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A recent study done prior to the COVID-19 crisis found that only 5 million Americans (or roughly 3.6% of the employee workforce) work from home at least half the time. With many businesses currently forced to shift to a remote workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, figuring out how to manage working from home can seem extremely overwhelming. If you’re struggling with productivity, here are 6 tips to help you get the most out of every day while working from home:
Keep Your Morning Routine Intact
Get dressed. Make your bed. Listen to a podcast, get in a workout, or do whatever you did in the morning before the COVID-19 outbreak. Treat every workday morning as if you were getting ready to physically go into the office. The mental association you make from going about your usual routine will help you be more productive. It can be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, but when you don’t get dressed and maintain your routine, it’s easier for lines to get blurred and you’ll wind up wanting to relax on the couch browsing social media or binging Netflix shows.
Identify Your Distractions and Minimize Them However Possible
Let’s face it, the ideal work from home scenario probably looks a little different than your current situation. It’s unrealistic to try and work, homeschool your kids, schedule online grocery deliveries and do laundry all at once. There are certain things that you can’t change, so it’s important to identify your distractions and adjust accordingly. If you know that your morning is going to be hectic because your kids are going to need help with homeschooling, then schedule your calls and tasks that require your undivided attention for that time. If your baby usually naps from 2-4pm then that should be when you knuckle down and be extra productive.
As with normal remote work circumstances, it’s also important to identify distractions that can kill your work productivity like falling down the rabbit hole of being on your phone, watching tv, and even doing chores. Doing a load of laundry is not a productive use of your time when doing so prevents you from getting your work done. You’ll have plenty of time to do the dishes or watch tv after your finished with work. Removing those distractions during your normal work hours will ensure that you don’t get into an unproductive pattern.
It sounds simple but taking even 30 minutes a day to go for a walk will increase your productivity tenfold. Moving your body will refresh and rejuvenate you, but even taking a conference call from your porch or backyard if the weather is nice can help. Taking a break outdoors away from the computer screen will give you the literal and figurative breath of fresh air you’ll need to power through the rest of the day on a productive note.
Create a Dedicated Spot to Work From
Working from the couch or the bed which are spots where you usually relax could confuse your brain into thinking this is leisure time. Make sure you have a dedicated space to work from and head to that same spot in your home every day. This will help train your brain by signaling “Ok, this space is where I get my work done and the rest of my house is where my everyday life happens”. Even if your living quarters are small and don’t have a home office, just assigning one tiny area of your home as your workspace will help you stay on track.
It’s common to be less productive if you’re feeling lonely, disconnected, and isolated while working from home. Make a point of scheduling regular check-ins with your team. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get on video conferences. Although video calls may feel uncomfortable at first, you’ll get used to them. Plus, without physically being in the office, you won’t be bumping into your colleagues in the cafeteria or in the parking lot. Allowing some time for “water cooler” chat can make a big difference in feeling that human connection and normalcy you may be missing during the COVID-19 crisis.
Know When to Log Off
Keep a set start time and end time to your workday. While working from home, many people struggle with losing track of time or being so caught up in their work that they keep working well past their normal hours. Being available 24/7 may seem like a good idea, but it’s important to shut down your computer completely and step away from work until the next morning. When you start your computer up in the morning your tasks will still be there, and you’ll be more focused and energized to tackle them after having been logged off completely.
Following these above-mentioned tips will help you stay productive without becoming overworked and burnt out. This is a stressful time for everyone so above all remember to take it one day at a time.
For more information on how SBG Funding can help your business during these unprecedented times, visit our website or apply here.