While work-from-home settings can feel drastically different from in-office work, important standards of professionalism and productivity still need to be upheld. For a new work-from-home employee, finding the right work-life balance may be a challenge.

From a career standpoint, there’s also the need to keep productivity high and deliver their work. For the person working from home and the business that employs them, some work-from-home do’s, and don’ts can help a remote work situation work out in favour of all.

Here is how to make the most of a work-from-home arrangement.

1. Do Create a Workspace

Somewhere in your home, decide where you want to work. It’s important to be consistent. Pick a spot and designate it as your workspace. Ideally, it will be as quiet, comfortable, and conducive to productivity as possible.

2. Do Dress Professionally

It can seem tempting to dress every day in pyjamas for work. While that’s certainly okay occasionally if permitted, sticking to fairly professional clothes is recommended. This is to put yourself in a work mindset and differentiate between work and home time.

Always have professional clothes waiting in the wings if there are days when you don’t want to get fully dressed, in case you need to jump on a video call.

3. Do Communicate With Your Team

When working from home, communicate more regularly with your team or supervisors. Stay connected to not only avoid feeling isolated but avoid any misunderstandings, as well as provide updates on what you might be working on or to get feedback. This can be accomplished via a digital workplace solution or a remote work messaging platform.

4. Don’t Work In Your Bedroom

Your bedroom should be kept for sleep and relaxation. A workspace in a bedroom can make it hard to disconnect from work. You’ll always feel at work if that’s where you work from. It’s best to set your workspace somewhere else in the home that can be tailored exclusively to work.

5. Do Buy A Comfortable Office Chair

Sitting on a couch, dining table, or working in bed often strains the back, neck, or shoulders. By comparison, a comfortable office chair will provide lumbar support, be adjustable, and be wheeled to where you need it. Have one, and you’ll be able to work longer without the aches and pains of leaning over a dining room table or being in an unnatural position on the couch.

6. Don’t Work In Hard-To-Hear Areas

Noise is a distraction. Working somewhere with a TV on, radio or podcast, or being in a kitchen or living room with others is not the environment where your best work is possible.

Make it easier to focus by shutting out as much noise as possible, such as by wearing noise-cancelling headphones and planning where to build your workspace.

7. Do Set A Work Schedule For Yourself

Treat working from home as if you were at the office. Have a routine. Have a structure. Have a schedule. Prioritize what tasks come first. If you make it a point to commit to your utmost productivity, you stand a better chance at succeeding than going in blind.

8. Don’t Multitask

It can be hard to focus at home. Try not to multitask with non-work tasks. When you work from home, you’re either working or not working. You can’t do it all at once.

Trying to do chores on breaks and taking care of the house will only be a gateway to distraction and lapsed productivity.

9. Do Take Regular Breaks

You don’t want to burn yourself out. Make sure to take all your breaks. Don’t skip. Get up and stretch your legs. Have a snack. This will keep your energy levels up and motivate you to focus and concentrate longer.

10. Don’t Work Too Much

If there’s extra work to be picked up, that’s okay occasionally, but you don’t want to overwork yourself by taking too many extra hours. A healthy work-life balance is a must. You want your home to feel like a home at the end of the day and somewhere you can relax.

11. Don’t Skip Video Calls

If video calls are optional, don’t skip them. A lot of human contacts is lost when we work from home. Through video, even if it’s all about business, you maintain the social dynamic of working and stay connected to those around you.

Even a short video call can brighten one’s day, increase productivity, and provide genuine human interaction.

12. Do Set Boundaries

If family members are living with you or roommates, make sure they know when you’re working and set clear boundaries so that you can’t be interrupted during those set times.

This will hopefully help the people around you keep noise to a reasonable minimum and avoid any unnecessary interruptions or distractions.