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Four Ways to Stay Productive Working Virtually

Working virtually has its perks if you stay true to these tips to keep yourself energized for work.

Four ways to stay productive when working virtually - Actually Blog article image
When the weather is this cold (wind chill of -41?!) I thank my lucky stars that I can work virtually from my home office. Thanks to the Internet, Skype, Google+ hangouts and countless other revolutionary software technologies, the option to work from home (and ditch the commute) is becoming a possibility for many. As lovely as it sounds, working from home does have its drawbacks. Yes, you can roll out of bed and work in your pjs, but if this becomes your daily routine, it becomes a little problematic. Here’s five tips and reasons why working from home will help you avoid “the pj trap” and stay productive.

1. Set up a dedicated office space

You may be tempted to work from your couch (or even from bed on those extra sleepy days), but it’s important to create a dedicated office space in your house. Setting up this space and working in it will help you to separate ‘work’ from ‘home’ and will get you into that productive work mindset. It doesn’t have to be a large space or even a separate room. As long as it provides you with a place to focus and a place you associate with work tasks.

And at the end of the day, make sure it’s a place that you can close off or shut down in some way so that you are not constantly thinking about your work. Commitment is awesome, but you can’t work all the time!

2. Minimize distractions

This is also a key way to enhance your productivity when working from your home office. Creating a dedicated office space and letting those who may be home know that you are in work mode is a great first step, but you also need to have a little bit of self discipline to make this work.

Stay off Facebook and Pinterest (unless you are using it in a work capacity of course!) and make sure you only answer calls that pertain to business matters. Need some help in this department? There’s an app to help! Anti-social locks you from accessing sites that you specify such as Pinterest or Youtube keeping you focused on tasks and minimizing distractions.

3. Get dressed! Shower!

It may sound like you’ll be living the dream, rolling out of bed, nixing the shower routine and wearing whatever you wore to bed the night before at work in your home office, but doing this everyday will start to make you feel less human, and this is speaking from experience! So get up, hop in the shower shower and make yourself presentable as you would do for any job. You will feel focused, human-like, and will be ready to greet the day ahead of you!

4. Get social!

The last thing to consider when working from home is understanding that your social skills may suffer. Spending all day alone with your computer can definitely have an effect on your social and communication skills, leaving you searching for any kind of human interaction possible.

So before you start having in-depth conversations with your cat, consider finding a co-working space in your area and work from this space one or two days a week. You’ll get to interact with real live beings who may even know a thing or two about what you are working on and offer valuable feedback. Score!

Do you work from home? How do you keep yourself productive? Share your personal tips and tricks with Jess below!

About The Blogger

Jessica Gilfillan - Portrait

Jessica Gilfillan – Guest Blogger

Jessica Gilfillan is a second year Web Design and Animation student at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. She is interested in responsive design, creating an accessible web for all and mastering PHP.

In her spare time she likes to crochet, practice yoga and hang out with her hound dog, Ruby. She also hopes to learn how to play the banjo in the near future. You can follow Jessica on Twitter @jessicaanngilly.

  1. This is a great article! Really love the realistic point of view, and the relevancy. I mean, your workflow isn’t as important as your sanity, and if you can keep that while working from home, you’ve made it haha!

    Reply

    • Thanks for the comment Brandon! Working from home is great, but it’s definitely important to set up a few rules and boundaries in order to save your sanity (and your workflow!). Do you have any other tips or tricks that will help virtual workers stay productive?

      Reply

  2. Solid points. Definitely true, one thing I will add is accountability. I don’t think anyone ever enjoys having someone look over their shoulder while they work, but by the same token if you’re working out of touch with those you’d normally interact with can lead to procrastination / distractions.

    I find for me when I have a chat open and send small updates / get small bits of feedback throughout the day with my co-workers that I stay a lot more focused and on task. That said, I’m not sure what this would look like if you were freelancing solo for clients.

    Reply

    • Thanks for the comment Michael. You’re right, accountability is definitely an issue. There’s always the potential to get distracted if you aren’t being monitored. I think that’s why it’s important to take steps to make it feel like you are in a professional environment (dedicated office space and showering). Working a few days a week at a co-working space will also help in this regard, as you will probably be inspired by those around you to stay on task.

      Reply

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