Work from home and stay productive

I love sharing with my friends how we work. Most still work in an office environment, 9 to 5 and some commute up to an hour just to get to work! Crazy I know! Recently Talk Sport radio had a feature calling them ‘office prisoners’ which I found pretty funny.

I’ve been working from home since January, as soon as I told my girlfriend she said ‘great, this means you can clean the house and have tea ready for when I get home’. I swiftly said ‘no’.  At first I had my reservations mainly because I liked working around people and thought I would miss the office banter. It took me few weeks but I can firmly say I never, ever want to work any other way. It’s packed with benefits, no commute to work, save money, flexibility to work not just from home but anywhere and work when you need to.

I thought it would be a good Idea to share what I have learnt on how to stay productive when working remotely. Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Keep a normal morning routine.  The only good thing about when I used to commute to work was that I could make the mental transition from home to work life. So get up, get dressed, have breakfast, walk the dog, go for a jog, do anything to get your mind in the right place.
  2. Find the best spot to work.  Even if you don’t have a dedicated home office, try to find the least distracting place to settle down to work. I tend to stay away from any room with a TV or reclining chairs. I opt for the kitchen for easy access to coffee or the upstairs office.
  3. Stay in contact with work colleagues.  If you’re struggling to stay motivated talk to someone. Meet up somewhere (a pub gets my vote), make a call or use a collaboration/communication application. We use Podio which is great for keeping in touch and sharing what we are doing.
  4. Take a break.  Take time to switch off for lunch, coffee break or even go for a round of golf. This will help you keep motivated and help keep the brain activated if cabin fever sets in.
  5. Take work to a coffee shop or a pub.  If you need a change of scenery why not relocate? Most cafes and pubs have free wi-fi and you will find many other workers doing the same thing, so try it one afternoon.

By Nick Storr