How to Stay Productive When Working From Home

Plain economic practicalities have spawned a generation of at-home workers. Many at-home workers started to do so during the economic downturn of the mid-2000s; they picked up a few side gigs that eventually turned into a full-time income.

But for all of the advantages this type of work brings with it, it also has some challenges as well. For many at-home workers, actually getting the job done can be difficult, especially if they are not used to working outside of an office setting. The at-home workers who do make this work typically do the following three things to keep themselves motivated.

1. Make the Mental Space for It

One of the advantages that an office has is that it’s an office. This isn’t meant to sound trite. When you work on-site for a company, you have a dedicated spot to work. A certain mindset comes with this set-up. That is to say, when you’re at work you expect to work.

Your home work space is different. You see the piles of laundry or dishes that require attention. Your family may interrupt you. People who are productive at-home workers treat their home work space just like they would if it was a “regular” off-site workplace, according to Success.

They get dressed for work. They set regular office hours. Many also create a dedicated office space. Taking these steps sets a boundary with family and even with yourself, making it easier to work.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Noise and other distractions can be the death knell to your work day. Construction, kids playing outside, traffic, and other noises make working more difficult because they pull you out of what you’re doing and into the world outside.

This works to the detriment to your work schedule. One of the best ways to rid yourself of this issue is to get rid of as many distractions as possible. Get rid of the clutter in your work area so that you’re not tempted to work on that instead of your work-for-money work. Try out a Poly headset to cancel out noise when you’re on a call. If you have a home office, then shut the door.

3. Give Yourself a Change of Scenery

Sometimes, home just feels too much like home and not enough like a workspace. If this turns out to be the case for you, then try working at a coffee shop or the library or some other type of co-working space.

According to HubSpot, it’s not just because this is a change of scenery, though don’t discount the importance of that. It’s because these more public work spaces recreate the vibe that a busier office has. They give you human interaction without requiring you to be chatty with your co-worker.

That said, this tactic does give you the chance to interact with people if you want to. According to Fast Company, freelancers who have a chance to interact with other humans can avoid burnout. A human-centered break also allows you to bounce ideas off of co-workers and to take necessary breaks throughout the day.

While too much interaction is distracting, too little depletes your “oomph.” Balance is the key to making this work.

Final Words

More and more people have turned to their part-time gig into full-time, at-home work. This arrangement offers these professionals a great deal of freedom. However, it also comes with its challenges. Those who do it successfully create a mental and physical work space for their gigs. They also eliminate what distractions they can. Finally, they will even change scenery if necessary to get the job done.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.