

scheduling work time

One of the biggest issues many work-from-home-ers face is setting, and sticking to, a schedule. That doesn’t mean you have to work 9 to 5 every day, but setting some kind of schedule can help you know when to focus, and when it’s time to unplug for the night. Be sure to communicate your schedule with coworkers so they know when it’s all right to call or message you.

Having trouble sticking to a schedule? Try a time tracker app.

Schedule breaks

taking a break from work

Sitting down to work for eight hours straight can be exhausting—and can actually lead to less productivity. Schedule breaks throughout the day, or if you feel yourself losing focus, ask yourself how long you’ve been working without a rest. When you do take a break, be sure to leave work behind—no checking emails or answering phone calls on lunch.

Leave the house

going for a walk outside

While it’s important to stay home when possible and reduce time spent in public places, it’s also important to get out of the house and get some sunshine. Schedule a short walk on your lunch, or sit on your back deck with a book on a 15-minute afternoon break. Fresh air and sunlight are good for mental and physical well-being.

Set a designated office space

a designated office

Even if you don’t have a separate office in your home, it’s still beneficial to designate a specific space or area to your job. If possible, dedicate a desk or table to work. If you’re at that desk, it’s work time. If you are on personal time, remove yourself from the area.

Stay in touch with coworkers

having a video call with coworkers

A big difference between working in an office and working from home is the social aspect. Working from home can be a little isolating, especially if you live alone or if your housemates don’t work from home. Try to keep in touch with coworkers. Chat channels, meetups, or even virtual happy hours can be great ways to connect with colleagues.

Take time off

a family having fun

It’s easy to think that because you work from home, you don’t need time off. Even if you don’t plan to go anywhere with your time off, it’s still nice to have time, even at home, that isn’t work time. Disconnecting from work, stress, and obligations can be more difficult when you don’t have an office to leave, so schedule some disconnect days where you can relax, unwind, and take some time to yourself.

Working from Home in the Triangle?

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