With the world constantly transitioning towards the digital space, the way brands and users operate will continue to transform, as well. Technology has paved the way for flexible work arrangements. Thanks to the introduction of communication platforms and task management software, business owners can finally allow their employees to work remotely.

If you’ve landed a home-based job recently, congratulations! You aren’t just saying goodbye to long commutes, but you’re also saving money from your monthly paycheck and conserving energy. But, as sweet at this may sound, working from home also poses its own set of challenges.

A sudden change in your routine and environment can be incredibly overwhelming. If you’ve worked in an office for as long as you can remember, you might encounter inevitable distractions that could affect your day-to-day efficiency. To help you stay productive, the guide below will discuss six actionable tips on how you can make your transition a lot smoother.

  1. Designate a space for work

Before you officially start the job, you need to define your workspace first. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is turning their bedroom into an office. If you work in the same place you rest in, you may have difficulty setting the right boundaries between your career and personal life.

Remember that spaces shape behavior. While you may have the informal luxury of working at a couch or bean bag, you should consider creating your own office. Whether it’s a small corner in your living room or somewhere else entirely, dedicating a small portion of your living space to work will help you stay focused on your tasks.

  • Keep distractions at bay

Unlike working in a controlled office environment, you’re more likely to encounter several distractions at home. Since nobody’s watching you, it’s incredibly easy to place work aside and suddenly binge a show’s whole season on Netflix, browse sites that are not related to your work on your MacBook or do something else. To keep distractions at bay successfully, you need to know your tendencies and set the right limits.

If gaming is your go-to stress reliever, you should put your PlayStation or Xbox in another room. If you tend to check your phone every time you get a notification, you should put your phone on silent and place it far from your reach. Controlling these tendencies can make a big difference in your daily productivity.

Another thing to consider is the people you’re living with. If you’re renting the same space with a few friends or living with your children, you need to tell everyone about your work arrangement so that they can adjust, as well.

  • Follow a routine religiously

It’s no secret that working from home comes with a lot of flexibility. While this is no doubt a positive, people that have grown accustomed to their office routines may have difficulty facing this transition. To find your groove and to perform at your best self, you’ll need to provide your day with some structure.

Losing track of time is a lot easier when you’re working from home. Since you’re getting additional hours by cutting off your daily commute and preparation, you may get complacent and end up mismanaging your day. Even though it may take some time to get used to, you can successfully overcome this challenge by staying on track with a routine.

Think about how you would start your day in the office. Did you have any morning rituals? What tasks do you usually start with? Asking yourself these questions can help you stay on track with your day and enable you to get things done.

  • Know when to stop

Looking at things in the big picture, working from home ultimately means a change in your environment. Since you’re fully in charge of managing yourself, you need to be more mindful of the way you approach work.

There are a ton of cases where people that work remotely don’t know when to call it a day. Since working from home can blur the division between a person’s work and personal life, those that are unable to set boundaries tend to work beyond regular office hours. Without proper care, this can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and other issues that may affect one’s mental health.

  • Stay in touch with your officemates

Effective communication is vital for the success of a department. Since you’re no longer working beside your colleagues, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is keeping everyone informed about what’s happening within the company. But, despite the entrance of instant messaging apps and video conferencing software, many still don’t know how to communicate remotely.  

Aside from having the necessary tools at your disposal, you need to maintain a proactive approach. Using the right communication practices and knowing how your team wants to be reached will make it easier for everyone to stay in touch. Do they prefer being reached via email or instant messaging? Knowing this can make a huge difference in your team’s dynamics.

Other than talking about work-related matters, don’t forget to have fun. Not seeing each other may make it difficult for you guys to connect, so make sure to lighten up the mood by sending funny cat videos to your group chat. Newcomers to the team may also feel distant working in a virtual environment. Make an effort to reach out and keep connected.

  • Make your health a priority

In a typical workday, there’s a big chance that your eyes are fixed to a computer screen and glued to a desk for hours. Even though staying focused on your tasks is a good thing, forgetting about your body can pose some long-term consequences.

Whether it’s at home or in the office, your daily habits will define your health in the long run. Sitting down all day may not seem like a dangerous thing, but it can eventually cause chronic body pain, posture issues, and mobility problems.

Do some stretching exercises or walk around at regular intervals within the workday. It’s also essential to get rid of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as binge eating and smoking.

Staying fit in the workplace is a big challenge that all employees face. But, now that working remotely has given you more time and energy, you should make it a point to follow an exercise routine and eat healthy at home.  After all, your health is your biggest investment, and practicing a lifestyle of wellness will have its rewards.