While we are in the midst of the global COVID-19 crisis, working from home has become the new normal for so many of us. For some, this can be a brand-new reality, and it can be difficult to focus on work in an environment that is usually associated with leisure.
Starting your workday in your pajamas may sound ideal, but this will deter you from setting a productive mindset. Even though you’re working from home, treat the day as you would going into the office. If possible, it’s wise to set aside an area in your house, such as a desk or makeshift office, to avoid any at home distractions.
When working from home, it’s vital to make the distinction between your home and work so you can maintain the level of efficiency and productivity that you have in the office.
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To help you to work from home effectively in this global crisis, follow these tips
Keep to your typical working hours
Routine is key to ensure productivity when working from home. While it’s tempting to not set your alarm and sleep in, this will only introduce inconsistency into your routine.
By keeping to consistent hours and sticking to a routine, you are more likely to stay focused on getting work done. At the same time, allow yourself to be flexible and work at various times of the day when you’re most productive.
Break the day up
Breaks are important to keep your brain active, whether you’re working from home or in an office. If you force yourself to continue working when you could use a break, your quality of work will suffer.
Make sure to get up and walk away from your work several times throughout the day: eat a snack, call a colleague, and if you can, get some fresh air. These simple actions will help to get your blood flowing and gain new perspective on the work in front of you.
Set up a workspace
It can be easy to work from your sofa or even your bed for comfort, but this can negatively impact your productivity. Try to work consistently from the same room, even if you don’t have a designated home office. Implement a makeshift workspace, such as a desk with a chair, that you can fold away at the end of the day. This will help your brain differentiate between work time and leisure time, helping you to feel more alert and organized.
Practice social distancing, not isolation
Working from home means social distancing, but it doesn’t have to mean isolation. Keep in touch with your colleagues through phone calls, video meetings and daily check ins. Real-time communication tools like Slack and Zoom will help you stay connected.
And if you live with a partner or children, chances are your significant other will be working from home during this time, too. Be sure to establish boundaries during the workday so you’re able to focus on your work, but make time to check in with each other daily.
If your office has a cleaning staff, chances are you don’t tidy up much after you leave for the day. Keeping your home office space clean is not only imperative for your health, it will help you to stay focused and productive. A messy desk causes imbalance and creates a chaotic atmosphere.
If you’re struggling to establish a work from home routine, hopefully the above tips will prove helpful. The bottom line is, try to establish a routine while working from home in order to remain efficient; but at the same time, cut yourself (and others) some slack.