Over the course of the last year, many professionals have shifted to working remotely, primarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While the end of the pandemic seems to be in sight, it is likely that many remote workers will remain in their home offices for at least a portion of their work week. Some companies even moved to hiring outside of their geographic location during the pandemic, which means that more workers than ever are 100% remote.

While working from home has many advantages, it also brings with it a number of new challenges. For example, communication can be much more difficult when you cannot easily hold a quick, in-person conversation with a colleague. Additionally, technical difficulties can have big ramifications when they bring cooperative processes on a project to a screeching halt. On top of that, people handle the challenges of remaining productive in a work-from-home environment differently. While some team members have no problem at all, others struggle to stay focused outside of the typical work environment.

Today we want to focus on the last problem mentioned: difficulties with remaining productive while working remotely. Read on for five helpful tips for keeping yourself on track while working from home.

Productivity Tips for the Virtual Office

For some, working from home comes easily; for others, it is a big challenge to remain focused and productive. Here are some tips for maintaining productivity in a virtual work environment:

  1. Use Set Work Hours – Start your workday at the same time each day and plan to work for a set number of hours.
  2. Designate Boundaries – If you have family or roommates in your home during the day, establish clear boundaries with them. Make sure they understand that during work hours you are in the office and working. Ask them to do their best not to interrupt you while you are on the job.
  3. Establish Your Home Workspace – Create a designated workspace in your home. If you have a home office, or even just a desk, use it only for work. This helps to maintain distinct boundaries between your workday and your free time.
  4. Use Tools for Staying Focused – Figure out what tools work best to help you keep focused. For some this is quiet, for others it might be listening to music or a podcast. If you want to try listening to music throughout your workday, consider listening to something without any words, like classical music. You could also give video game music a try—it is designed specifically to keep listeners alert and focused, without being obstructive.
  5. Maintain Clear Lines Between Work and Home – Do your best to avoid blurring the lines between your work life and your home life. Failure to do so may result in you feeling like you are always at work.

BONUS TIP! Always have dog/cat treats available when you need to make sure your pets stay quiet during the next Zoom call.