How to be Productive Working from Home and Beat the Blues
My husband and I are both in sales and up until recently, both worked from home. Fortunately, we’re good at doing our own thing all day – being together but alone, touching base for a break here and there while not distracting one another most of the day. That said, we have totally different work styles and preferences. While he absolutely loves the freedom and independence of working from home, I find it confining, soul-sucking and dreadfully depressing. I would much rather be in an office, but learning how to be productive working from home helped improve my overall work experience.
If you’re in my camp, then perhaps you too have found yourself hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table at 5 pm still in your PJ’s with unbrushed teeth, praying no one pops by and sees what a hot mess you are. For folks like us, it’s gonna take more than a preachy LinkedIn post about how you should “just shower and dress every morning” to create a productive routine.
According to research by Gallup, having a best friend at work and a significant amount of social time each day is vital to health and productivity; the benefits of which cannot be replicated in a remote environment even with amazing self-discipline and steadfast teeth-brushing.
So instead of beating yourself up, try creating a daily routine that’s more social – one that motivates and inspires you to be productive without it being a chore. Here are a few ways you can do this and master the nuances of how to be productive working from home.
Schedule a personal morning meeting or task
One or two mornings each week, have a standing non-work commitment outside the home, ideally before the start of your workday. It should be something you look forward to, like a breakfast meeting with a friend, a volunteer job, or a run to the supermarket. Or join a networking group that meets mornings.
Having an appointment will get you up and dressed as well as force you to be more focused once you get to work and start your day.
Join a Coworking Community
If you haven’t checked out a coworking facility like WeWork, Industrious, or SharedSpace you are seriously missing out. Beautiful decor, soothing tunes, great coffee, not to mention a diverse community of fellow entrepreneurs, consultants, and remote workers make for a highly productive yet stimulating environment.
SharedSpace member Comedian, Podcaster, Author, and Speaker Joel Byars is a good example. “As a comedian, trying to work from home was a joke. Joining SharedSpace has boosted my business productivity and most importantly…my wife’s approval.”
Coworking offices often have happy hours and networking events, but most importantly the same opportunity for social interaction you’d find in a traditional office – just with folks from many different companies, versus one.
Subscribe to a bookable exercise program
We know exercising makes us healthier and happier, but research shows it also makes us more productive. You might go to bed with the intention of working out first thing in the morning but the challenge comes when you wake up, immediately start checking your email and then never make it to the gym.
To avoid this, join a program or health club that requires you to book your classes in advance. These classes typically have a strict cancellation policy and you’re more likely to show up as a result. Getting yourself into the rhythm of a regular fitness routine will improve your health, help you manage stress more effectively, and help you budget your time better.
If you’re a coworking facility member, ask about deals on fitness club memberships or in-house exercise classes. For example, SharedSpace offers free yoga classes.
Get a Side Gig
If you’re a freelancer or a consultant like I currently am, you might find you have time for a side hustle or part-time job; And that side gig can be something that involves working in a more social setting like a restaurant, a retail shop, or an office.
If you have the time, consider rounding out your career to include more than a single gig in order to fulfill not only your income and career goals but your personal and mental well-being goals as well.
Keep your camera on
Want a baby-step toward being more accountable to your morning routine? Require the cameras be turned on for all company conference calls. It’s a sure fire way to keep yourself faithful to being dressed and ready for the day. It also allows for more social interaction.
Colleen Regan of join.me offers these tips for better video meetings and adds, “Video can add real depth to detailed project planning or a meaningful conversation with your boss.” People can see each others’ facial expressions, what they’re eating, what the weather is like in their part of the world and so forth. These seemingly small things spark a lot of fun discussion and bonding that enrich conversations and relationships.
Sharedspace, is a regional coworking business focused on creating modern, professional, and energetic work environments to stimulate the creativity and productivity of entrepreneurial businesses and their teams! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if your business is looking for creative opportunities reinvigorate your workforce and brand with a modern coworking environment like SharedSpace. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our facilities or for a consultation on your business