With the Coronavirus infection (COVID-19) showing no signs of slowing down, and cases increasing every day, most companies are forced to follow the work from home policy, as people sitting close to each other in an AC room can be dangerous now. We are used to working in a structured office environment, and the switch to the comfort of our home can be a challenge. Most of us are struggling to stay productive while taking care of the kids and family at home. There are significantly more distractions at home, but it is still possible to be productive.
Once you learn how to work from home efficiently, your productivity will increase. Read on to learn ways to stay on top of your professional game during these unheard-of times.
1. Have a Designated Workspace
We know you might be tempted to work from your comfy sofa or bed, but it can be counterproductive. When you sit on your sofa or bed, your mind and body relate it to relaxation time. Setting up an area in your home as a workspace by placing a desk and chair in the corner is essential. Also, your workspace should be ergonomic, so the risk of musculoskeletal injuries gets reduced. Working in this space helps send signals to the brain that relaxation time is over, and it is time to focus. Once you finish the day’s work, stay away from your workspace, and resist the urge to check in until the next day.
2. Take Breaks and Move Around
Plan breaks for yourself throughout the day. During each break, get up from the desk and get some fresh air, talk to a family member, stretch, and if you want, grab a healthy snack. These activities will help blood circulation and re-energize you to work on the next set of tasks. A study showed that people who do not take breaks showed a significant decline in performance over the course of the task. If you feel you are wasting a lot of time in these breaks, then set the alarm to get back to work.
3. Stick to Regular Work Hours
Creating a regular schedule for yourself is important while working from home. It is tempting to start working late and take long breaks. Remember that you are doing yourself a disservice by not sticking to your work hours. Working on regular hours makes you more likely to get all the work done and be more productive. Set up your schedule by keeping in mind when your colleagues and boss need you to be available, to easily communicate with your customers, and the most productive time of the day. It is also important to give yourself time to spend with your family or do something you enjoy every day. Avoid extending the work beyond your schedule, as you run the risk of exhausting yourself.
4. Get Dressed and Ready
T-shirts and sweatpants are comfortable, but they also make you sluggish and sleepy. Make sure you wear clothes that you would normally wear while going to the office, even if you will not be interacting with any other person the entire day. Get up in the morning, work out, brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, and have a nice breakfast before you start working. These activities will tell your brain that relaxation time is over, and it’s time to work.
5. Keep Your Home Workplace Clean
You do not have someone (a janitor) to help clean up after you at home, unlike in the office. This means you are the one that needs to do all the cleaning and tidying. A clean workplace helps you stay focused, be productive, and get organized. Even if you are not bothered by a messy desk, do not forget to clean. This does not mean you spend your office hours cleaning and organizing things. Set some time every week to clean, so your desk does not look very messy for you to get tempted to clean during work hours.
If working from home and a lack of social contact is taking a toll on your mental health, get professional help online.