The "ideal" work environment doesn't necessarily exist; it varies depending on the person and their work ethic. Noise and other distractions could be a nightmare for one, yet motivating for another. As working remotely becomes more and more popular and encouraged by companies, it's important to understand in which conditions you work well. If you work remotely once in a while, here are some tips on staying motivated and getting the most out of your experience.
Your home office (or wherever else you choose to work from) should be treated similar to the actual office, so get into the "groove" of things by dressing presentable! Sweatpants may be comfortable, but they might not motivate you to get into the right frame of mind for a full day of work. And even if the only person you might see all day is the family pet or the barista at Starbucks, dressing up a bit and feeling your best will help to increase your productivity levels.
Working remotely definitely allows for some flexibility, but it also makes procrastination an easy trap to fall into. Make sure that you're setting yourself a specific time frame in order to get things done. If you're going back and forth between personal tasks and working tasks all day, you're much more likely to lose your train of thought. You also might not be readily available when other team members who are in the office might need you. Avoid this by trying your best to stick to your regular in-office hours.
Set Daily Goals
Writing a daily to do list is beneficial whether you're in the office or working from home. At the beginning of your workday, sit down and create a list of tasks that you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Assign each task a percentage that represents the amount of time necessary to complete it, and you can then prioritize and plan your time accordingly. Having this to refer to throughout the day is helpful when you lose focus, and it feels great when you start check things off the list.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
As nice as it would be to sit on the couch and watch TV while you work, it's important to find a comfortable and quiet workspace away from any distractions while working remotely. You should always have access to your phone, and a good Internet connection as well. Having this personal space separated from the rest of your house ensures that you will be able to focus on your work and effectively communicate with your team without being distracted by personal chores. Be sure to keep it clean and organized too, just as you would your desk at the office.
Remember to take breaks throughout the day! Go for a quick walk outside, make a snack, or even check some small chores off of your personal to do list. It's important to give not only your body a break, but your mind as well.
What do you do in order to work more effectively and efficiently while you're working from home? Join the discussion on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus!