- Posted by: Winter Green-Ike
- Category: Culture & Retention, Training & Development
Working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic may sound like a dream come true. The ability to do laundry while writing that report, none of the usual office distractions, and the freedom to make your lunch and catch up on some much needed Netflix.
This is…until reality sets in. You realize that working from home isn’t so easy as you are constantly being distracted by the kids who are also home, all the little chores that keep popping up around the house, or that you just have trouble focusing at your home desktop and keep drifting off to Facebook or YouTube.
Working from home comes with a load of comforts, but to employees who are new to this form of work, it can be daunting. That’s why below we’ve written out 8 of our best productivity tips from working from home. Previously we’ve written about the benefits of working from home and how to manage remote employees, but this time we wanted to focus more on tip guide for the employees.
8 Tips for Working from Home
- Get Dressed for the Day– This may sound silly, but it has been shown that wearing clothes that provide confidence will keep you more productive. Your brain already associates a certain costume for work (i.e. pants, button-up shirts) and a certain costume for when you are relaxing and ready to go to sleep (i.e. wearing pajamas). So next time you get out of bed, do your morning routine as if you were going into the office to get into the working headspace.
- Communicate Often– More than you think you need to! It’s hard to gauge how much work is being done remotely with the rest of your team, so it’s helpful to keep in touch with your team to make sure that you’re aren’t doing work that has been done by someone else. The more you communicate with your team the clearer your goals get. Try and schedule a beginning of the week and end the week call to focus your goals with your boss and the rest of your team.
- Block out Distractions– This one may seem like a no brainer, but you’ll be surprised about the number of distractions that come from working from home. It may seem cool at first that you can be paid to be working on that team project while playing with your dogs, but they will distract you from your job and before you know it’s already 5’oclock and you’ve wasted half the day. It may seem tough, but it’s the only way to hunker down and get to work.
- Take Breaks– It may seem attractive to be a well-oiled workhorse when working from home, but that isn’t always possible. It’s easy to start to feel burned out, especially if you’re trapped inside with little contact from your co-workers. It’s important to take breaks every now again to step away from the work, try doing laundry while you start working and use each load as a short break, or every hour get up and walk around the house for 5 minutes. Anything that you find enjoyable to refocus your mind back onto the task at hand.
- Make a dedicated workspace– Know how to divide your time– If you are using your personal computer for work at home, chances are you probably use that same computer for other things like watching movies, playing games, or just browsing the web. By creating your dedicated workspace separate from your leisure space allows you to focus your productivity and keep your brain tricked into productivity. It’s kind of like how we can associate certain spaces for work or play (Library vs. Living room).
- Set Goals for yourself– Similar to communicating with your team to establish your goals for the team, it’s also helpful to establish things you want to get done for the day/week. We are partial to using the SMART goal system to create measurable goals that you can accomplish daily to make sure that you stay on task. Working from home allows you to put into perspective how much work you can get done in an hour, a day, or even a week when you plan things out.
- Remember to socialize– Remember to keep in contact with your friends, family, and coworkers when working from home. It can get lonely working from home but taking a moment to socialize to break up the monotony of work allows you to keep from being burned out. Even taking a moment to play with your pets or talk to your spouse keeps your spirits up when working.
- Utilize your online tools– This tip seems self-explanatory, try to use all the online tools that your company uses (Slack, Zoom, Trello, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Get familiar with these different applications and try to utilize them to get the most out of them.
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