In order to reduce the spread of the novel virus, the act of “social distancing” has become a critical part of containing the COVID-19 outbreak. For obvious reasons, this affects countless offices and workplaces with a large number of people and their ability to work in the same space. More and more companies are forced to work from home — many doing so for the first time.
Here are six tips to help keep productivity high, even when working remotely.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
The easiest way to be unproductive when working from home is by getting too comfortable. Working on the couch with your feet up seems great until you realize it isn’t helping you accomplish much. Trying to be productive and engage your brain in the same places you relax or sleep may negatively affect how you work. What’s more, this can also impact your ability to rest in those places.
Designate your desk or workspace to just accomplishing work so that you can train your brain to know that, once you sit, it is time to be productive. If you don’t have a dedicated office space in your home, create a work area. Whether it is a spot at the kitchen table or a takeover of the dining room, reserve a space that is dedicated to work.
Maintain a Daily Routine
It can be challenging to feel like you should be working when you are not in the office. One way to combat that feeling is to gear up for a day of working from home the same way you would for a commute to the office. Take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, work out — whatever it is that makes up your routine before heading out in the morning.
Eliminate Distractions As Much As Possible
From children to pets to other housework, distractions are aplenty when working from home. Keep these interruptions to a minimum to stay dialed in to work. This may include making yourself unavailable to roommates, children and other family members who might be home because of the outbreak.
Since many have children who are also home from school, set boundaries with them so that they understand you are not on an extended vacation. Keep them occupied with activities, educational games or extend their screen time as needed.
Utilize an Itemized To-Do List
A great way to anchor yourself to work — in the office or at home — is to curate an itemized to-do list of each task you want to complete. Heading into your day with no direction can be daunting, allowing your mind to stray. Instead, make a list of items you can check off as they are completed. This makes your agenda more tangible, which can ultimately help you want to tackle more!
Stay Connected With Colleagues
Maintaining communication with co-workers is a great way to feel like you are still in the office and in a productive environment. This not only helps you stay focused on the tasks at hand, but also helps fellow employees and management know you are alert and available.
Additionally, it is advantageous to consider setting up separate phone lines for work and home communication. This offers the convenience of being mobile while still feeling connected and engaged — ultimately contributing to a healthy balance between home and work life.
Center Yourself With Yoga and Meditation
In stressful times like these, your mind may be preoccupied with other virus-related worries, such as health or financial concerns. This can make focusing on work that much more difficult. Consider dedicating a few minutes of your day to re-gather your focus using meditation techniques or doing a yoga flow. Taking part in an activity like this can help you feel refreshed mentally and physically. If you prefer to get your blood pumping, boost your energy in other ways, such as taking a walk or jumping rope.
While working from home is far from the norm for many, especially amid a strenuous time, there are numerous ways to stay productive. By eliminating distractions and finding effective ways to concentrate on work, your new temporary home office can be a successful one.