7 Ways to Stay Productive & Enjoy Working from Home during the Coronavirus Pandemic
It can be hard to be as productive at home as it is in the office. With many people working from home due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we offer these tips we use ourselves to remain well-balanced and productive while working from home.
Wake up and stick to a schedule
While it’s very tempting to sleep in later than usual and get started once you feel like it, sticking to a work schedule will help you accomplish more. Get to your home office or place you’ve decided to work from in your home, and start working at the time you normally would. Conversely, when your workday would normally be over, you can relax and put work away. Having a firm boundary by not allowing work to bleed into family and personal time will give you a sense of balance.
Get dressed for work
It can seem irresistible to work in your pajamas and not bother getting dressed, but the psychological segue of putting on professional clothes subconsciously tells your brain it’s time to get to work. “I get ready and dressed in the morning, even if I don’t plan to leave the house and will be working from home. It shifts me into gear and helps me know that it’s time to be creative and productive,” LAB’s co-founder and creative director, Alan Hudgins, said.
Work from a desk or particular place in your house
While it is far more comfortable to sit with a laptop in bed or on the sofa, it psychologically blurs the line between places to relax and places to work. Choose a home office if you have one, a desk in a corner or even spot at the kitchen table to work from and stick to it. Our brains are designed to associate places with particular purposes.
Stay in communication with your team
Whether by phone, text, email, office chat app such as Slack or by video hangout, it’s important to connect with your team at least once a day. We recommend a group call in the morning, so that everyone can establish goals and key objectives for the day. Everyone being in sync prevents wasted efforts or a lack of clarity about what everyone should be working on.
Avoid the social media rabbit hole
It’s easy to fritter away part of the day by cruising Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We’ve all been there, intending to take a little break, only to look up 30 minutes later having wasted precious time scrolling. “For me, Jalopnik (the popular car blog) is a big time-waster. I have to stay off there if I want to accomplish all that I need to,” Hudgins said. “Twitter can be a real danger. While I enjoy the humor and keeping up with current events, I have to be careful to limit it,” quips Michael Newsome, LAB’s co-founder and president.
Take a break
Taking a proper lunch break can really help your mind to relax and then refocus later. A coffee break in the mornings and afternoons can also be a huge boost. Our minds need proper downtime in order to maintain focus. Try taking a walk around the block or at least stepping away from your desk/work area every couple hours.
Take time to be social
Working from home can be isolating. It’s important to take time to socialize and foster human connection throughout the day. The current COVID-19 outbreak has certainly put a damper on how much people will leave their homes, visit friends, dine out and attend events. If you have other friends and family who are working from home, taking time to call them and chat can be a huge boost to your mood and day.