In many industries, working remotely from your apartment rental has become quite common. Many of the advantages are undeniable, especially when living in a big city. You don’t have to get up early to face a long commute to the office via congested interstates or embark on the hustle and bustle of mass transit. You don’t have to worry about skipping breakfast or packing a lunch. You don’t even have to get dressed! All you have to do is walk a few steps across your apartment rental to your home office. However, a major challenge of working from home is the ability to focus and prioritize. We’ve put together five tips to improve your productivity while working at home!

1. Claim Your Workspace

Dedicate an area of your apartment as your sole workspace. No more wandering off to look for important work documents and getting sidetracked by television. A dedicated workspace helps establish boundaries for a better work/life balance. Storing your work supplies in one area – as opposed to spread throughout the apartment – will help keep you organized and focused.

Many rental apartments are too small for a separate home office, but you can always find ways to separate a work area from the rest of the apartment. It may be a drawer devoted to your work supplies, or even a tucked away small desk and work chair. Whatever it is, do your best to make sure those areas are dedicated to work — and work only!

If you reside with a roommate or spouse, let them know that when you’re sitting in your workspace, you are officially at work. Anyone sharing a residence with you should respect your work life and understand that you are at a job each day, just like if you had left your apartment and gone into the office.

2. Set Professional Standards.

You might be tempted to leave those pajamas on every day, but getting dressed helps define the workday and fosters productivity. When working remotely, your mindset is important. If you’re in the correct frame of mind about being at work, it won’t matter as much whether you’re in an office or your own apartment.

The snooze button is a remote worker’s best friend and worst enemy. The time you save on commuting can be spent catching a few extra winks, but you should still aim to be focused and ready to work by the start of the regular work day.

3. Limit Distractions.

There’s no doubt that having an apartment in the hub of the city has many benefits, but one major problem is noise. People going about their daily lives in the apartment complex may distract you from work. Invest in a pair of good headphones to reduce the noise that invades your home office space. You can work in a virtual bubble with a pair of headphones and only let in the noise you want, such as computer alerts or phone calls.

4. Stick to a Schedule.

Schedule your work day to be as productive as possible. Keeping a schedule might seem silly when you work from your rental, but it has been shown that strict scheduling each day will keep you on top of your “A” game. Remember that part of your schedule is taking time for yourself. Don’t let your apartment serve as an office exclusively. Make suer you take a break for lunch, or take a 15-minute break to walk the dog and deactivate your work brain. You would do this if you were out of your apartment at an office, so make sure you translate this to your work space. It’s tempting to “stay late at the office” if you need to complete a project, but don’t make it a habit. Quitting time applies to home offices as well.

5. Applications and Programs.

Computer and mobile apps have come a long way to help you stay in contact with business associates from around the globe. You might want to consider using Skype, join.me, Grasshopper, Basecamp, Trello, and Google apps for business when working from a home office. These great tools foster collaboration and give you the ability to seamlessly connect from anywhere.

Do you have a strategy that allows you to have optimal productivity when you work from home? We’d love to hear from you! Please share your tips with us on Facebook or Twitter @ApartmentGuide.

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