While working from home seems like it would be an ideal situation, those who have done it or are currently doing it would probably be willing to admit it’s not as easy as it appears. Challenges present themselves to those who work from home during all different times of the year. Spring break for those with kids in school, the holiday season, and Halloween-time all tend to put a wedge in productivity, but let’s talk about summer in particular. The sun is shining, the kids are all outside and the pool is calling your name. You’re home, and can pick up where you left off after a little break, right? Unfortunately it’s not that simple, and before you know it, these small breaks to enjoy the summer weather become more consistent, and less work gets done.
So, how do you counter these temptations? As challenging as it may be, establishing a productive environment is key to being able to work from home. Check out some helpful tips for making this possible even in the summer heat.
Think about it: the sun is beating down in the middle of July. You set the thermostat nice and low to counter the blazing rays coming through the window, and opt to make your home an ice box. Before you know it, you’re going to feel the need to step outside to defrost more often than you probably should. On the other side of things, if the air isn’t on low enough, it’s going to become too hot to focus.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the ideal temperate range is around 68°F to 76°F. Anything above 76°F is when a dip in productivity has been noticed, and anything below 68°F is when people start experiencing discomfort as well as an increased error rate. Keep these ranges in mind when you’re checking the weather preparing to start your work day.
Everyone has their vices that manifest at the wrong time to decrease productivity. Consider yourself lucky if you only have one! Point being, distractions are inevitable, so it’s important when designing your home office space to spend time identifying potential distractions. A big one specifically over the summer is the presence of kids at home all day. Of course, your kids are out of school and you want to spend as much time with them as possible, but believe it or not, that will prove to be much easier if you just sit down and get what needs to be done out of the way. If it’s possible, send your kids to camp for a few hours a day, or on the days you feel you really need your time to focus, call the babysitter. However you choose to keep your kids occupied while you work, it’s important to teach them that your office is off limits for playtime, and even though you’re home, you have to work. There are plenty of other distractions out there, so take the time to assess and do your best to separate them from your work space.
It’s no mystery that exercise provides a great deal of physical benefits, but it’s also important to understand how impactful exercise is for a person’s mental state. Studies show that exercise can improve concentration, memory capacity, as well as increased learning.
Don’t get me wrong here…I’m not here to tell you to go for a run on a 95°F day in mid-July, but I am suggesting it’s time if you aren’t already, to incorporate some physical activity in your day-to-day routine. It could be by signing up for a gym membership, taking workout classes or it could be factoring in time every day to go outside and walk. However you decide to do it, know there are ways that accommodate everyone’s workout preferences. Remember that you’re not just doing it to be physically in shape; you’re doing it to strengthen your mind to endure those dog days of summer!
Everyone has aspects of their job they prefer doing over others. Whatever your job may be, an often overlooked piece of advice would be to take care of the daunting tasks in the morning as difficult as that may sound because when the afternoon rolls around and the day seems to start dragging, you’ll be happy you saved the tasks you truly enjoy for then. It’ll help make the day go by faster.