Stay productive when telecommuting, and you’ll likely partake in proving the legitimacy of the telecommuting process.

More companies are offering the option to telecommute. Although some would dispute that this is a good idea, the economic realities (which are arguably becoming necessities) are unavoidable: fuel costs are skyrocketing, commute times are increasing, and the dissatisfaction of workers is on the rise.

Managers and senior executives are trying to find ways to circumvent the issue, if not level with their employees, but the disparate belief systems regarding the topic remain as prevalent as ever.

However, despite the tension surrounding the topic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 13.4 million people were allowed to work from home at least one day a week in 2010, and that number is on the upswing. In order to stay productive when telecommuting, more research needs to be conducted on employee behavior, though.

Whether you work from home one day a week or every day, there are a number of obstacles you’ll face. Later, in 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that at least 24% of Americans did all or at least some of their work from home.

Despite the uptick in working from home, it is yet to be established whether this arrangement helps companies profit and facilitate employee happiness.

As a document management vendor, all we know is that a home office requires effective document management just as a typical office would.

If you’re having trouble staying productive when working from home, follow these tips to get the most out of your at-home workdays.

Make the Office a Productivity Playground

If you want to stay productive when telecommuting, you need to make sure that you still feel like you’re working, but work can be fun if you’re working smart, not hard. Based on the number of paper dependent businesses we have in the world today, you’d think the motto was more to the effect of “work harder, not smarter.”

Have a separate office space that allows you to get in the zone. Make sure that your office space is away from distractions. When you have everything you need in one space, you’re going to keep focused more easily, and a single-room office solution can help facilitate this.

Maximize the Value You Get from Work Hours

Not hard to figure this one out, but it can be made easier. You can laze around your house more readily with the productivity the right technology can give you. Oh, and you can come up with ironic automatic reply messages for the rest of your team. For instance, “I’ll be out of the office from 3 to 3:30 today, as I’ll be 50 feet away from my desk and watching reruns of TV shows nobody really cares about anymore.”

One of the benefits of working from home is that, in general, you’re able to work your own hours. However, the best way to stay productive is to set the hours that you’re working and stick to them.

Make sure that the people in your life understand that, while you may be home, you are working during these hours. This allows you to focus, ensure that you get things done and still have the flexibility you need.

Harness Efficiency with Newfound Concentration

With the time you can save working from home, managing your documents appropriately will give you unique ways to maintain concentration. For instance, instead of wasting time looking for information, you can use the leftover time to practice the Pomodoro Technique.

As you’re working from your home office, it’s easy to get sucked into business and forget to disengage from the computer. However, if you don’t take breaks, you’re going to burn yourself out. Taking the time to surf the web for a few minutes, grab a snack, or even just get up and walk around the house for a little bit will keep you focused and more productive.

Dress the Part

Let’s be honest, one of the draws of working from home is that you don’t have to get dressed up to get your work done. However, if you find yourself becoming unproductive, try getting into your business outfit.

Working in your pajamas is more relaxing, but it’s going to keep you in a laid back, unproductive mindset. When you need to get things done, dress well whether you’re at home or in the office. To stay productive when telecommuting, you have to feel productive.

However, don’t go overboard and overdress for your role. It’d be a little ridiculous to wear a Hugo Boss suit with your flummoxed cat as its only onlooker.

Track Your Hours

Whether you’re getting paid for the project, you are on salary, or you get hourly pay, it’s a good idea to track your hours. There are a number of programs that you can use, from apps on your phone to simply setting up a spreadsheet. Tracking your hours will help you feel more productive, which in turn helps you actually get things done.

One of the reasons working from home has become so attractive is because it gives us greater leeway to concentrate when we feel like. If a pang of inspiration strikes at midnight, send your boss the big finished project at that hour, and they may even commend your inspirited labor, unless it wakes them up.

Get Your Head Above the Cloud

As you’re working from home, nothing takes your day to a grinding halt like not having the files, programs, and information you need. If you normally work in an office or you have files that need to be shared between employees, customers, and more, you need to make sure you still have access.

There are a few ways to do this, whether you use a VPN network to get into the office’s files or you share files with others in the office with eFileCabinet.

Make Yourself Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable

You need to make sure that you are in the correct mindset to get to work. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable. Paint your office in a color you love.

Play the music you enjoy working to. Have a chair that helps you concentrate and doesn’t strain your back. When you’re comfortable in your work space, you’re going to get more done, because you’ll actually enjoy being there.

Telecommuting will continue to be a growing trend. It saves money for both the businesses and the employees. With the technology available, it’s no wonder that millions of people are now taking their work home, instead of to the office. What helps you stay productive when telecommuting?