Working from home has become the new normal for many around the globe due to COVID-19. If you’re new to this arrangement, it might be a bit challenging. Working from home can also mean distractions – friends, families, pets, and even social media. Sticking to a schedule under these unique circumstances can seem nearly impossible. But with these helpful strategies, you can ensure that you stay ahead.
It can be tempting to be a bit more relaxed when working from home, however, it’s important that you take that commute from your pillow to your work area. Try starting your day the same way you would if you were going into the office. Shower, have a cup of coffee, and if it helps you feel more in tune, you can even dress as if you were headed into the office. Starting early and creating a to-do-list can set you up for a productive and fulfilling day.
Fortunately, there are a variety of technology platforms that make it easy for us to stay connected and collaborate, without being physically present in an office. Most companies have internal chat tools – take advantage of these for quick conversations, or set up a video conference for more complex discussions. You can also establish a regular cadence to connect to stay updated on the tasks at hand. “We started with daily virtual coffee/tea sessions in the mornings. All training, one-on-one and group meetings are done via video chat”, shares Beena Brucil, Product Catalog Manager at Gartner.
Create a Dedicated Workstation
If you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated home office – great! It may be easier for you to tune in and out of work mode. For everyone else, try claiming a designated workspace and make sure you have everything that you need to focus on your work. Ideally, you should have high-speed Wi-Fi and all your tech gadgets – work phone, tablet, headset, etc. at your disposal. For those who connect with clients and attend important calls regularly, do your best to ensure that you’re in a quiet place, free from distractions. Creating a makeshift office can increase your productivity and help balance your schedule.
Set Working Hours
Since working from home has become a regular practice, you should make a conscious effort to set a work schedule – and stick to it. Try taking occasional breaks to stretch, exercise, or simply distance yourself from work occasionally so that you do not overstress yourself. Since your laptop is likely to be close by at all times, it can be easy to keep checking in on your work and lose track of time. Set specific work times, and specific break times for meals or a quick walk to ensure that you are still able to maintain your typical work-life balance.
What helps you stay productive throughout the day and maintain balance when working remotely? Share your hacks in the comments section below.
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