Six Ways To Be Successful Working From Home

As an increasingly remote workforce, we all need a little help getting into the rhythm of things. It can be daunting to find ways to be the most successful as we strive to work hard and efficiently, and maintain a healthy work/life balance without getting lazy or stir-crazy. 

These six major tips will help you get going to reach your potential as a work-from-home professional.   

Working From Home? Whether It's Your First Time or You've Been Working Remote For A While, These Tips Can Help You Boost Your Success!

Working from home has become a major part of the modern workforce. Many companies have remote work options, or enforce weekly work-from-home days. In this day-and-age, we are seeing a rise in jobs transitioning to primarily online platforms thanks to new resources and internet-based work calls and virtual meetings. 

Lately, we have seen the importance and necessity of creating a positive and functional work from home space. Creating a plan and establishing good habits can help us reach peak productivity as we become an increasingly remote workforce. These are six helpful ways to maximize your remote work environment. 

Written By: Ila Meza
Health guru, certified yoga instructor and Voke editor.

1. Create Your Own Home Office: 

Establishing a dedicated office space will be integral in creating a positive work environment. This office space will make it easier to separate your work from your regular daily activities. 

Start by finding a location within your home that will provide enough space for your computer and necessary work materials. The spot you choose can be out on your porch, at a desk, or in an existing home office.

Be mindful in selecting your home work-space. The area should have minimal distractions and enough space to layout whatever you may need to be most efficient at your job. 

My recommendation is to keep your work area away from zones like your living room couch, kitchen or bedroom. By working from your couch or bed, you run the risk of getting too comfortable to focus, dozing off, or bad posture, which can hurt your back later in the day. 

By setting up a dedicated area you can begin to create a work-mindset. When you reach your workspace you can shift into work mode. Keeping your work area separate allows you to create an invisible separation between home life and work focus. This also allows you to turn-off after your workday is done. 

Did you know that 77% of employees say they have greater productivity when working remote? This is according to a study conducted and released through CoSo Cloud called "The Remote Collaborative Worker Study".  So by working from home you are already off to a great start!  

2. Establish A Schedule: 

Once you have a space to work comfortably, the next biggest step toward success is setting a schedule. 

Start by identifying the big to-dos for your day and week. Plan through work and non-work activities to make sure you don’t miss anything you need to accomplish.

For example, my remote work daily schedule looked like this:

  • Breakfast/ tea or coffee
  • Check emails
  • 15-minute meditation or morning yoga poses
  • Work block
  • Take the dogs on a walk
  • Lunch 
  • Work block
  • Check-in call
  • Virtual work-out class 
  • Take the dogs on a walk
  • Check emails
  • Dinner

A general outline is a great way to get started. 

You can use a daily planner if you know what you would like your day to look like regularly. There are also daily planner and weekly planner apps for your phone that you can set for the coming week on Sundays to include any meetings or calls. 

In addition to a planning app or physical planner, you may also try using a whiteboard for the smaller individual tasks that vary from day to day.

Establishing a schedule can make or break your work-from-home routine. Setting a daily and weekly schedule allows you to allocate appropriate time to accomplish tasks and helps prevent you from missing important deadlines. 

Besides, all the great names of our day from Steve Jobs to Elon Musk have dedicated schedules to keep themselves focused and efficient, and you can too!

3. Find Your Work/Life Balance:

This is so important but it is easier said than done. Now more than ever we are all collectively trying to adjust to extended periods working from home and still maintaining a positive balance. 

When you set your schedule for your week, try to focus on including both work activities and personal activities. Include time to spend with a pet, your loved ones, or time outdoors connecting with nature.

Consider adding in time for reading a book or listening to a podcast so you don’t miss out on the things that mean the most and will help your mental-emotional health. You should also find time for exercise and getting outdoors to maximize your balance between work projects and physical health. 

Aim for small separations to make working from home a bit easier. For example, as tempting as it may be to binge your favorite new show, don’t let that distract you from responding to emails. Instead, save those episodes for your lunch break or after you finish your workday. 

Research conducted at Banfield Pet Hospital showed 85% of employees who worked with their pet found Greater work-life balance. Working from home and interacting with a pet also resulted in 86% of employees finding reduced stress. So cuddle up to your pet as you get more done from home.

4. Set Healthy Habits:

When we spend most of our time in the same location, it can feel as though the rules fly out the window. These extended periods of work/life limbo are when we need to make healthy habits our ultimate priority. 

To remain successful we need to go back to the basics, eating well, staying active, getting enough vitamin c, staying energized and keeping our spaces clean and organized. 

So, let's start at the beginning. I’m sure it’s incredibly tempting to sleep in while working from home. Research shows that having a dedicated wake-up time each day has innumerable health benefits like improved alertness, an easier time falling asleep at night, better mood and better job performance. Set a reasonable wake-up time for yourself and stick to it each workday. Feel free to give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes later than if you were heading into the office but enough time to get up, change out of your pajamas and whip up a healthy breakfast to start your day.

Next, Maintain positive healthy eating habits. Working from home can lead to a lot of unnecessary and relatively unhealthy snacking. Start by changing out the types of snacks you have on hand. Protein bars, apples, and peanut butter, carrots, and hummus are all great picks. Oranges are always a win because they double up as a boost of vitamin C to keep your immune system up.

(Remember: Sometimes when we feel snacky while working from home, our bodies may just be craving a break. Take that time to step outside, let your dogs out, or move around instead of having another snack.)

Often working and living in the same space can lead to brain fog and distractions. Try healthy ways to stay clear and bright to work more effectively. Green tea is an excellent example of a superfood to boost energy and mental performance. 

My favorite way to stay bright, energized, and clear-headed is to chew a Voke around 10 am and depending on the workday, I chew another at 2 pm. The best part, aside from the mental benefits of Voke’s superfood blend, is the fact that it is sugar-free so there's no crash and no jitters and I get my immune system boost from the vitamin C. Thankfully it keeps me going so I still have plenty of energy for a work out when the workday is done. 

Another great healthy habit to set is keeping your space clean and organized. According to research conducted at Princeton University, It can be harder to focus your attention and complete tasks when the visual cortex is overwhelmed with task-irrelevant objects. 

5. Make Exercise A Priority: 

Working and living in the same place can make it so easy to be lazy. The times we want to work out the least are the times we need it most. Working remote creates unique challenges and getting enough exercise is one of them.

Now, we all know the laundry list of benefits that 30 minutes of exercise a day has on our physical bodies. Getting active leads to longer healthier lives and an increase in body positivity and self-esteem. But beyond physical benefits, working out has so many mental benefits. 

Intensive physical activity increases endorphin production in the brain which helps us feel better and stay in an elevated emotional state for longer periods. Exercise has been proven to help us sleep better, decrease our stress exponentially, and give us more energy. 

Working from home means we have the opportunity to set our daily and weekly schedules and make exercise a priority. For example, playing soccer with your kids on a break from work, or jogging with your dog are great ways to work in quality time with your kids or pets and give you a huge mental boost to sustain your workday. 

My favorite way to work out from home is to take work out classes online from my favorite yoga studio. Gyms, yoga studios, and fitness trainers have an increasingly substantial collection of virtual workouts that are easy to follow from your living room. So with everything that's out there and easy for us to access, we don't have any excuse not to exercise!

6. Get Outside:

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy balance when working from home is to get outdoors. 

Going for a jog, taking your dog on a walk, going on a hike or just spending time in nature are all wonderful ways to enjoy being outside to provide a solid break between living and working in the same environment. Getting outside can be an easy way to establish work/life balance and get exercise into your day. 

Research into the benefits associated with interacting with nature ranges from improved mood, better sleep, higher focus, and reduced stress levels. One independent study revealed that Interacting with Nature Improves Cognition and Affect for Individuals with Depression. 

Being outdoors is also a wonderful outlet after extended hours spent indoors. It can be freeing to step out of your space to reset at the end of a workday. Get outside and breathe in some fresh air, and you are set to have even greater success as your work from home. 

Bonus Hint: As a way to hit all of these targeted suggestions, you can try a time management method called the Pomodoro Method. This recommends taking frequent small breaks in between working, as a way to increase focus and productivity in small bursts of accomplishment. The benefit is, this method helps you balance productivity by taking consistent small breaks to help avoid distraction, and it fits perfectly into the intention of healthy snack breaks, exercise pauses in your workday and stepping outside to feel refreshed!  

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