Working from home is considered by many to be the dream. You can make your own hours, take meetings from your couch and avoid that dreaded rush hour traffic.

But working remote can also present its own challenges. It’s easy to get distracted by household chores or feel unmotivated. If you follow some simple rules, working from home can offer a great opportunity to have flexibility with your schedule and be even more productive than you might be in an office situation. Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of working from home.

Get Out of Those PJ’s
There’s a reason most of us change out of our work clothes as soon as we get home from work. We like to be comfortable. So, what’s the point of putting on work clothes when no one’s going to see you? It’s all psychological. When we dress for work, we make a psychological connection to that. Our brains are ready to be more productive and work like we would in the office. You don’t have to go to the extreme of a suit jacket and tie, but just make sure you comb your hair and put on clean clothes.

Get an Early Start to Your Day
When we’re doing remote work from home it can be so tempting to set the alarm for a bit later. With no commute and no need to show up early to impress the boss, why not just catch some extra Z’s? Fight that urge! Getting up earlier makes us more productive, and studies have shown that our brains actually work better earlier in the morning.

Make Yourself A Schedule
Make a schedule and stick to it. Try and write it out the night before so you can start fresh in the morning. One of the most important parts of the schedule is to make sure that you have a set finishing time; when you work from home it can be easy to end up working until late at night. Although sometimes this might be necessary, it isn’t healthy to do all the time.

Dedicate A Space to Work
No matter what type of home you have, you need to dedicate an area to be your designated workspace – and it should not be your bed. Find a spare room in your house that can be your home office. If you have a smaller space, just make sure you have a clean work surface and dedicate it to work only. Make it your own! Try and have natural light, some artwork, pictures of your family and make sure it’s somewhere where you won’t be distracted.

Give Yourself A Break
When you’re working from home it can be easy to go hours without taking a break. It sounds simple, but don’t forget to take time to eat and stay hydrated throughout the day. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. Take some time to get outside and get some fresh air. Get a bit of exercise and stretch. It will keep you fresh and energized throughout the day.

Stay Connected
As great as working from home can be, it can also be isolating. You miss out on that ‘water cooler’ chat, team lunches and after-work activities. Thanks to technology, staying connected has never been easier! Online chat, video conferencing and texting allows you to be in communication with your coworkers all day.

Working from home gives you the chance to take control of your work and have the flexibility to find a work-life balance. If you follow these recommendations you can get your work done from the comfort of your own home!