Working from Home and Staying Productive
Working from home and the isolation that Social Distancing, Quarantines and Lockdowns can be hard to adapt to. Hopefully the following tips can help you stay productive and maintain your sanity during these difficult times.
01 Get Ready for Work
The easiest way to really feel like you’re still leaving the house and heading into work is to follow your normal routine. If your usual start time at work was 9am and you got up at 7am to get ready, then keep doing it.
Wake up at your normal time and get ready. Shower/bath, healthy breakfast, coffee, sugar covered cereal, whatever, then at 9am sit down at your “desk” and get to work.
I’ve also found wearing normal work clothes helps me get in the groove. Yeah you can work in jogging bottoms and an oversized hoodie. If that works for you that’s awesome, I really struggle to get into a productive groove when I’m in my “comfies” and putting on something like jeans and a shirt really helps me get in the zone.
02 Maximise Your Work Area
What do we mean by maximising your work area? Simple. Your sofa/bed is probably very comfortable, but also not the most effective way to stay motivated and productive. I’ve fallen asleep writing blog posts in bed before. I’ve also been distracted by the TV, sat on the Sofa. Even though it was “just to have something on in the background”.
If you have a quiet area of the house you can work peacefully in, your dining table or even an actual office room with a desk, then you can get your work done much more effectively. Keep it decluttered and clear and you’ll be a productivity machine.
03 Plan Your Day
Working from home you’ll notice something. If you put your head down and crack on your work tends to be done a lot quicker than if you were at work. There’s a lot of distractions in the workplace and since you’re at home you might not have as many (sorry parents, you’re on your own on how to balance entertaining the kids and working).
You can make the most of this by planning out and structuring your day. Break down your tasks into smaller sub tasks and tick them off as you go. You can use a notepad, sticky note, back of a receipt, whatever you can get your hands on. I’m a big fan of apps such as Trello where you can integrate task completion into your workflow for yourself or your whole team. Trello’s own YouTube has tutorials such as These to help.
04 Take Regular Breaks
You’re not a robot, you need rest. Take regular breaks away from your work. Make a cup of tea, a coffee or just stand in your garden for 10 minutes. Get some fresh air away from your workspace to come back refreshed and ready to crack on.
I struggle with this. I think I’m turning into a bit of a hermit and the lockdown and social distancing hasn’t helped. Yeah at the minute you can’t walk to the coffee shop and back home to take a break, but you can make a coffee in a travel mug and go for a brief walk around your neighbourhood. Remember to follow lockdown guidelines, social distancing, and definitely wash your hands as soon as you get home.
05 Enjoy It
The most important part of working from home and staying sane is to do everything you can to enjoy it. It’s a difficult time, and you don’t want to associate your home with work and life stresses. It should be your sanctuary, which is why Tip 2 can really help.
It’s not every day most people will have the opportunity to work from home. If you can make it a success and you prefer it, who knows, it could become a more permanent way of working for you and your colleagues. For those with a long commute this could be a blessing in disguise.
Blast some music during your break, have a dance, watch a Film/TV show as a reward. Group chat with friends and colleagues. This is a tough time for everyone, and you will be surprised how much you miss the daily chats and gossip of the workplace. Maintaining your social interactions as much as you can should help to prevent feeling isolated and alone.
Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas for working from home and staying productive. We have a blog post with some Social Media tips for small businesses which may help those affected by the current lockdown. Please stay safe during this pandemic, we’re all in this together.