As everywhere in the world is trying to slow down the spread of COVID-19, governments have urged the public to practice social distancing and stay-put as much as possible. This means that businesses across the globe have closed the doors to their offices and their employees are working remotely. When we’d usually be reporting to our desks, we’re finding ourselves setting up an impromptu workspace on the couch or kitchen table, and with this environment change, it becomes abundantly clear that we are missing the aspect of built-in discipline that comes with the office setting.
Here are 6 tips to help you stay productive while working from home.
Get Ready For The Day
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s true. Get up to your alarm, make your bed, and get dressed. We are not recommending you sit on the couch in jeans but definitely get out of whatever you slept in. Even if the switch is from one pair of pajamas to another, the act of getting dressed will make you feel more prepared to take on the day.
One of the biggest keys to improving productivity is to remove distractions. Whether you are working in a home office, kitchen or living room, there is nothing more distracting than looking around and seeing all the household chores that you’ve been putting off. Instead, take fifteen minutes and tidy the area around you. You will be more productive and focused in a clean and minimal space.
Make A Schedule
It is so much easier to get off task when working from home. From the household chores you’d like to get done, to the close proximity of your bed, to your new Netflix obsession being only one button away. That is why creating a schedule, writing it down, and having a checklist will help you keep track of your progress. When you are slacking off it will be abundantly clear in the lack of things crossed off!
Know your strengths and prioritize your tasks to suit your day – are you more productive in the AM? Let that be the time to tackle the more challenging and timely tasks. And then as you naturally become less productive during the day, save your last little bit for more menial tasks that you can do from your couch (emails, time tracking, etc.).
For many, it also means that your partner or roommate is also working from home, therefore even further disrupting the normalcy of a typical workday. If there is more than one of you confined to the same space, try to work on the same schedule. This limits the distraction of someone else’s break time influencing the time slot you’ve scheduled for productivity.
Be mindful of your position/posture.
It’s common knowledge that sitting for 8+ hours a day is bad for your body. And although working on the couch sounds like a dream, your back will beg to differ. Instead, consider using a high table or counter as a standing desk, or sitting in a proper desk chair. Consider changing your location a few times a day and make sure to take frequent breaks to stand up and stretch. Take your meetings and phone calls while walking around. You can also use a c-table to prop your laptop up to eye level and reduce strain on your neck. If you are lacking for space and the couch or bed will have to do, prop yourself up with a few throw pillows to help maintain proper body alignment.
Working from home can feel incredibly lonely, and with an unknown date to when the current crazy reality might change, the isolation can be debilitating. Connect with your team and colleagues as often as you can. At FAULHABER, we have a daily video check-in on Microsoft Teams, where we talk about the tasks at hand and get to enjoy human interaction. Maintaining human connection is important for productivity.
Physically and Mentally Log Off
One of the most important aspects when working from home is to acknowledge clear boundaries. Your workspace is now the same as your relaxation space, and the blurred line can greatly affect a balanced lifestyle. Just because you have access to work anytime does not mean you should be logged on 24/7. When you close your laptop at the end of the day, do something to signal to your mind that work time is over. It could be a phrase you say to yourself or an action you do. Work-life balance is more important than ever right now, and everyone needs it no matter where you work.
For more great tips on how to be productive while working from home, check out this article by Forbes.