With any normal day at the office staying focused and being productive can be a very difficult task at times. When you start to add children, pets, and being in the comfort of your own home to the mix, even more distractions are bound to pop up.

Here’s a few tips from SCI on staying focused and creating a happy workplace in your home.

Dress Your Best

Even though you’re not physically going into the office, it’s still important to look your best. Getting ready in the morning will keep your spirits up and will prepare you for any impromptu web meetings you might have to attend. Can you imagine answering a video call from your boss in your pajamas?

Create A Daily Morning Routine

Keeping a similar morning routine for going into the office or working from home is very important. How do you usually start your day in the morning- a cup of coffee, morning workout, walking the dogs? Keep your routine as normal as possible to tell your brain it’s time to start the work day.

Keep Children and Pets Occupied

One of the biggest distractions when working from home is having children and pets running around. Be sure to set ground rules for the other people in your house. Make clear guidelines on what they can and can not do while you are working. For animals, keep them in a separate place if the distractions are too much.

Take Breaks

It’s important to step away from your workspace for a few minutes throughout the day to keep your blood and brainpower flowing. Look into your company’s break policy if you aren’t already familiar with it. For most US full-time employees, a lunch half hour/hour and two 15-minute breaks are standard throughout one work day.

Keep A Dedicated Workspace

Creating boundaries between work and home can be extremely challenging. Imagine working from your bedroom and looking over to see a basket of laundry that needs to be put away. Have a designated space for work so you are not prone to household distractions. This will make it easier to “shut off” your work mode at the end of the day as well.

Practice Posture

Working from home may mean your working conditions aren’t as great as they would be in the office. In order to work efficiently without distractions, you need to be in a comfortable position. Look into desk and chair options for your home workspace to ensure maximum comfortability and focus. At the very least invest in a back-support cushion to ensure you are practicing proper ergonomics.

Be in Regular Contact with Your Team

Most people are used to chit-chatting with their coworkers from time to time in the office. Working from home where you are not surrounded by coworkers can be lonely and lead to people feeling isolated. Download a video chat software to have meetings or quick touchdown sessions with coworkers and mentors to maintain communication.

Stay Active

It may not seem like much but the walk from the parking lot to your building and the trip up the stairs to your office adds up. Working from home can limit your physical activity if you are sitting in the same spot all day. Make sure to get up and move around on your breaks, go for a walk outside on lunch, or start your morning off with a little workout to get your energy up for the day ahead.

Add Background Noise

After being used to hearing the voices of other employees and other noises in a busy office, the silence of working at home can be extremely distracting. Try listening to music in the background while doing your work. You can even find something on the television to put on as long as it’s something you won’t be too invested in.

Stick to A Schedule

Just like you would have an end time at work to leave the office and head home, you should have a planned end time for working at home each day. This will make sure you are not over working yourself and will keep a clear boundary between the balance of work-life and home-life.