With the COVID-19 pandemic, those who are lucky enough to still be working, many are working from home. Self-isolation and social distancing mean more to us than ever and getting our work done behind closed doors is our focus.
Working from home sounds great in theory. Comfy clothes. No commute time. And, your favourite snacks on hand. The issue is, sometimes it’s hard to actually get any work done, particularly if you have kids at home with you. Perhaps you’re spend more time prepping your breakfast and lunch than answering emails. You’re undecided on a Spotify playlist. It’s not as comfortable as you thought it would be sitting on your couch with your laptop all day, and most importantly, you’re missing your colleagues and work besties.
Well, we’ve listed below some thoughts around how you can make the most of your situation, and be as productive as you can be at home.
Start your day right
The first hour of your day often determines your energy and activity levels for that day. Start by getting dressed. Working in your PJs is never as good as it sounds. Eat a good breakfast to fuel your energy.
There are many ways to inject productivity into your morning – and your day. Exercise is core way. It’s a fact that exercise improves your productivity. If you’re stuck inside or in quarantine, find one of our online workouts or two and get those endorphins going. Get the whole household involved if you live with room mates or family. Then make it a routine, we thrive off routines.
Set your own hours
Working from home means more flexibility. To improve your effectiveness, you should use that flexibility wisely and set yourself up for a win. When planning your day, ask yourself these questions:
- How many hours of work do I need to get done today?
- What do I need to get done outside of my work?
- When do I want to take my breaks through the day?
- What time do I want to clock off this evening?
Then, write yourself a schedule. If you are reporting in to a colleague, let them you know your schedule to manage expectations and work best with you.
When there’s no-one around to remind you, it can be easy to sit to forget about taking breaks, and breaks help you to stay productive and motivated. Take a decent lunch break, and work with purpose. Have your checklist and reward yourself with a break for tea, a walk, etc. in intervals of tasks being completed.
Some ideas of how best to use your main break of the day:
- Exercise! If you can go outside, head out for a walk around the block. Maybe participate in an online class.
- Find some face-to-face interaction. Sit down with your family or housemates for lunch. Or perhaps arrange a call to a friend or group of friends – get some connectivity!
- If you know you have some self control, watch an episode of your favourite Netflix series. Avoid TV on in the background all day.
Choose the right environment
FYI, your bed is not the best environment for productive work. You will get uncomfortable, sleepy, revert to binge watching your favourite Netflix show.
Desk – a desk or study nook is ideal. It’s as close to your office desk as you can get.
Kitchen table – if you don’t have a home office, then your kitchen or dining table may be your next best option.
We don’t recommend your sofa. It would be difficult to find an upright, ergonomically sound position for you to sit for long periods of time, and we want you to avoid back and neck pain.
Remember you don’t have to stay there. There’s no colleagues around that you would interrupt by walking around your house while you’re on a phone call (although that may be difficult if you have noisy kids running around). Think about your own home situation and what’s going to work best for you.
Accountability helps keep productivity levels high. That’s why we pay for personal trainers! Obviously when we’re in our workplace, we have more accountability with our boss right there with us. That’s not the case when working from home. That can impact our productivity.
So think about how you can create accountability for yourself.
- We’ve already talked about telling your colleagues your schedule for the day, that’s one way to create accountability
- And ask those at home with you to keep you accountable. Let them know you’re plan for the day and ask them to check in on you.