The appearance of COVID-19 is keeping people at home. Many companies have closed their offices and are encouraging their people to work from home. But working from home might not be for everyone and requires a different kind of mindset.
Here are ten tips to help you stay productive, even when you are working remotely:
1 Get Started Early
When you’re working in an office, you have your set morning routine and your commute to work to get your head into work mode. Working from home does not allow you this time. By jumping in and starting with one of your biggest tasks will help you get into the right mindset for your work day faster. Drive head-first into your to-do list.
2 Stick to your usual routine
If you’re used to having a daily routine, try not to veer from that when working from home. If you usually break for lunch from 12:00, continue doing that. Gym class at 5? Make sure that your work day is done by then for a good exercise session, may it be a walk with your dog or aerobics in your living room… as per usual. Sticking to your normal routine will help you feel as though you’re physically at work and keep you on track for your work day.
3 Choose a dedicated workspace
Set up a space that is specifically for work, rather than sitting on your bed or couch. Make sure that this space is quiet and comfortable. Setting up a dedicated workspace will help you be productive and focused on the task at hand while helping maintain a clear work-life balance
4 Pick a definitive finishing time each day
As much as you leave the office at a certain time along with your co-workers, make sure that you switch off your laptop and leave your dedicated workspace at a certain time. This will set a clear boundary between work and home life.
5 Take clear breaks
Take short, clear breaks to keep up your productivity and boost your mentality. Although we often accomplish a lot more when working from home due to limited distractions, working endlessly for hours can actually kill productivity and even creativity. Short breaks also encourage you to get up, walk and stretch, which your body will thank you for later.
6 Get your technology sorted
Beyond making sure that your charger is well within reach and that your WiFi or Internet connection is stable, make sure that your technological commnication methods are sorted. Within your team, establish which communication platforms and video confercing methods you are using. Make sure that you have those apps and tools downloaded and ready to use for easier and better communication.
7 Schedule a daily catch-up with your team
Whether its a “thumbs-up” to confirm that you are online, a video call or a simple daily update, it is very important communicate with your team – much as you would in the office. This keeps the team on track with business goals, buils team spirit and also keeps up morale.
8 Stick to your exercise routine
…and if you don’t have one, start one!
“Exercise naturally boosts endorphins, which increases happiness, enjoyment, and interest levels, all of which are important for productivity.”
9 Limit your distractions
Log out of your social media accounts, put your phone on silent (unless you are communicatig with the office or customers via telephone) and keep the kids out of the workspace to limit your distractions. Set a time before/after work to run errands or finish personal tasks. Let your work hours be as productive as possible.
10 Socialise with your colleagues
Use WhatsApp groups, video calls or Slack channels to keep rapport with with colleagues. Working remotely can lead to feelings of disconnect, isolation and lonliness – not exactly a great catalyst for productivity. Keeping in touch with your colleagues keeps up team spirit and boosts your mentality.
Working remotely comes easier to some than to others. The important thing is to make that what you are doing to be more productive is working for you and your team. There are so many benefits to working from home – increased flexibility, fewer distractions and no commute. But it takes more than all of this to work from home effectively.
It is vital to remember that you are a team member and that it is your responsibility to your company (and your team) to work as well at home as you would in the office.