During this time, many companies are suggesting, even requiring, their employees to work from home.
We’ve all dreamed about working from the comfort of our own homes over the brake lights of a traffic jam in our daily commute. However, staying on task while at home can be difficult to do. It’s easy to notice that pile of laundry that should’ve been done last night which suddenly becomes a priority or get a little too engaged in the Netflix show that was supposed to only be background noise.
Here are our tips to help you stay focused, productive, and healthy while working remotely.
Location and Schedule
Make sure that you “go” to work. If your workday starts at 8:00 in the morning, you should be getting up before 7:59. Wake up early, make your daily coffee and breakfast, and be sure to change out of your pajamas before moving to your workspace. Choose a quiet, well-lit area dedicated to work that you can leave when you’re off the clock. If you don’t have a separate room in your home, choose an area with minimal traffic flow to reduce distractions and interruptions.
Invest in Technology
Slow internet connection, lack of a second screen and other office luxuries that aren’t readily available at home can lead to frustrations when working remotely. However, with the right tech investments, it can be a liberating blend of work-life balance. Be sure to have the basics ready in your workspace. Access to a reliable internet connection is critical so be sure to invest in a good quality router – or go old school and utilize that ethernet cable! A good quality mouse can make a huge impact on your work from home experience as trackpads sometimes just don’t cut it and can lead to avoidable mistakes. Lastly, a second monitor can be expensive, but for many, it’s worth it not to be slouched over a tiny laptop screen for eight hours a day & increases productivity exponentially.
Communication is Key
You might find it easier to be more productive without that chatty co-worker constantly buzzing in your ear. However, social distancing isn’t easy – especially if you thrive in a bustling office environment. Make sure that you have access to and utilize your company’s telecommuting devices to stay connected with your team and replicate an in-office environment to help you stay on task and accountable for your own productivity. Additionally, virtual face-to-face meetings through platforms like Skype or Zoom help to combat the feeling of isolation that can stem from being outside the office.
Staying productive while working remotely can only be
accomplished by being disciplined. You must set both physical and psychological
boundaries and not get distracted by the unfinished personal tasks (or
remaining chocolate cake in the refrigerator) that could compromise your
productivity. Maintaining the same hours you log in at the office and completing
your personal activities, like laundry or vacuuming, outside of designated work
hours sets you up for success and ensures that you stay on top of your workload
outside the office.
Working from home is the perfect time to adjust your routine for the better and break the bad habits that can creep into office life. Utilize the time that you’re saving from your commute to make meals rather than eating out or snacking on unhealthy options throughout the day. Replace the walks around the office or desk visits with walks around the block or even jumping jacks to stay active outside the office.
If you aren’t accustomed to working from home, it can be a huge adjustment to tackle the new challenges that you might not have in the office in order to stay productive. We hope that our tips are able to help you get through your own at-home office situation or provide insight on how to stay productive outside the workplace.