Looking at my title, I’m wondering if there really is such thing as a “typical” workplace any longer…
When I reminisce about all the offices I’ve worked in—a converted tanning factory, a Victorian home, a cubicle, the wireless café in another country, my kitchen table—it’s fairly obvious that the days of slugging it to the corporate office are bygone.
The days when every employee worked from an office or cubicle are gone. The business of today takes us to places we’ve never been, and expects us to be able to work efficiently from those places. For instance, my office of the day can be a diner on the road between one client and another one day, the business class seat of a plane the next, and my dining room table the following day.
With this in mind, I’ve created the following five productivity tips for non-traditional workspaces.
1. Add some variety to your workday
Let’s face it; working from home can be quite lonely so to avoid being cut off from everything, I recommend a little bit of variety in your day. For example, it’s great if you have a home office, but working from the deck on a nice day is pretty inspiring too. Take your work to new places in your home—by the pool, to the cottage, to the coffee shop around the corner (and meet a friend for lunch while you’re there). See, it’s easy to seek new places and new faces in order to infuse your day with a little energy when you need it.
2. Give yourself a break
Sure, when you work from home like I do there are few distractions, however, it’s easy to work 10 hours straight without a break. This can greatly suck you dry of creativity and productivity in the days to come. So I force myself to take mental breaks from my home office day to refresh and refocus my energy. For example, I take a walk or run to get some fresh air, run a midday errand or go grab lunch down the street, or take a yoga class for a breather.
3. The deafening sound of silence
Some people love working from home for the solitude, however, you can only take so much silence before you start to go a bit batty. So I recommend, turning on some background music and putting on my earphones or listening to a book on tape while I do my work. I also start each week by choosing a theme (I find a quote or story from the internet and tack it to my dry erase glass board for inspiration to keep me on track.
When working from home or when on the road, it’s easy to get sidetracked with emails, social chatter, and calls from the office popping up constantly. That’s why I start every morning writing a prioritized list of tasks that need to get done. That way, if I steer off course, I can always pick back up where I left off.
5. Be proactive when you travel for work
When traveling for work, it’s difficult to know what to expect if it’s a city or country you’ve never been. That’s why I do my research so I’m prepared to be as productive as possible—for instance, I call airports and hotels to pin down free Wi-Fi hotspots so I can get work done. I use my travel time to do more mundane tasks—like transcribe interviews, answer emails, or create to do lists.
Guest Post by Angela
Angela is a staff writer for Apron Addicts, a blog about kitchen fashion and home style. Angela also likes to write about mobile technology, business, productivity, and anything else that catches her attention.