For one reason or another, more and more people are now working from home. This might be people who have started their own business, or those who work remotely for someone else - either way, the working dynamic is completely different to working in a traditional office environment.

Whilst some people thrive from working from home, others find it really quite difficult, getting easily distracted and unable to focus on their work.

Read more: How To Have a Productive Desk Setup

For those in the latter camp, here are some top tips on how to stay productive when working from home…

Have a designated working space

Even if you work from home, it’s still important to actually feel like you’re going to work in order to get into the right mindset. Staying in bed with your laptop isn’t exactly going to put you in the right frame of mind to work.

Have a designated workspace in your house that you use for the majority of your work. Of course you can mix it up if you’re in need of a change of scenery, but having a working space will separate home life from work life. This could be an office or even just the kitchen table. For those with a little extra cash, an office pod at the bottom of the garden would be absolutely ideal.

Have a structured working day

Structure is very important if you work from home, so try and have a work day routine as often as possible. Obviously you can have some leeway (that’s the beauty of working from home, after all), but it’s important to give yourself set working hours and then stick to them.

For example, it’s not particularly productive to do an hour’s work and then nip to the shops, and then do a bit more work before phoning your mum, etc, etc. It’s also important not to work too much, something that’s all too easy to do at home. If your working hours are 9-5 then stick to those hours when possible.

Here are a few more tips on scheduling your day if you work from home.

Make a to-do list

This follows on nicely from having a structured working day. By making a to-do list, either weekly or daily, you know exactly what you need to get done. This applies to any job to a certain extent, but with potentially more distractions at home, the benefits can be greater. It can be as simple as a post-it note or you can use dedicated apps such as Todoist or Wunderlist.

Read more: The Best Productivity Apps For Work

Stay connected with people

If you’re not careful, it can be all too easy to become shut off from the outside world if you work from home, so make sure you stay connected with people.

This could be as simple as making a phone call to a colleague or customer, or you could organise a meeting in a coffee shop with a client to discuss work. This will help you stay in touch with people and prevent you from getting cabin fever.

Take a break

Taking a break every now and again is important in all jobs, no matter where you work, and the same applies to working from home. Office workers apparently spend nearly 6 hours a day sat at a computer, which is not good for your physical or mental health.

It’s therefore important to get up every so often and stretch your legs. Go for a walk on your lunch break, go make a cup of tea, sit in the garden for 15 minutes. Again, cabin fever can be a real issue when working from home, so try not to stagnate and stay in the same place too long.

Read more: How To Be A Morning Person & Get Stuff Done

You’re not a creche

Working from home might seem like a cheap way to look after the kids, but it’s a surefire way to kill any productivity.

The noise will be bad enough, but the constant pestering when you’re trying to work on that all-important presentation will make it very difficult to get the work done. A childminder is essential if you don’t have anyone else to look after them whilst you’re working.

Let us know your tips for working from home and check out the rest of our Productivity Hacks series of articles.