How to Stay On-Track at Your Home Office

Almost five years ago, workforce norms around the world changed. What was dubbed the ‘new normal’ has finally sunk in—at least when it comes to flexible work options. Once upon a time, employees were expected to head into the office day in and day out. While many people still work part-time from a company office, it’s now common to split time working from home.

Whether fully remote or only part-time, there are plenty of nuances that surround working from home. When employees started working remotely, it was viewed as a perfect setup—a dream that many never thought would become a reality. However, the difficulties of working from home also became apparent.

It’s easier to get distracted or, more commonly, fail at multitasking. It’s even easier to start working straight from the couch where you could spend days in pajamas. Despite added comfort and convenience for employees, it requires skill and diligence to avoid getting off-track while at home or even on the road. If you have active pets or noisy neighbours/housemates, that’s especially true.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a fruitful and fulfilling work life from a personal office. Here are three tips to help you stay focused on the job while at home.


Keep a Schedule—Including Breaks

It’s easy to procrastinate at home, which is why setting a schedule is extremely important. Daily schedules help improve motivation and boundary-setting (more on this below). Without a schedule, it’s easy to drift into a less-than-productive approach to work. This is doubly important for remote workers who won’t join calls or video calls throughout the day, as these tend to offer a built-in schedule.

Depending on your approach, you might want to schedule yourself for a morning shift. Or, if you’re more of a night person, then don’t be afraid to try an alternative schedule to the nine-to-five shift. Most importantly, however, make sure to schedule breaks.

Breaks can actually help the brain stay focused by offering a reprieve. You might also be surprised to learn that even taking breaks to listen to music or play a game can keep you more productive. Let’s look at an example in a headier game like poker, which can be accessed remotely via PokerStars and similar platforms.

Whether playing in a table game or in a tournament—or even taking some time to refamiliarize yourself with the rules of the game—you’ll be using your brain. This allows you to enjoy the game and get away from official materials without totally shutting down your mind.

Maintain Your Office Space

Along with maintaining a schedule, remote workers should also go to great lengths to maintain an orderly office. When you’re setting aside space for a home office, you might also want to consider things like adding a few plants and trying to sit by a window that gets a lot of light. All three things (cleanliness, plants, and natural light) have been proven to boost productivity and a positive atmosphere.

Setting aside an office space also helps you set boundaries between your work life and your personal life. This is often one of the most difficult things for at-home workers to do, as it’s easy for work and home life to bleed into one another. By setting aside office space, you can more diligently draw the line between work and play. 

Similarly, maintaining a clean and organised office space also helps you prevent distractions. Boundary setting relates more to feeling like you’re always at work, even at home. But distraction prevention can help you stay on track to complete your goals and projects on time.


Don’t Forget to Get Dressed

Lastly, we’re touching on one of the odder tips on how to stay focused while working from home: getting dressed. It’s easy to slip into a routine of waking up, having a coffee, and getting to work—without any kind of real morning routine. Once this starts, it tends to set off a multi-day run in the same pair of pyjamas.

Simply getting dressed can help improve your remote work experience. That’s because getting dressed for the job motivates us, gives us confidence, and aligns us with our professional goals. Plus, it helps reinforce boundaries between work and home life.


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