The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the entire global economy. Most offices and businesses are closed, except for essential businesses, with majority of employees working from home. And according to industry experts, this is going to be the new normal. Even when the pandemic crisis has gone away, remote work is going to prevalent and will be part of the new work setup. It’s either the company goes entirely digital or a part of its workforce will work from home, only coming together for important meetings or reporting.
With the work setup suddenly switching to a remote setup, the challenge here is how to remain productive. There are just too many distractions at home and it is hard to concentrate with all the things that ae going on in the background.
Whether you’re new to this work from home setup or you’re an experienced remote employee, here are some productivity tips to help you get more work done even from home:
1. Choose a space based on your needs.
Having home office serves a great purpose, but it is not for everybody all the time. Do you like some music to boost your creativity, or do you prefer a quiet place for crunching numbers? Some employees find working in the sofa more comfortable while other prefer sitting in the kitchen while munching a bunch of cookies on the table. The point here is, you should work whenever or wherever you’re comfortable. But if you’re going to have a meeting with the boss or do some reporting, it is still best to do it within your office.
No one wants a messy workplace. Whether you work on your desk inside the office, in the kitchen, or in the living room, if there’s a lot of stuff around that reminds you of your household tasks, you will definitely get distracted. So if you work from home, make your space a clutter-free zone. This will allow you stay focused on your tasks and remain more aligned with an in-office setup.
3. Dress up and get ready for the day.
A lot of people think that working from home means working on your pajamas with the TV on in the background. This is not true. Just like when you’re working in an office, you need to set yourself up for success even when working from home. Get up early and get ready as if you were going into the office. Create a morning ritual of getting dressed (not necessarily an office attire but something that would look nice and feel comfortable), make your morning cup of coffee, and other things you need to do in the morning to get you in the right mindset. It also helps to jot down your to-do list for the day so that you don’t miss anything. This increases your chances of being productive and being focused at work.
4. Turn on the lights.
Natural light coming through your windows can be lovely, but it can also be glaring on your computer screen. If the windows work to your benefit and if the view outside isn’t distracting, opening your windows might help a lot. But if it’s too bright or too noisy outside, you might get distracted instead. If this is the case, pull down your blinds and flip on the light switch. Table lamps and floor lamps also provide targeted task light if your office has insufficient overhead lighting.
5. Create a home office ambiance.
One of the advantages of working from home is that you are able to create a personalized workplace in a way you might not be able to at the office. It is all about creating a comfortable yet productive working space that is perfectly suited to your personal working preferences. You can add elements that exude a cozy or inspiring environment, such as houseplants, fresh flowers, task lighting, candles, or even beautiful crystals.
6. Establish your schedule.
Whether you work from home from time to time, a few days a week, or all the time, you need to have your own daily schedule for when you’re working from home. Set your start time, midday break, 15-minute breaks, and what time you should clock out for the day. This will help keep you on track with your workload. It also sends the message to your manager, supervisor, or co-workers that you have a set schedule, just like you would when working in the office.
7. Get out.
While working from your home office can be great most of the time, you still need to take some breaks. Take a 10-minute walk to the nearest park to freshen up and to get some inspiration when you’re out of new ideas. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, you can head over to the local coffee shop or library and work there for a few hours. Or, you can try sitting in a co-working space with other remote workers.
8. Log off.
One of the most important factors of a healthy work from home setup is creating boundaries. No matter how many tasks you need to finish or emails you need to send, you need to log off for the day on time. And not just from your laptop. Just because you have access to work anytime does not mean that you should be working 24/7. Give yourself some downtime to achieve a work-life balance. Every employee needs it, no matter where we are working.
Working from home is not something new. In fact, a lot of employees have been doing remote work for a long time now. With the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is only going to be more prevalent. These productivity tips should hopefully help you get more done even when working from home.