Is working from home your new “normal?” There are so many benefits about working from home such as zero commuting time (no traffic!), more time with loved ones, a comfortable space and more! There are a lot of stigmas surrounding working from home, but Stanford University proved that false and said working from home actually increases productivity. Most people work a full 40 hours work week or more resulting in producing enough work to fill three additional weeks of work per year.
At Lemongrass Spa, we have consultants over the entire nation that shared some of their work from home tips. From home schooling, working from home and running their own business, they are no stranger to maintaining a flexible schedule. Here’s a couple tips they wanted to share.
1. Maintain a Schedule or Routine
This is one of the biggest work from home tips! Schedule yourself some office hours and stick to it as much as possible. This will help set up clear guidelines and create more work/life balance. Michele Smits, Senior Director in New York, said she gets ready every morning to help her stick to a routine and feel more productive. “I shower every day and put on my makeup. It does not have to be anything fancy, but I am ready to take on any Zoom call!”
If you work from home and are home schooling, it can be difficult to balance. You may be working on a big project and your child needs help with math and you feel like you’re being pulled in two different directions. Michele is a home-schooling mother and had a great tip for this too! She said, “Let your child know if you are working on something that needs your full attention. Give them a time that you will be available for questions. This way your child can put aside the work there are questions on and move ahead.”
When you work from home, you are able to have some flexibility. Build important dates, events, and quality time into your schedule so you can take advantage of creating memories with those you love the most. Kim Merritt, Executive Director in Colorado, said, “Don’t get so focused on routines and schedules that you miss out on the important special moments. Whether it be with your kids, clients, team members or with yourself! Be flexible and graceful. Working from home and home schooling is no easy task!”
2. Set up a Dedicated Office Space that is Distraction Free
If possible, create a space in your home as you “office.” Whether it be a desk, countertop or couch, that is up to you. Find a space that you can be comfortable but also productive. You have the ability to create your own custom work environment so make sure it is comfortable and helps your focus on your work. Invest in noise cancelling headphones, a comfortable chair, an additional monitor, mouse or other items to help create your ideal work environment.
When it comes to creating a space sometimes, we need to add a few things sometime we need to remove a few things. Maybe if you like working from your couch but are tempted to watch the latest episode of that reality TV show released last night. You can still work from your couch but try placing the remotes in another room or unplug your TV. Removing different distractions can really help you dive in and accomplish a lot more in the same amount of time.
Implement this by keeping a notepad by your work station and make a note anytime something comes up and pulls you away from some important work. Take those notes and review them at the end of each day and adjust. The more you put into creating your distraction free work area the more productive you will be.
3. Create a Task List
Make a list of things to do each week or every day that are in line with your goals. There are no office activities such as meetings and interviews, but sometimes kids and pets are home which can be easily distracting. Writing down tasks can improve productivity and create a plan of action. There are many ways you can do this: pen and paper, sending an email to yourself, using an app like Trello, Things, Notion, or setting reminders/alarms on your phone.
Kim suggested, “Have a weekly brain dump and planning session… I try to take about 30 minutes once a week to dump all the things out of my brain on paper. When everything is written in front of you, it’s much easier to see what is actually important, and to free up space in your brain. Divide up the tasks and do some each day.”
Communication is key when working from home especially if you work with a team. Working from home requires over-communication, so make sure the people who need to know are aware of your schedule and tasks. You can set up phone calls, Zoom calls, Skype meetings, emails or your preferred way of communicating to insure all your clients, coworkers or team members can be on the same page.
5. Take Breaks
Don’t forget to take a 15 minute break when you can! Take some time away from your phone and computer to decompress and relax. Michele said, “Grab family time when you can! Maybe it is just a walk outside a lunch. Don’t be afraid to take 15 minutes to sit on the steps and soak up the sun. Everyone needs some time to breathe!”
Here’s a bonus tip: It’s okay if it doesn’t work out each day! Switching to working from home can be an adjustment with trying to figure everything out. Erin Ethridge, Director in Florida, said, “As women, we are taught to compartmentalize our lives but reality doesn’t work that way. I think it is important to show that it doesn’t always work that way…. If it doesn’t go as planned, just give yourself grace.”
Above anything else, figure out what works for you. What may work for one person, doesn’t always transfer to another. We hope these tips will be beneficial in learning to be more productive in working from home. If you are interested in finding your passion and working from home, consider joining our thriving community of men and women dedicated to sharing about clean, non-toxic products.