With the impact of recent global events... Many are finding themselves working from home in an effort to keep workplaces and communities safer. While working from the comfort of your own home seems like a dream, finding ways to stay productive can be a nightmare. In a traditional office, the most common interruptions are co-workers or surprise meetings. At home, your distractions and interruptions come in many forms.
You can quickly find yourself doing a load laundry or binging another season of "The Office" instead of sorting your inbox or meeting deadlines. Distractions can also manifest in human forms of children, spouses or other family members in the home. All this can make working from home more difficult as you look for ways to be more focused and efficient. Time and task management becomes an essential skillset when you are working remotely.
We've rounded up the best tips to help you stay productive and to keep you from going a little stir crazy during self-isolation.
Have a routine
When you're in the office, you have structure. There is a set routine you have that gets you through each workday. When you're not in the office or working from home, it can be easy for the lines to blur between your home and work life. When working from home, your day will lack the normal structure and routine that you are used to, so you will need to set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Before the workweek or workday begins, sit down and plan your schedule, starting with breakfast and getting your kids or family settled with their activities. Treat each task and event on your list just as you would at the office.
When setting your schedule, make them realistic. You'll be working from home for several weeks and you want to be sure to have a routine in place that makes sense for your job and home life balance.
Stay connected to the team
When you're in the comfort of your own home, it's easy to put on your favorite playlist and blast your way through your work with little to no interaction from others throughout the day. Even if it feels like you're being more productive, in the long run, you will start to feel lonely and isolated. The best part of working in a traditional office setting is the sense of belonging and personal connections you forge with your team members and co-workers. To fill the communication void while working from home, look for virtual ways to stay plugged. With channels like Slack, Zoom and screen-sharing platforms like JoinMe, or go GoToMeeting, you have a plethora of options to chat or brainstorm with colleagues.
You can share screens and ideas, or even host meetings to make sure your projects stay on track while you are working from various locations.
Make a dedicated workspace
Even if the arrangement is just temporary, find a dedicated and comfortable place in your home to work from. This way, when you are on or off the clock, you can separate the space between work and home. You are also more productive outside of the comfy zones of your house, like your couch or bed. Your dedicated workspace should preferably have a door you can close for privacy, or be away from high traffic and noise areas in the home. You're also encouraged to get a comfortable chair, a spacious desk, and a position near a window for sunlight and fresh air.
All work and no break impact your focus and your productivity. Everyone needs time to step away. Social distancing means limiting your time around others outdoor, but you have plenty of space to move around, stretch your legs, and get fresh air to refuel and refocus. Remember to take your designated lunch break as well as a few breaks through the workday so that your brain has a chance to relax and your body has a chance to re-energize. Working at home means there is no one there to stop you once you get in the zone, and if you're only thinking of meeting deadlines and checking off tasks, the day can zip by in an instant. Make your scheduled breaks a priority. Step away from your work station and if possible, don’t check work emails or texts until you've returned.
Working from home has its perks and also it's drawbacks, however, losing focus and decreased productivity doesn't have to be one of them. Find what works best for you and your job and settle into a routine that gets better results from your busy day.
When making your plans don't forget about lunch and dinner. Big Box has six delicious Heat & Eat meals so that you can focus on work without hassling over dinner plans. Choose your meal and order now.