Strategies for staying productive

While working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by family members, household duties, and pets. Planning out your work for the day and scheduling breaks allows you to be productive at work and on the home front. In this blog, we’ll discuss the advantages of working from home and how to leverage them, as well as how to mitigate the potential downsides.

1. Designated Office Space
a. Having a designated area in your home to work from is important for yourself, everyone else in your home, and your colleagues and clients. A designated office space allows you to both physically and mentally set boundaries between your home life and your work life. One of the most important things to remember while working from home is to unplug or sign-off when you are done for the day. At first, being able to respond to your clients’ requests at 7 pm seems like a good thing. But after a few weeks or months, you have little to no separation between work and home. Signing off and unplugging when your work day is done will help you avoid burnout and enjoy more of your personal time.
b. Having a space that’s your own and remains undisturbed when you sign-off in the evening allows you to have an area that you mentally associate with work. Not having to reset your workspace every morning allows you to pick back up where you left off the evening before. Communicate with your family to let them know not to disturb you while you’re working. Having a set area where family members know not to disturb you during working hours will help you stay focused and minimize distractions.

2. Communication
a. While working from home you can’t stop by at your colleagues’ offices and ask how their day is going or what the status of a project is. That’s why it’s important to be available through as many communication platforms as possible during working hours. Internal chat, text messaging, phone calls, emails, and video conferences are all great tools that allow you to be accessible during the workday. Keeping these lines of communication open is important, because it allows for teamwork and helps avoid issues.
b. While being open for communication, it’s also important to be respectful of your and your co-workers’ time. Ask through chat or text message if they’re available for a brief phone call at a specific time instead of just calling out of the blue. They may be working on a project and don’t want to break their focus.

3. Health and Wellness
a. It’s much easier to maintain healthy eating habits while working from home because early morning commutes and rush hours are eliminated. You can use the extra time you would typically spend traveling to prepare a nutritious meal and plan out future meals.
b. You’ll most likely be less physically active while working from home. Plan to do some moderate exercises when you would normally take your mid-morning or afternoon break. Keeping in shape while working from home will allow you to feel more energized throughout the day and boost your immune system. Simple body weight exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, and planks can alleviate stress while boosting your mood. If you’re feeling more ambitious, grab some dumbbells or a jump rope, or dust off the elliptical that’s been sitting in your basement for years.

4. Disconnect
a. Disconnecting is mentioned in almost all of these points, because one of the hardest things to do when working from home is distancing yourself from your work.

5. As a recap:
a. Plan your work, and work your plan.
b. Setup a designated workspace where you won’t be disturbed.
c. Set a schedule and inform your colleagues of this schedule.
d. Block out time to focus on projects.
e. Over communicate, while being respectful of other people’s schedules.
f. When you’re done working for the day, sign out and walk away from your workspace.