Given the unprecedented situation that the world is in right now and out of an abundance of caution, millions of organizations globally are working remotely. As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, we will continue to see organizations of all different sectors and sizes encourage or mandate their employees to work from home if their job permits them. For many companies, this will be a first time experience.
If you are working from home, it may take a while to adjust, especially if it is your first time. Although most would say the perks of working from home outweigh the cons, there are a multitude of distractions that can affect your productivity and engagement- children and other family members, cell phones, household duties, noise, etc. If you are one of the many individuals who are working from their home right now, consider these helpful tips to help you stay focused from your ‘home office’!
Stick to a structured schedule
Start your day at the same time as you would if you were to commute to the office. Try working your normal workday hours. Continue with your morning routine like usual - take a shower, brush your hair, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc. Studies show that what you wear has proven to affect you psychologically. Instead of wearing pajama bottoms all day, dress in something that you would typically wear to the office.
Create a separate work environment
Set up a quiet workspace in your home where you can focus. Find an area where you can talk on the phone, video chat, keep documents and files organized, and set up your laptop or desktop. Avoid working in your bed or on your couch, these spaces are associated with leisure and relaxation which will subconsciously make you less productive. If you can get out of the house, try working in a coffee shop, library, or check out nearby coworking spaces.
Just like you would in the office, it’s important to stop and take breaks throughout the day, especially in the afternoon. Short breaks like taking a five-minute walk, grabbing a snack, or stretching are recommended. Instead of browsing the internet or checking your social media, it's best to get away from your laptop and cell phone for a bit. Disconnecting a few times a day to relax will make you more focused and productive when you do log back on.
Communicate with coworkers
It’s imperative, as well as motivational, when you work from home that you make an effort to stay connected with your coworkers and managers. Although you're not physically with the team, you do still need to communicate with them daily. Because you’re not face-to-face, you need to be very specific when explaining things. Be sure to frequently check in with managers to let them know what you're working on and give any updates.
In today’s digital age, staying in touch with coworkers has never been easier. This pandemic has disrupted many organization’s operations and technology companies worldwide recognize this and want to do everything they can to help. Companies like Atlassian, Okta, Tableau, and Intermedia are extending free versions of their offerings to help businesses stay afloat. To connect with your teammate in real-time, check out these free popular instant messaging and video chat apps that JOHNLEONARD has been using: Slack, Zoom, Skype, Google Talk, and Group FaceTime.
It can be difficult to disconnect from work when your laptop is sitting right in front of you after hours. Working from home in a relaxed environment can cause you to lose track of time. Like mentioned above, working your typical hours and logging off at the same time (if possible) every evening will help ease the start of the process when you begin to shut down.
If you’ve recently been told to work from home as a measure against COVID-19, use these helpful tips to help you stay on track and be productive.
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