Working at home sounds great… at first.
However, as time goes by, and you start working from home due to the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, you may find things can get distracting. You may think you can finally watch TV while doing your work, only to realize you’ve lost an hour of work time and are falling behind on deadlines.
Pets can be distracting, as well as kids at home from school who also need entertaining and educating.
Here at TechWyse, the majority of our employees are adjusting to this too, so we know how you feel. Listed below are 6 tips we recommend to help keep productivity levels up while staying in self-isolation:
1. Use a schedule
It’s easy to lose track of time and get distracted at home. There’s a TV right next to you, your phone is constantly available, and no one else at work can see what you’re shopping for online right now. However, this isn’t effective for getting your job done.
Start implementing a schedule of small tasks for you to do, and schedule your lunch break in there too. It’s way too easy to binge-watch a series on Netflix while eating your lunch at home on your nice, comfortable couch.
As well, if you’re working from home with kids, a schedule for them will be crucial during this time. It’s still up in the air how long everyone will be staying home, and it’s important that kids have a regular routine. During their lunch or naptime (depending on their age) is when you’ll probably be getting most of your work done. It’s best to try and adapt as best you can now, instead of figuring things out later.
2. Suit up
As tempting as it might be to finally “Go to work in your pyjamas,” this isn’t necessarily beneficial to your workflow. The most important rule you can follow from working from home is to treat it like you’re not working from home. Don’t treat working from home like a vacation. Even though you have nowhere to technically “go,” that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up, even just a bit.
It’s hard to find a sense of normalcy during this time, and dressing up for your job like you usually do can help. Research has even shown that dressing up for work will improve your productivity. As well, it will help as the lines are becoming blurred between home life and work life, especially as we can’t even go out after work is done. And don’t forget, during this time, office meetings are still happening, and the last thing you want is to be caught in your pyjamas during a conference call.
3. Have a specific place to work
And no, we don’t mean your couch.. Have a designated “office” to go to. Designate a place to work and then stick with it. If you can, find a spot outside your bedroom to make your little office.
Not only that, but designating a place can help with back or neck pain. Working out of your bed or from the couch can seriously impact your posture. This also means have a proper desk to work from where the monitor is level with eyes. You’ll still be staring at that screen for 8 hours and don’t want to cause undue strain to your eyes.
4. Put boundaries in place
This applies to a lot of different aspects. The first one could be if you have children, a partner, roommates, or even pets. You now have a designated space to work in your home, and you need to make it known that’s where you’re working.
Similar to when you were in the office, the people living with you shouldn’t always interrupt or call you every few minutes to chat. The same has to apply when you’re working from home, or you’ll never get any work done.
5. Stick to proper working hours
This isn’t just for you – it’s also for your team. Everyone working from home should be sticking to regular business hours to avoid missed communication. Though tempting, having employees stick to this schedule will avoid future problems from arising. It’s easier for deadlines, booking meetings, and getting replies from emails/messages in a timely manner.
As well, it can be hard to stop working. You might have dinner, then think to yourself “Maybe I should be checking my emails again, or finish this project now instead of tomorrow.” It can then be easy to overwork yourself and burn out. By maintaining proper working hours, you can avoid burning yourself out and complete tasks successfully.
6. Don’t forget to be active
This can seem like a hard feat, especially as most gyms are currently closed. So, how can you keep active when you’re left at home? Well, thankfully, the weather is getting better, and going for a walk is a safe thing to do!
As well, there are tons of 10-15 minute workout routines on YouTube, which would be great to utilize in times like these. For the majority of the videos you find, you don’t even need any equipment! Which is a plus if you’ve yet to start your own little gym at home.
Overall, working from home is an adjustment many people have due to the Coronavirus and one we have to make during these times. However, it doesn’t mean that productivity levels have to dip. It also doesn’t mean that you lose all sense of normalcy.
Times are definitely different right now, but it’s something employers and employees have to adapt to. If you’re currently working remotely and finding it difficult to adjust, following the tips outlined above will definitely help improve your workflow.