ICBA Blog

How to Work From Home Successfully

Whether you’re working remotely for the first time or you need tips to help boost your productivity, we’ve got ideas to help gig workers succeed

 Remote workers face unique challenges, from hard-to-avoid distractions to creating and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. To work from home successfully, you need to establish a routine, set boundaries, and more. Check out these tips to help you stay focused on the job and find success while working remotely as an independent contractor.

Stick to a regular schedule

Establishing a routine is good for productivity. Here’s how to stick to a schedule when working from home:

  • Create set sleep patterns, so you have plenty of time for your morning routine before work starts.
  • Set fixed work hours to ensure you have time to complete all your daily tasks. This rule also applies to direct sellers, who need time allotment for projects, such as online brand building, drafting newsletters, and more.
  • Communicate when you are available to friends, family, and customers to help keep professional boundaries intact. (Doing so allows you to build personal time into your schedule too!)
  • Stay focused. Try not to work on personal tasks during work hours.

Create a dedicated workspace

It’s best to physically separate your work area from your living space—even if you only have a small amount of room to work with. Here’s how to make your home office work for you:

  • Whatever room you choose to work in, make sure it is a quiet space and that you have plenty of access to power outlets.
  • Keep your workspace clutter-free to make it easier to stay on task. This piece from Good Housekeeping includes 24 easy desk organization ideas, including floating shelves, organization stations, and more. Want to spruce up your workspace but don’t have much money to spend? In this quick read, HGTV shares home office makeover ideas for under $100.
  • If video conferencing or using video-based platforms to engage with your customers and grow your business online is a part of your workday, make sure your work environment is camera-ready. Cleaning up or styling the space in your background and having good lighting will help you look your best.

Prioritize your work

Prioritize your work for the following day before the workday ends. That way, when work begins, you know what to focus on and can dive right in. Here are a few tips for planning your workday effectively:

  • Schedule time for work and relaxation to avoid being overworked.
  • If your work schedule is flexible, work during the hours that you’re most productive.
  • Time management apps are beneficial to many workers, including independent contractors. Use these tools to set up tasks and reminders, set priorities, and more. This piece from Lifehack highlights 18 of the best time management apps available. For resources that are specific to direct sellers, click here.

Exercise regularly and take breaks

Many experts believe that taking short breaks and regularly exercising can give you a mental boost, ensuring better work performance. Here’s how to make your breaks and workouts count:

  • Working from home may significantly reduce the number of steps you take each day. If your phone has a built-in pedometer or if you have another way to track your daily steps, utilize them to motivate you to keep your body moving.
  • Exercise can raise your energy levels and improve your overall well-being. Create an exercise routine to help you work more efficiently. This blog post shares ideas for working out during the pandemic.
  • Take breaks periodically, just like you would if you worked in an office. If you work in front of a computer most of the day, spending time away from the screen is critical.