Working at home has never been better.
- You get to spread out in your own workspace and wear whatever you want.
- You don’t have to worry about co-workers interrupting your workflow.
- And, you can take your lunch break at whatever time you want. (Unless you still have to stick with company hours.)
You have to admit that working at home is grand.
But are you having a little too much fun?
Indeed, there are a lot of perks.
But if you’re not careful enough, you can get sucked into the “do whatever you want” mentality. Since there’s a fine line between being productive and carefree, it’s crucial to stay on the ball!
Here are seven remote work habits to avoid if you want to keep your job!
1. Keeping Your Pajamas On All Day
Staying in your pajamas all day is comfy but isn’t recommended to do every workday.
Sure, you can put on a nice shirt and have your pajama bottoms on underneath. No one will know! But it’s better to get up and get ready as if you were going to leave for work.
Putting on a casual work outfit also moves you into a different headspace. Chances are it’ll make you more productive. Enjoy preparing to take on the day instead of feeling like you want to go back to bed!
2. Getting Distracted By A Pet
It’s nice having a furry co-worker (aka a dog or a cat) that’ll keep you company. But sometimes, when a pet gets used to you being around, they want more attention.
You may feel bad not giving your dog your undivided attention. After all, they’ve been there for you every time you’ve needed comfort!
But even though Fido wants to play ball 24/7 doesn’t mean you have to. It’s important to set boundaries with pets too. Otherwise, if you let him distract you too much, the day will get away from you!
If you feel guilty turning your pet away, take breaks throughout the day to play with him. That way, you’ll still get your work done, and he can look forward to his mini play dates with you.
3. Snacking Non-Stop
Eating tasty food is fun, especially while you’re working at home. It’s easy to grab a snack, especially if your workspace is right by the kitchen.
But overeating and snacking the wrong kinds of food can create health problems. You can gain weight, which in turn can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
If you get the urge to eat, have some healthy snacks you can eat instead.
Here are a few ideas:
- Celery and peanut butter
- Strawberries and dark chocolate
- A handful of nuts
- A glass of orange juice
- Flavored water with lemon
Though it may be difficult, try to listen to the needs of your body. Practice mindful eating and only grab a snack if you’re hungry. Do this, and you’ll be more likely to stay healthy and fit.
4. Not Waking Up Early Enough
If you don’t have a schedule to stick to, it’s easy to stay up too late and not get up early enough.
Sleeping in too late can take away from your productivity. The result of not waking up until noon means getting less work done.
That doesn’t mean you can’t go to bed later (but not 2 am!) if that works better with your schedule. But, experts say that the morning hours are the most productive hours of the day.
Bottom Line: Create a schedule you can stick with to be productive in the morning. And don’t only be productive in the morning.
Try and stay on task the rest of the day, as well!
5. Not Getting Enough “Me” Time
Now that you’re working remotely, an employer may think that means you have more time on your hands. Yes, a company can still expect you to work overtime even when you’re at home.
If you’re getting overwhelmed, make sure there’s still enough time in the day to unwind and destress.
You may need to speak to your boss and set some boundaries. Explain that you can’t go overtime every day. But, do let them know which days and how long you’d be willing to work beyond regular business hours.
That way, you’ll still have time for some alone time (and time with others) before working the next day.
There are a lot of things that can distract you at home, to be sure. But often, you create your own distractions.
Here are some distractions to avoid:
- Your phone and on-going notifications
- A significant other who is also working at home
- The temptation to finish up that binge-worthy Netflix show
- Chatting with a friend online and making your break longer than it should.
If you’re procrastinating, figure out ways to end these bad habits. Otherwise, they can totally zap your work productivity.
You won’t get enough done, and whether you work as an independent contractor or for a company, it’ll show.
7. Staying Wrapped Up In Meetings
Just because you’re remote doesn’t mean you have to attend every meeting under the sun.
Remember how we mentioned not working overtime every day?
It’s the same way with meetings.
If you feel you’re spending more time in meetings than working — talk to your boss. Discussions can get long sometimes. It’s far too easy for everyone to get caught up talking about non-work-related tasks.
If you already have a lot on your plate, your boss will understand if you sit a few out. It may even help them recognize that the meetings are going too long and that they could use shortening up.
Working at home is a blast until it isn’t. Make sure you continue to love the perks of working at home by creating some boundaries for yourself.
It’s hard to accomplish things and enjoy working at home if you get caught up in bad habits. Before getting stuck in a rut altogether, set up some smart guidelines — starting today.
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the student housing industry and works with Cottages at Tucson every day to help them with their marketing efforts.