43 percent of American employees spend at least part of their time working remotely. With that many people working remotely, it’s no wonder one of the hot topic issues in the business world is how to stay focused when you’re working out of the office.

Whether it’s being productive, working efficiently, or avoiding distractions, there are a lot of tips you can follow when working remotely to help you stay focused on the tasks at hand. Read below for some simple tips that can make it easier for you to work from home and still get things done.

Communication is Key

When it comes to working as a freelancer or part of a team, communication with the people you work with is essential. Because you’re not in a traditional office environment, it’s more difficult to relay a message to someone. Working remotely means you can’t just pop your head into their office and tell them, you need to figure out a way that you can communicate effectively.

Luckily, because of the vast and growing number of remote workers, there are plenty of apps and tools you can use for instant messaging, video chatting, and calling. Figure out which tool is best for you and your team and use it regularly to stay in touch throughout the day.

Check in With Your Team Remotely

Checking in with your team starts with good communication, but goes a step further. When you check in with the people you work with, you’re building a virtual relationship with them. You and your co-workers may live on other sides of the world and have never met in real life, but by checking in with them and asking them how their day is going you can start to build a meaningful relationship.

Instant messaging tools are great ways to create group chats where you can let your team know what’s going on with you, if you need to step away for a moment, or if you need help with something.

Set Firm Hours When Working Remotely

The biggest problem people have when they first start working remotely is not having the discipline to sit down and work. When you take yourself out of the structure of a traditional office environment where you are under supervision and others who are there to work, it can be hard to find the motivation to get things done.

A great solution to this problem is to set firm hours when you’re going to sit down and focus on your work. Make sure you allot time for frequent but small breaks.It also helps to have a space in your home dedicated to work. Trying to do work from the couch or your bed can lead to distractions. Having a place like a table or desk where the only thing you do there is work will help your mind focus.

For more tips on staying focused and productive at work, check out our blog post “How to Create an Office Design for Happy Employees.”